Category Archives: Business Growth

Discussion of free software for small businesses

This article is about the top 10 best free and open-source software for small businesses.

When starting a business, you will undoubtedly be concerned about the costs involved. What would the payroll cost? What will the rent be on your business space? What is the IRS’s cut?

You may not understand the costs of having your business’s technology up and running at first. These, however, can quickly add up – and even with an email provider in place, there are still other packages to buy, such as communication and accounting software.

To help you save money, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten free software solutions for small businesses.

1. Slack

Whatever your industry, effective communication among team members is almost certainly critical to the smooth operation of your company. Slack, an online communication tool, allows you to try its services for free for an unlimited period. If you use this software, you can organize your team messages into channels, allowing those working on a specific project to communicate more effectively.

The free plan gives you access to 10,000 of your team’s most recent messages. Other benefits include unlimited one-on-one voice and video calls for individuals, as well as 10 integrations with other applications such as Google Drive and Office 365.

If you want access to more functionality, you can upgrade to one of the company’s paid plans, which offer services such as group video and voice calls.

2. Restyaboard

If you’re juggling numerous projects across your company, you could improve your efficiency with project management software Restyaboard. Based on the Japanese model of Kanban management, Restyaboard uses virtual boards that enable you to visualize your progress on key projects and then decide on your next steps. The most common analogy used to describe the software is a whiteboard covered in Post-It notes.

You can also assign tasks, establish timelines, create calendars, and view metrics. Once you’ve created a new task, every aspect of the task can be managed, tracked, and shared with other members of your team.

Another point in Restya’s favor is that the software has integrations with apps such as Confluence, Slack, Dropbox, and Evernote.

3. Mailchimp

While the term “spamming” evokes a sense of dread in most legitimate business owners, email marketing can still be vital to the success of many businesses.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform and email marketing service based in the United States. Using the free version,  You will have access to many features, including one-step automation, which will deliver messages to your customers based on who they are and how they communicate with your business.

You can send messages to a single audience of up to 2,000 contacts with this version. While these figures are likely to be sufficient for many small businesses, you can raise them by upgrading to one of the company’s paid plans.

Read TOP 5 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ALL SMALL BUSINESSES

4. Skype

With the rise of remote working, it is important that you choose the best video conferencing platform for your company’s needs. Even though many competitors have appeared in recent years, Skype’s free plan remains one of the most attractive on the market. In addition to one-on-one chats, the app allows group video calls of up to 100 users.

A major advantage here is that you don’t need to download an app to use the service, and can do so through your browser.

5. Wave

For many small business owners, invoicing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the accounting process. Using the free version of Wave’s customizable software, you can create an unlimited number of invoices in any currency.

You can also view your customer transaction history, set up invoice notifications to email your customers when payments are due, and track sales tax. Another attractive feature of the software is the ability to set up annual billing for repeat customers, which could significantly minimize the amount of time you spend chasing down payments.

6. Wix

If your business requires a website (which it almost certainly will in the digital age), Wix’s free website-building tools will come in handy. The software, which operates through a simple drag-and-drop interface, allows you to add key elements to your site without any knowledge of coding, making the process much less complicated for beginners.

If you want a simple website, the company offers hundreds of free design templates. However, bear in mind that the free version will automatically view Wix advertisements on your company’s website.

7. LibreOffice

If you’re a fan of traditional Microsoft Office packages like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel but don’t want to pay for them, LibreOffice is a good free alternative.

Its main services are Writer (word processing), Impress (presentations), Calc (spreadsheets), Base (database), and Draw (vector diagrams). As the successor to OpenOffice, LibreOffice is compatible with a range of document formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

8. Thunderbird

Whatever your organization’s size or industry, sending and receiving email is likely to be at the heart of your operation. While it is less well-known than some of its competitors, the free email app Thunderbird is likely to provide all of the features you require to manage email communications across your business.

It has a mail account setup wizard, a quick filter toolbar, tabbed email, smart folders, and an add-ons manager as its main features. You can also add people to your contact list with a single click by clicking on an icon next to their name when they send you a message.

If you’re sharing large documents, you can also speed up the transfer by uploading these to an online storage provider and sharing the link.

Also, read 10 Tools to start a Small Business

9. Duplicati

Duplicati, an open-source backup software, allows you to back up files and folders using solid AES-256 encryption. It will also save space on your network by performing incremental backups and removing duplicate data.

If you use Duplicati, you can perform updates through the web-based interface or the command-line interface. The software is configured through a web interface that runs in any browser and can therefore be accessed from any location.

Duplicati is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

10. Freshteam

Smart HR software Freshteam provides services such as applicant tracking, onboarding, and time-off management. The company’s Sprouts plan is free for up to 50 employees and provides a dedicated recruiting team inbox, a basic careers site, and an employee directory.

