5 Must Have Tools To Make Your Startup Life Easier
Life can be stressful in a startup environment. It doesn’t help when you have clogged up email boxes, a long line of customer calls, invoicing problems etc. Sure, most people can deal with the stress and get things done, but there are tools out there to make your life much easier. Using these tools you can save yourself hours and hours of time. The main point of this post is to show you more tool options that not a lot of people know about.
Join.me is the easiest way for you to join in on a video conversation. Traditionally people use Skype for calling. Skype is good and I use it often, but do you want to add 200 random customers to your list? What if your customer does not have a Skype client, then they would need to proceed to download one which can take time and cause problems. With Join.me your startup life is much easier because all you have to do is set up a chat and send the client a link. The client clicks on the link and connects their headphones. Now you’re both in the call and ready to go. Solve a quick high quality problem easily. The other alternative is GoToMeeting, but some people experience invitation problems etc. If you want something quick and easy that doesn’t cause any problems, you should check out Join.me to make your startup life easier. Not to mention, the interface is simple and nice.
Olark is one of the best customer service/support plugins out there. Most startups use this for their main webpage. In the beginning startup stages, you want to ensure that you keep every single customer happy. You want to be able to respond to any of their concerns and you want to capture new customers when they show interest. For me, sometime I’m just too lazy to click on the contact us/support button and write up an email. Sometime I just have a quick question for the company. Olark makes your startup life and support life stress free by inserting a little support widget on your page. Through this widget your potential customer or client can communicate with you in a live chat messenger mode. Studies show that a typical customer loses interest after 13 hours. This is the fastest way to communicate with a client.
What happens if your not always in front of your computer to respond? No problem, Olark has an automatic email forwarding that will send the customer’s request directly to your email so you can follow up with them ASAP. Sales is everything in a business so keep up that support!
Rapportive is a simple Google Chrome extension plugin that displays the information of the person you are emailing within your gmail account. Rapportive is so effective at pulling information that it is scary. How many times have you gotten cold emails from someone but you have no idea who they are. The only thing you might get from the email is their first and last name, but with Rapportive you can pull up all their social media accounts and other information that’s tied to their name. After installation, all you need to do is hover over the email address that emailed you and the sidebar of your Gmail will show you the full name, location, title, and social networks from the person you’re speaking with.
This is important not because you can feel more safe about your clients, but because you get to know everything about your client beforehand. That way you know how to adjust your support and pitch to them. Sun Tzu said in the Art of War that knowing your enemy and knowing yourself will win you 100 battles. Well right now, we’re not learning about our enemies, but we are learning about our potential customer! You could add them as a friend on Facebook as well through the Facebook icon. Rapportive is fun and will make your startup life easier!
Boomerang is the ultimate emailing tool used by successful entrepreneurs such as Tim Feriss. A lot of startup CEOs includes this tool in their must have tools to make your startup life easier. Boomerang has a lot of features that might create a slight learning curve, but once you get the hang of the tool, it is gold. Waking up with 30 unread emails is a typical day for a startup individual. You don’t want to ignore those email, but you want to get the important ones out of the way first. Quite often, we skip emails and forget to get back to it. With boomerang you can set reminders for follow ups so that you can remind yourself that you need to reply to an inquiry. Another awesome feature is scheduling emails. With Boomerang, you have the option to schedule emails for a later time. You can write up an email and only send it if your client doesn’t reply within a certain timeframe. You could also add notes to certain emails so that you can remind yourself what exactly does your client want.
Our last tool is a payment tool named Stripe. Every startup needs to receive payments somehow. Traditionally, startups would go with paypal to collect their payments. Instead of having an easy checkout, paypal have been known for causing problems for startups making your startup life more difficult and stressful. Stripe is the new trend and method of collecting payments for your startup. Stripe isn’t easy to set up though, but if you have a strong developer in hand, implementing it shouldn’t be a problem. No need to design payment forms from scratch. Stripe Checkout offers a beautiful, customizable payment flow that works great across desktop and mobile. When you use Checkout, you’re always up-to-date, with no extra code required. In addition to that Stripe allows you to accept mobile payments in a responsive interface. Your client’s will love how easy it is. Stripe also allows you to set up recurring subscriptions and different pricing models. Paypal was an issue for accepting international payments from certain countries, but with Stripe you can accept up to 135 different currencies. Crazy! Get those payment workload out of your startup life!
Learn more about Stripe’s features here: https://stripe.com/us/features