operations

Top 10 Must-Have Tools & Resources for Startups

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When you are ready to set up your startup, it can be a bit confusing to know which direction to take and what resources to invest in. This list below lets you know exactly where to start when looking for the best tools to run your business efficiently.

Take Charge of Your Accounts with Xero or Quickbooks

Keep up to date with all your banking and credit card transactions while managing your cashflow.

Send Proposals and Pitch Your Work with Proposify or Qwilr

Create easy to read proposals and streamline the pitch, quote and approval process. Replace presentations with sleek, customisable and interactive interfaces.

Maintain Customer Relationships with Hubspot

Organise, grow and track your customers with Hubspot CRM software while you manage your sales pipeline keeps the process effortless.

Research Your Competitors with Moz

Learn about how your competitors are gaining their inbound traffic and target areas where you can drive customers to your business.

Stay on top of Your Website Data and Traffic with Google Analytics

Measure your website performance to see how your content and marketing efforts are working and where customers are engaging with your brand.

Manage your Social Media with Hootsuite

Save time by using managing several social media accounts on one dashboard. Monitor your brand and check what’s trending in your industry.

Communicate across Multiple Teams & Departments with Slack

Communicate and message your team, send real-time updates, save files and develop a collaborative workspace with Slack, whether you are down the hall or across the globe.

Manage your Projects with Asana, Basecamp or Skwish

Whether you are a freelancer, a solo entrepreneur, or start-up, or a small team, these tools are perfect to manage tasks, create timelines for projects and to maintain transparency with clients or customers.

Stay Connected with your Customers with Mailchimp

Build an effective email strategy with your customers and clients by staying in touch with them and sending targeted campaigns to maintain your relationship.

Keep Your Documents Organised and Collaborate with Dropbox

Securely share files across teams or with clients and simplify the way you create, share and collaborate across devices.

Receive Access to Media Pitches and Get Direct Responses with HARO

Send your stories, press releases and important company updates to HARO and provide journalists with everything they need to cover your news which amplifies your message.

Outsource To Your Own Team All In One Place With CoStartup & Go

With the amount of freelancers growing how do you know which ones will actually be good and stick about? Remove the gamble of working flexibly by using CoStartup & Go and their experienced network who all seamlessly wok together on your startup, invested unmaking it a success.

Hire Great Talent with Workable

When you are ready to find permanent talent, use Workable to source, manage and track applicants in one space from over 14 different job boards.

Join a Coworking Space to Find Opportunities to Network

A coworking space is a fantastic tool to have to be able to network and creatively collaborate with other startups and small businesses. Alongside the routine networking events, the organic networking that naturally evolves is priceless and it doesn’t hurt that it creates a great space for productivity in your business. 

Some of our fave partners include:

The Office Group

BDC Works

Mainyard Studios

Boutique Coworking

Airspace

Interested in a FOC consultation on how we can help your startup?

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5 Top Tips To Avoid Entrepreneurial Burnout

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The biggest secret to an entrepreneur’s success? They don’t try and do everything by themselves. It’s a phrase we've probably all heard before, but often we forget to put it into action.

As you’ve started your business, have you ever felt or done any of the following?

·      Feeling like you are running on empty

·      Feeling overwhelmed

·      Taking your work home with you

·      Decreased Productivity

If so, you may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout, and if you want to ensure any type of success for you and your business, you should make some changes. Get out of a mental rut by changing your scenery and your normal routine. Change your work environment for a day if you can to clear your head. But most likely, you may need some wider changes like re-structuring your business strategy or expanding your team with virtual support to combat this common pitfall.

Here are CoStartup & Go’s top tips to stop and prevent entrepreneurial burnout:

Re-Balance.

This is and will always be the first step. Taking care of your emotional, physical and mental well-being. The easiest and fastest way to bring yourself back to balance is to get a good night’s sleep and to increase your water intake. Balancing your body can go a long way in helping you become more productive as an entrepreneur.

Get Organised. Get Clarity.

Making time to organise yourself and your business will allow for some much-needed strategic vision for the entrepreneurial journey. What people often don’t realise is that as an entrepreneur or startup, there is so much changeable action that occurs and that your business needs to be ready for. Funding doesn’t come through? Pivot your product or service line. Funding does come through? Ramp up your marketing efforts. Being able to execute your plan while staying flexible is a true key to sustained success.

Schedule Breaks.