If you’re not sure if Freshteam is right for your business or have questions over which plan to use, the company provides a free demo of its services. The free plan is also available as iOS and Android mobile apps.

Summary

While you’ll probably never reduce software costs across your business to zero, the open-source apps listed here can at least help you make significant savings.

Remember to pay close attention to licensing when selecting free software for your small businesses, as you could put yourself at legal risk if you choose a tool that isn’t certified for professional use.

Project manager at office

In this article, we going to see the 5 important Project Management Skills for every Project Manager must-have.

With the sudden change to remote work forced as a result of the outbreak of COVID19, the need for effective project management has increased significantly. This has increased the responsibilities a project manager usually handles.

Handling a remote team and coordinating multiple projects becomes challenging when the project manager has to work on specific deadlines. To achieve all this and ensure quality results, the project manager must have certain project management skills.

Here are five important project management skills a project manager must have:

1. Time Management Skills:

Time management skills are a must for any project manager to effectively handle multiple projects without delaying them. Effective project managers use project management tools to manage tasks well and deliver projects on time.

The best project management software comes with in-built time tracking tools to help managers understand exactly how much time a certain task takes. This helps to create a clear timeline for team members to achieve the project goals within a given timeframe.

Read Project Management Challenges And Ways To Overcome Them

2. Organizational Skills:

A project manager needs to be able to perform multitasking effectively without confusion within the team. This needs strong organizational skills to prioritize tasks. Keeping all aspects of a project organized means designating tasks and documenting processes for future reference.

Organizing the workflow for best results is crucial to ensuring the processes run smoothly. Without organizational skills, the team will not be able to prepare and deliver work successfully. They may also find it difficult to face any unexpected challenges.

3. Leadership Skills:

Project managers assign tasks to a team that is working towards a common goal. To lead and motivate a team, a project manager must show strong leadership skills. They are vital to ensuring that everyone is motivated and performs to the best of their abilities.

Leadership skills come with the responsibility of setting goals for every team member and ensuring that they are accomplished faithfully. This makes it essential for a manager to walk the talk and not just dictate. While leadership skills come with experience, project managers must keep giving their sincere effort towards learning it.

4. Interpersonal Skills:

Often known as social skills, interpersonal skills allow managers to communicate with their team members and develop strong working relationships. These skills test the manager’s ability to deal with a social environment through verbal and non-verbal elements.

Interpersonal skills are essential for a project manager to build a healthy working atmosphere. They require personal interaction as each team member is different from the other. These skills also help to promote collaboration among team members leading to a united workforce.

Also, read 8 Steps To Improve Project Collaboration Between Teams

5. Risk Management Skills:

Having risk management skills means being able to foresee, analyze, and mitigate the effects of a risk that could adversely affect an organization’s financial situation or reputation. A manager must possess risk management skills to combat all possible risks that their team could face during a project.

Having risk management skills means being able to predict, analyze, and reduce the probability of a risk that may adversely impact the financial condition or reputation of an organization. A manager must have risk management to combat all possible risks that the team will face during the project.

Conclusion:

Conflicts in a team are inevitable. Apart from all the skills mentioned above, the project manager must also have conflict management skills to ensure that remote team members work together and deliver quality work. It ensures that the project is performed from beginning to end with more efficiency.

Small business technology

To produce better results, the use of technology in your small business will do wonders.

You can get good returns at minimal cost and small-maintenance with smart use.

Controlled technology implementation is the right step forward. Here, we cover five must-have cost-effective technologies for SMBs:

1.Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps SMBs attract new clients, increase sales, and assist in marketing. You can make use of features such as customer service, data analysis, database management, etc., all under one roof.

You get an organized interface that means you know about business procedures, financial projections, customer demographics, and more. Advanced CRM software also comes with an integrated attendance management system that lets you keep track of your staff’s regularity. You can receive sales reports, create team performance charts along with business suggestions that can help you scale your business.

2.Contactless Payment 

Convenient payment options are always a benefit. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the concept of payment convenience. You need to establish social distances at all times. This forced tech vendors to optimize contactless payment options.

Contactless payment is robust, secure, and simple for users to access these applications. Payment wallets, bank-to-bank transfer apps, etc., offer valuable merchant collaborations. Provide trouble-free payment services to your consumer-base and experience the magic of seamless transactions.

Read 10 Tools to start a Small Business

3.Chatbots 

The implementation of chatbots is a perfect example of the proper use of technology in business. An AI-driven chatbot is a software program that is compatible with websites and mobile applications. It supports users during their on-page time and resolves queries instantly.

You can also collect contact details from the visitor and integrate the chatbot with your CRM to conduct an in-depth analysis of the results. It also opens the doors to email marketing campaigns and other strategies that involve direct communication.

Chatbots run 24×7, making it a must-have technology for small business owners. They are effective because they manage most of the queries without human interference.

