Today’s startups are in an excellent position. These days, if you want to access the latest technology, you don’t have to invest in expensive hardware and on-site tools. This means brands with a limited budget can avoid the stress, maintenance, and expense of on-premises equipment.
They can use software for innovation instead.
Thanks to the cloud and software-as-a-service, you can access digital solutions for just about anything these days.
Many business leaders use software to, for instance, organise their schedules and hold virtual meetings with colleagues and shareholders. There’s also software for running your eCommerce store and engaging customers through email.
The question for today’s startups is, how do you make sure that any application or tool you implement has a positive impact on your team?
Today, we’re going to explore the most important features to look for when investing in state-of-the-art software solutions for your startup.
These features are essential for every kind of tech you might use in your business, whether you’re looking for marketing tools, analytics, or even accounting systems.
Ease of Use
Software is only ever effective if you feel comfortable using it. Not only does exhausting and complicated software cause excess stress for your employees, but it also increases your chances of wasting resources.
If an application or tool isn’t easy to use, your team members will look for their own alternatives instead. This means that you end up with the issue of shadow IT in your startup, with everyone operating with different tools.
Before you start spending money on anything, make sure to experiment with the application and see how it works.
Find out if the developer or company will be available to help you out with onboarding your team if you have any issues. Also, look into documentation and training solutions to get your team on the same page.
It might also help to test various pieces of software out with some early adopters in your team and get feedback on what they like using best. This will help you decide where you should invest for the rest of your company.
Short Implementation Process
Some software solutions naturally come with a longer onboarding process than others. However, if you’re trying to keep your business as agile and productive as possible, always go with a service that’s easy to implement.
Ideally, your IT teams and managers should be able to roll the software out to employees through the cloud, addressing issues in dozens or even hundreds of accounts at once with the press of a button.
The great thing about software is that it usually requires minimal setup on the user’s end, with users being able to just log into a service with a username and password and get to work.
Having a back-end that your team leaders can control remotely will make it easier to address any patching issues, update software, and remove security problems from a distance, however.
When checking for a short implementation process, make sure that your software provider also offers plenty of granular control for the team leaders who will be managing this software for your employees.
Easy Automation of Repetitive Tasks
The best software is there to improve the productivity and efficiency of your team members.
Sometimes this means making certain tasks easier to complete. For instance, an email marketing software solution ensures that you can message hundreds or thousands of people at once without having to individually address each message.
Software can also take some of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks that your employees hate off their hands too.
This means that your staff members will have more time to focus on the creative tasks that really demand their attention. For instance, if your CRM software automatically logs and transcribes each conversation with a customer, your employees don’t have to waste time writing out notes manually.
Automating repetitive tasks is one of the best ways for startups to improve productivity and grow as quickly as possible. If you’re a company developing software, for instance, you could implement automation solutions that ensure that you can capture data and track potential errors with your code automatically.
The opportunities are endless.
Security and Compliance
Before you implement any new tool, strategy, or service into your business processes, it’s important to ensure that the system is as safe and protected as possible.
Think about the data that you’re going to be handling with that software. Is there any sensitive information that you need to take extra measures to safeguard? What kind of encryption levels can you access to defend your business? How do you prevent the wrong people from accessing your data?
Although it’s virtually impossible to ensure that you never have to deal with security breaches or cybercriminals, you have to make an active effort to make your systems as secure as possible.
Choosing a software solution that comes with high-level security standards is a good start.
It’s also helpful to pick an option that offers a good amount of high-level control to your security teams, allowing them to, for instance, customise who has access to what kind of information.
If you’re in a highly regulated industry or dealing with members of the finance or health sector, you may need to look for particularly firm safety measures. Some products come with things like HIPAA and GDPR compliance.
Scalability and Flexibility
Finally, it’s worth remembering that your needs as a startup are likely to change quite quickly. In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, the functionality you need today may not be the same as the support you need in the years to come.
With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to look for a service that gives you plenty of flexibility to adjust its properties according to your needs.
Shopping around for a company that gives you the freedom to scale up your features or the number of people who can use the services included will ensure that you continue to leverage the software you need as your business grows and evolves.
You might be able to even choose from a range of more advanced capabilities as your company and its needs change.
Having the option to choose between annual and monthly subscription rates might be a handy bonus to look for if you think you’ll need to scale rapidly, as it allows you to adjust the features available in your service from one month to the next.
If your software solution claims to be flexible, find out how easy it is to upgrade whenever you choose.
Choosing Essential Startup Software
Finding the ideal software for your startup isn’t always easy. There are tons of different products out there to make your team more efficient, organised, and productive.
However, the tools that work for one business might not work for you. With the tips above, we hope that you’ll have an easier time choosing the software most likely to transform your company.
Remember to track the results of any software you install to ensure that it’s having a positive impact on your company. This will help you avoid spending excess cash on tools that don’t really work for you.