For entrepreneurs, we know that the clock never truly stops, and that if you want doors to open, YOU are the only one who can make it happen. But creativity and ideas emerge when your mind is still, when you allow yourself to focus on other things, and when you take some time off. Make it a part of your day to take short breaks to allow your brain to expand and your imagination to wander. And make sure you make a conscious effort to shut the laptop down a few nights and weekends.

Delegate.

If you are wondering how you are ever going to get all your work done now that you are sleeping so much and taking breaks – the answer is easy: Focus your work efforts on the most important tasks that add value to your business. Avoid time suckers and tasks that take up much of your time and energy but in the end, can be done by others. Investing in a virtual assistant is so important as it allows you to excel in the areas that you are best at, and you can outsource and collaborate with others on areas you don’t have time for. But don’t limit your scope here – startups and entrepreneurs can use virtual support for social media, web development, bookkeeping, email management, marketing administration, events management and much more.

Gather A Support System.

Going it alone with an idea and a laptop is admirable, but can quickly get lonely and discouraging if you don’t have a smart network around you. Slowly build a support system around you with people whom you can bounce ideas off, keep you motivated, and at times can keep you accountable. Using a flexible co-working space is perfect for fuelling natural relationships. Check out the options at The Office Group for flexible co-working memberships.

Ultimately, success as an entrepreneur isn’t about the number of hours you put in, but about what you do with those hours. Are you using your time wisely? Why not book a free consultation with CoStartup & Go to see how we can help increase your productivity?

The Importance of Task Delegation For Start Up Growth

Launching A Start Up Is Time Consuming & Exhausting.. 

....especially when an entrepreneur is trying to do everything on a tight budget. It’s critical not to become overwhelmed by an influx of tasks which could be delegated. Knowing when, how and to whom to delegate responsibilities and tasks is critical to your start up’s success and more importantly to your own health!

Outsourcing tasks enables a start up to focus its limited resources on the development of new business opportunities.

But How?

Practically speaking, it’s important to delegate to the highest qualified and lowest cost individual for each task, and to systemize and automate this process, so that you can better focus on areas of importance to your start up By outsourcing tasks, you get a professional job done without the expense of a full-time employee.

Where Is Your Time Best Focused?

Strategic Vision

Determine and clearly communicate the vision and direction you see for your company, and make sure that everything you and your team do supports this vision. 

Focus on seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies for execution.

Global Perspective 

Take a broad view when approaching issues by using a global lens and understand in depth the industry and markets in which you are working.

Balance Stakeholders & Managing Conflict

Anticipate and appreciate the various needs of all parties invested in financial outcomes and find the best solutions to issues that arise.

Great leaders know how to handle conflict situations effectively, with a minimum amount of noise.

Build Culture

Establish a positive work culture, where employees feel respected and valued. This is important for the individual, but critical for the company. The employee experience effects how employees perform, and this in turn determines how quickly the company grows.

Provide & Manage Resources

You are responsible for providing resources, in appropriate quantities and at the perfect time, for the company to grow:

Manage Financial Resources 

Incoming: your money, outside investors’ money and cash flow from operations.

Outgoing: Employee salaries, training, benefits, marketing, advertising, interest, taxes, supplies and administrative expenses, to name a few.

Your Support

Build a strong team with qualified individuals in the right roles, bringing the right resources in at the right time.

Other Resources

Manage IT, advisors, strategic partners, professional services, and outside vendors.

As you can see, this last category of providing and managing resources is quite a list. No one person can do it all, or should. You must establish the framework and define the vision and expectations for task execution; however, it is not the most efficient use of your time to attempt to do it all. 

Reduce expenses and employee costs by outsourcing these tasks where possible. 

For example, if you need to create an effective marketing campaign, is it better to struggle through this yourself, hire a full-time employee or outsource the initial campaign to an expert? Until your start up becomes bigger, it can be more efficient to outsource tasks to the person or organization best suited to the job. You provide the direction for what you want done, and a professional familiar with the best execution does it for you.

At CoStartup & Go we take these tasks off your hands so that you can focus on growing your start up and driving it forward. We cover everything from operations, business management and consultancy to digital marketing, creative design, website development, project management and personal / executive assistance.

With CoStartup & Go, you have instant access to professionals with the most experience. Your tasks get done quickly and efficiently, so that you have more time to focus on the fun task of driving your start up forwards!

Check out what we do here

Written by Alexandra Griffin, Operations Executive / Virtual Assistant, CoStartup & Go New York