4.Data Security 

Digital breaches can cause severe trouble for business owners. So, include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard your other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., comprise worthy data security for small businesses.

Digital breaches can cause severe problems for business owners. Include an up-to-date server and data security tool to safeguard the other business assets. End-to-end encryption programs, robust firewalls, cybersecurity solutions, etc., provide valuable data security for small businesses.

5.Team Collaboration and Management

Miscommunication between team members can occur during the execution of the project. But SMBs can use team collaboration tools to fix this problem. You can manage attendance, share a list of daily activities, and evaluate your daily performance.

Work-from-home has been the norm of 2020 because of the constraints imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s tedious to monitor the whole team over phone calls and messages. Using the office management software to track daily progress, while also providing valuable feedback on work in the same application.

Conclusion

The needs of small business technology are cost-effective and efficient. You don’t have to go crazy with technical solutions by investing huge amounts of money. Instead, spend more time in analysis and customize the best resources of your business without compromising your budget. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has increased the use of contactless payment options and team collaboration tools. Cybersecurity and CRM software remain vital to secure and well-organized business functioning.

What technologies do you use to make your business work more efficiently? Let us know in the comments section.

In this blog, we can look at what is Agile Project Management And How Can Your Team Benefit?

Most of the world’s teams work in fast-paced, ever-changing environments. That’s where the term agility comes into play. You’ve likely heard the term before, but what does it mean in today’s workplace? Stemming from the IT world, agile capabilities evolved in the 1990s when “thought leaders sought ways to quickly build working software and get it into the hands of end-users.” During this period of transformation, IT began focusing on software solutions combined with more fluent applications needed for a productive work environment.

Agility is essentially a way to simplify the way you work and coordinate together in regards to workload processes. If you’re asking, “What is agile project management?” and wondering if your team can benefit from it, know that it distinctly involves improving systems, processes, and timelines to empower your team members and help you organize work in a way that’s simplified and meaningful.

Agile Project Management

So what is agile project management exactly? It is a method of applying intuitive software and tools to the lifecycle of your team’s project management processes. Agility enables you to multitask for improved collaboration, teamwork, and productivity.

Agile project management takes agility a step further to represent the task and project management steps, systems, tools, app integrations, and execution capabilities necessary for enabling project teams to establish a streamlined, effective workflow—even in changing environments.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), project teams “increasingly embrace agile as a technique for managing projects” with 71% of organizations reporting the use of agile project management approaches “sometimes, often, or always.”

As evidence has suggested, Agility models thrive in communicative and adaptive cultures where team members are connected via a single dashboard or source. These teams use collaboration tools where team members can quickly adapt to project changes, leading to greater workflow and productivity benefits.

Read Top 7 Product Management Tools for Product Managers

Iterative is another term you may hear around the topic of agile project management. It represents the agile life cycles or significant steps involved in project completion. This approach focuses on the empowerment of team members via easy-to-use collaborative project management tools for maximum productivity.

How Can Your Team Benefit from Agile PM?

Fostering success through agile project management and iterate processing often begins with dynamic adaptability. Your project and your team must demand interaction, collaboration, and accountability, as well as the ability to shift and change according to project and client, needs as you go. 

This means that tasks can be assigned, dated, and set as recurring as needed. You can also assign project team members where necessary, and even assign subtasks and add notes or files as you strive through the agile project management process. And the benefits of this are endless, especially when working with an all-in-one project management software platform. 

Here’s an overview of the many opportunities your team can take advantage of within this system:

  • Optimize team communication and productivity.
  • Foster a culture of learning and evolution where one centralized and goal-oriented task management platform supports your project. 
  • Support in-office and remote team members with agile project management tools.
  • Bolster team communication and workflow empowerment with:
  • Assignments that are easily set up via templates or email.
  • Reminders can be sent to keep team members on schedule.
  • Easy attachment of files and notes for project clarity.
  • Real-time communication via a built-in chat messaging system that allows task creation directly from a chat channel.
  • Team member accountability through the calendar and timeline integration and reporting, including customizable views from high-level project timelines down to individual task lists. 
  • Cultural collaboration and productivity support through task and calendar sharing, including the ability to:
  • View projects and tasks by timeline, individual, or team.
  • Prioritize tasks, set start dates, due dates, and due times, and update them as each project progresses. 
  • Add followers to a task and add task comments so everyone stays in the loop on updates or timeline changes. 
  • Allow collaborators to view real-time updates on tasks as due date changes, comments, and completions so they understand the progress.
  • Project management planning, intention, and successful execution, allowing teams to create a powerful project result that’s on time and productive. 

From a single project management tool, you’ll be able to integrate all of your teams, projects, apps, and timelines to accomplish goals and provide leadership and quality results for your team.

Taking Advantage of Agile Methodology, Leadership, and Teamwork

Agile project management, now more than ever, requires first choosing the tool you wish to work with each day. It involves planning with timelines, tasks, and processes in mind for effective collaboration.

