Key Tools to Start Your Startup
Key Tools to Start Your Startup
One of the keys to starting your startup is to identify a problem and develop a solution. The most successful businesses are always traced back to this simple formula. However, the question I’m always curious about is; what’s next? You’ve singled out an issue and figured out a fix that could be utilized by others. What’s next? How do you start a startup?
Compared to physical businesses or products, SaaS startups have a low barrier of entry. Because of this, there are a lot of solutions on the market, specifically ones that cater to other SaaS businesses. Utilizing other SaaS as you’re building your business means that you’re not starting from scratch. You can stay focused on your idea rather than worrying about building newsletter software or chatbots.
You also have to consider finances. While bootstrapped or with limited funds in the beginning, it’s important to keep services in-house as much as possible. In this post, I have rounded up key SaaS startups that could help you when building your own startup.
Even prior to the pandemic, startups have been collaborating remotely. Because there’s so much change and you are trying to get multiple people on the same page, effective communication is vital. You have to make sure the right tools are in place to enable people to interact and track progress.
Slack and Zoom are the breakout stars of 2020 and popular for scheduling calls and keeping a dialogue between specific teams, individuals, or the whole startup. Google Workspace is an impressive tool for sharing documents, posts, ideas, files surveys and even hosting meetings. I often believe that simple is always better and love the fact that information I need lives on the cloud and can be accessed from any of my devices. For those that are used to working in open space environments, Yuzu - a new startup - is trying to replicate that experience digitally.
Finally - project trackers. If you have several people working on the same project, it’s essential to be able to measure that progress, designate tasks and break larger plans into smaller deliverables. Depending on the team, we’ve found both Trello and Jira to be quite effective for those purposes.
Design, Code, and User Experience
Seeing this is how your product is going to be made, it’s important to consider your needs. If you, your co-founder, or team are already experienced in coding and design, it might be useful to research tools that will allow you to use your talents and build a fantastic product. Figma and Github are excellent options that fulfill both of those purposes.
If you’ve got the idea but need to find others skilled in those areas to implement it, you can do so through Upwork and Dribble. Dribble is excellent for more long term collaboration, where you can state your needs and expectations and have coders and designers submit their rates and experience for you to approve.
Branding and Marketing
As the barrier of entry is relatively low, the marketplace is inundated with SaaS companies. It’s important to stand out and focus on branding and marketing early on to distinguish your startup. There are a couple of tools that exist that can make this process more automated, consistent, yet personalized without having to outsource to a digital marketing firm.
Canva is a fantastic tool to use for visuals in your content and social media strategy. It’s what I used to create the infographic to go along with this post. To organize, plan, and post that social media, we found Buffer and Social Pilot to be effective.
If you have decided to feature a blog post to go along with your marketing website, WordPress is a popular choice if you want an already designed site. We chose to go with Sanity to use our own design and coordinate analytics.
Last but not least; email marketing. It’s one of the most effective ways to keep your audience engaged and moving through the marketing funnel. At OnboardList, we’ve tried a few different services and settled on MailerLite for now. It’s simple to use and affordable. Mailchimp and Gist are also popular choices should you want to experiment with more features.
Onboarding and Retention
According to Virayo, 55% of SaaS companies say that Customer Retention Cost is their #1 metric to measure. You may be successful in getting your customer on your site through clever social media posts or with a free trial. However, getting them to stay and become a loyal user has proved to be a much harder but vital challenge for the health of your business.
This is not a ground-breaking statement, but users are far less likely to become loyal customers if they have not completed the onboarding process. This is the crucial problem that we sought to address by creating OnboardList. We designed OnboardList to help you convert users into paying customers through onboarding checklists that trigger targeted reminder emails, a straightforward, effective strategy.
Customer service should also be made a priority. Depending on your approach, you might choose to have chatbots, emails, or FAQ pages to interact with your consumers. Crisp, Drift, and Intercom can make those interactions much more potent.
The key to being able to pinpoint and address any problems with onboarding or retention is to have the right analytics set up for your site and product. Google Analytics is a powerful tool, and I recommend to go through a free course that they offer to make sure that you can get the most out of the available features. Microsoft Clarity is a new tool that replays user sessions to help you understand consumer behavior.
Ultimately the heart of any SaaS business is finding a solution to a problem.There are tools exist to ensure that other aspects of your business (communication, marketing, customer service, design) are addressed so that your time is spent on building your solution and making it as useful as possible.
This is the approach we’re taking here at OnboardList. We’re focusing on an effective solution to onboarding that can benefit other bootstrapped startups. Sign up to receive updates (including our launch!).
by Talia Mazepa