22 May Lower Your Startup Costs With These Online Tools
Although Facebook may be the inspiration for startups around the world, the company nearly bankrupted itself with monthly utility bills, bandwidth, servers and a rapidly growing payroll. In 2008, the social media juggernaut burned through its startup funding by spending nearly $1 million on electricity each month, reports TechCrunch.
While it may not cost you a million dollars to keep your own startup going and the lights on, even modest estimates by Babson College puts startup costs around $65,000. To keep your eye on your bottom line and put more profit in your pocket, use these online tools to slash your overhead and save a bundle:
Skip paying for expensive storage systems and servers by storing your important documents, files and images in the cloud. Systems like LiveDrive save startup founders time by sharing files quickly and offering unlimited backup plans. And instead of panicking over a water-logged laptop or server outage, you can access your files from any computer at any location. Compare features and price points with a site like Top10CloudStorage to figure out the best option for your business startup needs.
Social Media Scheduling
To reduce your workload, schedule out your social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond with free tools like HootSuite. It lets you schedule updates to multiple social media platforms to keep your brand voice consistent and entice your followers with news, updates and offers. Upgrade for a small fee to access more robust features like Hootsuite’s analytic tools. The ability to pre-schedule your social media posts means you have one less thing to remember.
Online Word Processing
You may not need the entire Microsoft Office Suite on all of your devices to keep your business running smoothly. Instead, invest in free and low-cost resources like Open Office and Google Docs. The latter can easily store documents, presentations and spreadsheets and allow you and your employees to access them directly from the cloud. Google Drive also enables you to upload images and attachments.
Email Campaign Management
Stay in touch with your customer base with free email campaigns. Quickly set up an email template, drop in text and images and schedule them for release with resources like MailChimp or GetResponse. Using an online email campaign management tool can reduce or eliminate your need for a dedicated employee to systematically create and schedule your campaigns. These platforms can also help create automated forms for your website to capture emails from new leads. Upgraded features can help with auto-responders, design and sending campaigns to a growing list of email contacts.
It can be a costly endeavor to set up standing in-office meetings, exchange endless emails about a project, create status reports and organize a project from start to finish. Instead, leverage online project management tools to help speed along the process. Upload materials, make comments and share ideas with your team with tools like Asana. This project management software makes it inexpensive to quickly set up a project and keep track of ongoing tasks. All you have to do is assign new responsibilities to a team member and schedule a due date. Then, your dashboard can show you a graph to chart out how your project is going and if it’s on track.