Through agile project management processes, you will streamline your workflow. And the “what is agile project management” question begins and ends with empowering people. What better way to do this than providing your team members with a modern collaboration app that integrates all of your project tools, tasks, and calendars within one intuitive, task management system?

Restyaboard provides a feature-rich, all-in-one collaborative platform that’s both scalable and simple enough to learn in minutes. To learn how it can improve your team’s workflow, try the demo today! 

2020 has forced the whole world to work remotely. It has also made people realize that remote work works. But remote work is not all rainbows and unicorns. It is a challenging feat to pull off. It can be difficult to keep your head around managing a distributed team. But if you have the right productivity tools in your magazine, you can cultivate an empowering, rewarding, and effective remote work environment for your team.

While you will see many remote productivity tools on the web, we’ve rounded up the best ones to bring your team’s remote work experience to a new level. Let’s check each of these productivity tools and how they benefit your remote team. 

Productivity Tools for Remote Work

Team Collaboration Tools

Collaboration can be tricky when you need to keep work flowing smoothly despite geographical distance and time differences. Everything must be accessible to everyone at any given time. Communication must be instantaneous and seamless. This helps teams get an experience as close to how they would normally collaborate with their teammates when they’re co-located. Invest in these productivity tools to ensure there are no blockers to team collaboration.

Team Chat App

Slack is widely used by remote teams worldwide. It’s easy to set up and organize topics into channels. Direct messaging is also seamless. You can bring all the project discussions into one place. You can also make calls and screen share within Slack. 

Cloud Storage and File Sharing App

This might be a close call between Google Drive and Dropbox. Both are widely used by remote teams for its ease of use and accessibility. Even with a free plan, you get a generous amount of storage to start with. You also get full control of how you share your files. 

Read Best Tools To Support Remote Work in 2020

Video Conferencing App

Zoom is a strong contender for this one. I find video calls in Zoom are more stable than other apps. It’s a reliable option, especially for big team video meetings. You can also do screen sharing and collaborate on an online whiteboard. You can use Zoom Breakout Rooms to split your discussions into groups if you ever need to have smaller focused groups.

Video calls are far more effective than communicating through email or a phone call. You can see your teammates’ gestures and expressions and makes you feel more connected to them.

Connectivity

Stable and consistent connectivity is important for remote teams. These productivity tools will help your team stay connected anywhere and anytime they need to.

Mobile Hotspots or Pocket WiFis

While your teams may have reliable and fast internet at home, it’s recommended to have a backup. This ensures everyone can get to work anywhere or when their internet home connection is down. Your teammates should check with their local internet providers and see what options are available. What I usually do is ask for recommendations from my teammates living nearby or through online remote workgroups I’m a member of.    

Remote Desktop App

There will be times when your teams will need to access their office desktop remotely. If this is a requirement, having a remote desktop app will be beneficial. Some popular options are TeamViewer and Chrome Remote Desktop

Security

You need to ensure all your team files and assets are secure and only those who have authorized access can get into your systems. Security tools are one of the most important productivity tools your team needs to have. With security in mind, maximum productivity is achieved.

Password Manager

There are free and paid apps that your team can use. A popular paid option is Dashlane. It even comes with a VPN and secure file storage. It can even scan the dark web for data breaches and will notify you if your data has been compromised. But it can be a little pricey. So another option to look at is LastPass. It comes with a free version and even has multi-factor authentication as an added security layer. Even with the paid version, it’s still reasonably priced. 

Multi-factor Authentication

Most apps come with two-factor or multi-factor authentication and we highly encourage your teams to enable this feature. When generating tokens, you can use an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator

VPN

While we strongly discourage using public Wi-Fi when working remotely, sometimes it cannot be helped. But when using public networks, security can’t be guaranteed. To keep your remote teams secure wherever they are, require the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPN). VPNs create secure tunnels that mask or encrypt any data you send and receive on the fly. For all these security-related productivity tools, check with your IT department on the best options.

Time Management

Time management can be difficult when working remotely. It can be challenging to establish a fine line between your house chores and your work responsibilities when you work from home. This is why time management is very important. Productivity tools that focus on time management help you get more done with whatever time you have. 

Time Tracking

Time trackers shouldn’t be seen as the ultimate gauge of productivity. Instead, it should be seen as a tool to understand the time consumed on work and how best to improve it. If you’re a team manager, having your team members track their time while they work remotely can provide valuable insights as to where their time is being spent on. You can then review with them how it aligns with their goals. You may also see some indicators of work inefficiency through time data. Time Doctor and Restyaboard are some of the well-known team time tracking apps in the market. It also has reporting and analytics that will come in handy for remote team managers.

Scheduling

I’m a firm believer in the saying, “What gets scheduled gets done.” Anything else that pops up in the middle of the day that is NOT in your schedule, shouldn’t be your main focus. Scheduling and planning are essential productivity techniques that remote workers should master. It’s hard to stay motivated when working alone. So you have to encourage your team to develop discipline and structure. 

We recommend using a calendar app that’s already integrated with your other work tools such as your email. This way, it’s easier to sync them to your other activities like meeting invites, events, and other alerts.

Task Management

Every team should have a task management tool, especially for your remote team. Your task management tool should be easily accessible, secure, and has the right features to encourage collaboration within your project teams right then and there. It’s one of the productivity tools remote teams can’t live without as this essentially becomes their virtual office. 

Restyaboard is a project and task management tool that allows teams to collaborate on projects in one place. It’s a highly visual tool that enables teams to maintain transparency and achieve seamless collaboration. Restyaboard is much more than just a Kanban board. It’s built around the Kanban methodology and has rich and easy-to-use features that bring out the in-person work experience into the virtual setting. What’s great about this is you not only have a productivity tool, but you and your team will also have a framework to manage your work.

Focus

One of the key elements to productivity is maintaining focus. Our attention gets challenged every second. There are plenty of distractions especially when you work from home or remotely. What may seem to be a harmless 5-min check on your Social Media feed could turn out to a 30-min waste of time. Focus apps are essential productivity tools to instill discipline and accountability. 

I like using the Pomodoro Technique especially during times when I need to engage in deep work. You can use any online timer available or even use a physical one that you’d put on your desk. You could also explore focus apps that limit your access to and alerts from social media apps and even your email inbox. The important thing is to keep unnecessary distractions to a minimum or none at all when you need to focus on work. Share these focus-centered productivity tools with your remote team to supercharge their efficiency.

Automation

Repetitive manual tasks can be a pain. If a task is done repetitively and routinely, there’s a big chance it can be automated. Your team can then spend that time doing more meaningful work. Automation means taking your time back and letting technology steer the wheel. Automation tools are undoubtedly one of the top productivity tools every remote team should have.

Discuss with your remote team what process steps are candidates for automation. Some examples would be consolidating information and transferring task lists from one system to another. After you’ve identified your candidates for automation, explore automation tools such as IFTTT or other web-based service apps that enable system integration without or with minimal coding involved.

Employee Engagement

Happiness and engagement at work affect employee productivity. As a remote team manager, you should also stay on top of your team’s overall well-being. Remote working can be tough on your team’s mental health, so it’s important to check with them every so often. It’s also best to have programs that are designed to encourage employee engagement. 

Virtual Team Building

Who says remote workers can’t have fun? It’s all about being creative and resourceful. Even though your team is not co-located, schedule team-building activities every so often. You can use your video chat tool to facilitate this event and use an online whiteboard to do some charades or to do some team quizzes. 

I also encourage you to schedule virtual celebrations for team and project milestones. This will help your team feel more connected to the rest of the company and stay engaged. 

Rewards and Recognition 

It’s always a different feeling when you’re recognized for a job well done. And it’s these kinds of things that can easily get forgotten when working remotely. But it’s one of those “indirect” productivity tools that will help managers reap more rewards. When employees are appreciated, they are encouraged to do better. This creates a culture of meritocracy and makes your employees feel they are contributing to the company even if they’re working remotely. 

Rewards and recognition tools can be as simple as sending virtual gift cards to your top performers and recognizing them during your virtual town halls. You can also go a step further and use a rewards and recognition platformApart from peer to peer recognition and in-app rewards, it also has social media and gamification that makes a fun and innovative engagement program.

Investing in Productivity Tools for Remote Workers

If you want your remote team to succeed, you need to invest in the right productivity tools to support them. And whether you like it or not, remote work is here to stay. More companies will shift to this model and more employees will expect and demand flexible working arrangements. But having the right productivity tools is only half the battle. Your remote teams should also have the right mindset when it comes to productivity. You need to make them realize that these tools are not meant to restrict them but to empower them and bring team collaboration to a whole new level. This will create a culture that’s uplifting, empowering, and productive for remote work.

In this article, we provide a list of Project Management Tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

Starting a new company or working for a startup is exciting and nerve-wracking in equal parts. Budgets are often tight in a startup environment and the traditional processes that keep companies going are often lacking. Such a productive work atmosphere can be punished for even the most experienced employees because there will always be new problems to tackle and insufficient resources to tackle them.

Most how-to books will tell you that it takes a combination of hard work, good employees, and enough funding for a startup to succeed. But most of these books do not address the project management tools that the best entrepreneurs in the world use to organize and manage their companies. That is why we have gathered this list of project management tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

Here is the list of project management tools that can be used by any startup company to develop a highly productive organization.

1. Work Management / Task Management Software

In reference to collaboration, there is one proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This is particularly true in the start-up world, where having a strong collaborative culture is a key to success.

To achieve success as a team, all employees need to move in the same direction and work towards the same goals. Smart entrepreneurs have figured out that using a collaborative work management tool is the way to achieve this.

Work Management Software

“Work management” is a relatively new form of software designed to provide a central place for teams to digitally collaborate and work together. Work management software combines project management, task management, document management, and communication into one place to get all employees on the same track.

Restyaboard has a task list view, which displays all of the tasks related to a project, along with key metrics.

Benefits of Using Work Management Software

  • Keep things From Getting Lost in the Shuffle: Startups are fast-paced and dynamic, so there’s always something new that needs attention. Without a central collaboration tool, employees find their own ways to keep track of their to-do lists, which may lead to tasks not being completed and general frustration. This problem is resolved by a central collaboration platform.
  • Get More Visibility: Startup employees are always busy taking care of their work and do not always have time to communicate with management and keep them in the loop. When all work is managed and tracked in one place, managers can see everything that their employee is working on, eliminating the need for constant check-ins.
  • Improve Accountability: A central work management platform ensures that all employees are accountable for their work. When management can quickly see what all team members are working on, underperforming employees cannot fly under the radar. Conversely, this provides another way for management to recognize their best and most efficient employees.

2. Kanban Boards for Building Workflows

It is necessary to establish visual processes in a start-up environment that serve as guidelines for employees to follow to be successful. The use of Kanban board software is one of the best ways of creating these processes.

Kanban board software is a simple startup project management tool that’s used to visualize and track all of the different tasks happening within a company or team. Each task is created as a “card” that can be dragged-and-dropped into different areas of the screen to indicate the status of the task.

The kanban board shows anyone looking at it what work needs to happen next, what work is in progress, and what work has been recently completed.

Kanban boards are an incredibly useful visual tool for managing workflow. Make your kanban board with Restyaboard today!

The simplest way to use a kanban board is to have three columns: to-do, doing and done. When a new task needs to be added, it goes into the to-do column. Then, when someone is ready to work on that task, they drag the kanban card into “doing” so that everyone on the team can see the task-in-progress.

However, kanban boards can also be used to build more complex processes in the form of custom workflows. This is done by creating custom columns for each stage of the work process.

Kanban Workflow Example

For example, let’s assume your startup does marketing for clients, and you need a good way to manage all of the work requests that clients send in. You could create a kanban board with the following columns:

  • New Work Requests
  • Information Gathering
  • Doing
  • Client Approval
  • Done

Each column represents a step in the workflow or process.

  • When a new work request comes in from a client, the employee who received the request creates a task in the “New Work Requests” column and assigns it to an account manager.
  • When the account manager is ready, they move the task into “Information Gathering” and contact the client to get all of the information needed to start work. They then re-assign the task to the marketing team and move it to “Doing.”
  • The marketing team now works on the client request. When finished, they move the task to “Client Approval” and re-assign the task to the account manager.
  • With a new task in “Client Approval”, the account manager now knows the work is ready to send to the client for final approval.
  • Once the client gives their approval, the task is finally moved into “Done” to indicate the process is finished.

As you can see, the kanban board is used to build a step-by-step process for work requests. As the whole team has access to the board, everyone knows the status of all of the work that is happening. Kanban boards are a great way to eliminate problems and confusion by giving the team a blueprint for how work should flow through the team.

3. Project Management Dashboards

As discussed previously, visibility into your employee’s work is important to successfully manage your company. This is why savvy entrepreneurs choose to implement key performance indicators (KPIs) across their companies.

Read 8 Powerful Tools to Make Your Startup Smarter in 2020

The motto of “measure everything” is useful in startup companies because data allows the company to pivot quickly when things aren’t working—and to double down on things that are. There are many different types of dashboards a startup company can implement across the business, but the most important one is the project management dashboard.

Project management dashboards passively collect data from your project management platform, turning the information into helpful charts and graphs. The dashboard will update in real-time, giving you all of the information you need to make decisions across the company.

Project management tools dashboards can quickly show you information about several project metrics.

  • Workload: see which employees and teams are over or underworked
  • Project Progress: see how specific projects are progressing
  • Time Tracking: monitor where and how employee time is being spent
  • Budgets: learn the real cost of employee time and resources to make smarter budgeting decisions

Implementing Project Management Tools for Startup Companies

Startup companies are dynamic, exciting, and always growing. And as a company grows, it needs to change over time. However, establishing the right project management tools and processes early on will give your startup a solid foundation to build upon.

This is why we recommend that every startup company implement a work management platform, Kanban boards for building workflows, and dashboards for measuring everything across the business, all as soon as possible.

Implementation of these startup project management tools might seem like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Additionally, there are plenty of software suites that give you all of the tools we’ve discussed with zero codings or training needed.

8 Powerful tools to make your Startup smarter in 2020 to help the founders and their employees accomplish tedious and repetitive tasks efficiently.

1. The Name App

It is important to have a unique and easy-to-remember business name brand recall. This particular tool saves you a struggle to find the correct domain name for your startup. What’s more, it also helps you check the availability of your username and decide the names of social media profiles that align with your company. Simply sign in to the official website of The Name App or download it from the App Store of your Apple device (Sorry, Android users, you’re going to have to do with the website for now)

2. GrowthHacker.tv

GrowthHacker.tv is a place where you can watch interviews of successful growth hackers and entrepreneurs who have made their mark in the digital world. Interview videos continue to be played on the website in a loop that is freely available to visitors. But if you want to have access to past video recordings, you’d need to sign up, which is paid for. But wait a minute, that’s not it. If you are visiting the website, for the first time, you could get a promo code to access the content of your site as a premium member for a week.

3. Moosend

Building e-mail campaigns can be simple. However, delivering them at the right time can be challenging. That’s why you need an email marketing platform like Moosend to get started. Moosend will give you access to automation features to create, schedule, and monitor the performance of your email campaigns. You will get to know Moosend through their free forever plan, offering unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans would allow you access to premium features starting at $10 a month.

4. Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services usually referred to as AWS, is a web hosting service offered by the Amazon e-commerce mogul. Possibly one of the most secure web hosting services currently available, AWS is scalable, flexible, and currently provides over 90 services including database storage, content delivery, and other features and functionalities.

Read 10 Best Startup Tools for 2020

5. MailChimp

To run an effective email marketing campaign and keep your audience up-to-date on deals, you need an efficient newsletter service. This is where MailChimp is coming into the picture. MailChimp is a name that doesn’t need any introduction to the tech world. Great news, MailChimp provides a free startup kit with all the necessary features. Paid services start at $10 per month. Additionally, you can do that, take a look at ActiveCampaign and see which suits you prefer.

6. Aytm

There are many survey tools available on the market today. What sets Aytm apart from all these tools is that it not only allows you to create a survey form but also lets you reach out to the right audience who would be interested in taking these surveys. A quick tip: keep your questions open and get better insights.

7. Glasshat

Glasshat comes across as a super-efficient SEO tool that helps start-up owners plan their SEO and other digital marketing activities. This tool provides a list of activities and also teaches new entrepreneurs why a particular activity is important for their startup. By using Glasshat, it would be a smart idea to add a Yoast SEO plugin to your WordPress site so that you can change your web content according to the SEO guidelines.

8. Restyaboard

Restyaboard is a web & mobile based project management tool that was built for improving workflow. Eventually, and inevitably, the efficiency of Restyaboard made it a prominent name among almost all startup owners across the world. This project management software allows users to assign tasks as per their status, add assignees & get activity feed, view log reports, and a lot more. 

If you’re thinking of starting a business or improving an existing one, you’re going to need the right tools for the job. So, in this post, we look at 10 key apps for startups that can make your workflow more efficient and lead to an increase in business growth.

1. A productivity suite

Before you can do anything exciting in your business, you’re going to need some apps that can take care of the boring (but very important) things: a reliable email account, file storage, and productivity tools.

The industry-leading productivity suites which provide all the above are Office 365 and G Suite (formerly Google Apps).

However, it can be quite hard to choose between them — there a lot of pros and cons to weigh up. As such you might like to read our Office 365 vs G Suite comparison review. This explains the core differences between the two productivity suites, as well as outlining what alternatives are available.

2. A website or online store

It goes without saying that you’ll need a website for your business. But with many website building platforms available, it’s important to make the right decision regarding which one to go for.

Portfolio sites/brochure sites

If you’re not intending to sell services or goods online — i.e., your website is more of a portfolio or ‘brochure’ site with business ultimately taking place offline — then Squarespace is often a good bet for startups because it’s easy to set up a site with it, the templates are attractive, and you get support included with your plan.

WordPress is another great option for portfolios or brochure sites — and one that will give you more control over the aesthetics and the functionality of your site — but there is a bit more of a learning curve involved.

Online Stores

If you’re selling products and services online, more thought is required. Although it’s tempting to just embed a Paypal button on a web page to handle online transactions, there are many more sophisticated options available to you that will serve you better.

Ultimately, if you’re serious about e-commerce, you’re going to need a platform you can use to build a fully functional store: one that can adequately cater to things like product variants, shipping, tax rates, and abandoned carts. Big hitters in this area include Bigcommerce and Shopify.

If you’ve already got a website, and want to turn it into an online store, you might find that Ecwid is a good solution for you (it’s a ‘widget’ that’s designed to add e-commerce functionality to any existing site). 

Tip: when it comes to the aesthetics of your website or online store, you might find that simple web-based design tools like Crello offer a cost-effective way to create graphics or animations for it.

3. An email marketing tool

A large mailing list is VITAL to the growth and long-term success of a business.

Not only can email marketing provide a fantastic return on investment, but it’s also a great way to share content widely (something which can build great brand awareness and even improve SEO).

Many new business owners think that a mailing list is simply a bunch of email addresses stored in an Excel spreadsheet that gets emailed via The outlook from time to time.

Taking this approach is a big mistake. Dedicated email marketing tools allow you to capture email addresses via your website, host a large mailing list online, create newsletters, automate communications, and track results easily.

There are many great apps available — but based on value for money and reliability (respectively), our favorites are probably Getresponse and Aweber.

Read 10 Best Startup Tools for 2020

4. CRM

CRM stands for ‘customer relationship management’, and these days the acronym is usually used to refer to cloud-based software that allows you to keep track of and manage the business relationships between your organization and your leads and clients.

Typically, a CRM app will allow you to capture, organize, and analyze leads track communication with leads, and clients allocate tasks to your team.

  • manage your ‘sales pipeline’ (i.e., identify leads and track how the process of converting them to a client is going) 
  • manage customer inquiries via a support ticketing system

Now, as with email marketing, many new business owners rely on Excel to handle all this sort of stuff – which, as with mailing list management is a bad move when there are so many more sophisticated options available to you.

Hubspot offers a very functional free version of its CRM tool — this is a good introduction to the world of customer relationship management.

Other cost-effective options involve Capsule or Nimble.

Which product is right for you will really depend on nature and the complexity of your business, but either way, finding the right CRM tool will usually be vital to ensuring that it grows successfully.

5. Growth Hacking Tools

Once you’ve got your website live and your email marketing app sorted, the next thing you’ll need to do is grow the number of people visiting your site and join your mailing list.

Now, there is a multitude of tools to help you do this. For example, you’ll find apps that let you run A/B tests on your site pages to find out which is most likely to convert a visitor to a subscriber; tools that let you create video recordings of your visitors’ behavior on your site and analyze it; and ‘welcome mats’ which encourage mailing list subscription before any other action is taken on your site.

You’ll find an exhaustive list of growth-hacking apps over on the Kissmetrics site, but for me, there are two particular aspects of growth hacking to zoom in on and prioritize when starting a new business: social sharing, and lead generation. You basically want to make it as easy as possible for somebody to share your content or subscribe to receive more of it.

Tools like Sumo can really help you here, providing everything from sharing buttons to live chat to data capture ‘welcome mats.’

Other similar services worth investigating include Addthis and Sharethis.

6. Cloud-based accounting

Cloud-based accounting apps are increasingly popular and worthy of serious consideration over traditional spreadsheet usage.

A cloud-based accounting solution is connected to your bank account, meaning that all your transactions are imported into your accounting software in real-time (i.e., no more copying and pasting transactions from your online bank account into a spreadsheet).

Not only that but these apps you to raise branded invoices and produce detailed reports at the click of a button. They can give you access to an in-depth analysis of your company finances, and make preparing a tax return significantly easier.

Because of these advantages, if you use a bookkeeper, it often makes sense to hire one that works ‘in the cloud’.

Industry-leading cloud-based accounting apps include Xero and Quickbooks.

7. Keyword research tools

It’s all very well having a business and a website to go with it — but if you’re not ranking highly in search results, it’s not going to be a success.

One of the best ways to improve the performance of your website is to make sure that you are publishing content that people are actually searching for. To do this, you’ll need to perform keyword research.

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush are essential for this kind of work.

8. Notebooks and To-do lists

Notebooks

An oft-overlooked aspect of running a business is the amount of note-taking it involves.

From capturing brainwaves to taking minutes to jot down a phone number of a potentially useful contact, you will find yourself taking a host of notes in your business life.

So, it makes sense to take them in the best possible way – and in my view, that’s digital, using a dedicated note-keeping app.

There are a plethora of note-keeping apps out there to choose from – but Evernote’s got to be one of the best.

It allows you to place text, images, files, and research all in one digital workspace which you can then share with friends, colleagues, and family. You can access Evernote across all your devices, meaning your notes are always with you.

If you use a productivity suite like G Suite or Office 365 however, you may find that their ‘Keep’ and ‘OneNote’ products meet your needs perfectly well.

To-do lists

To-lists have been part of running a business since the year dot. They’re a surprisingly vital part of running and growing a business: without them, nothing gets done.

As with much else in the business world, they’ve now moved online. And again, there are loads of options available.

Todoist is a simple but effective app for managing, as the name suggests, your to-do list. It works across devices and is available as a Chrome extension too, meaning your uncompleted tasks are always following you around (perhaps I’m not selling this as well as I should). Nifty features include being able to turn emails into tasks and categorize tasks by project.

Wunderlist is another good option.

9. GDPR compliance tools

With the introduction of GDPR — data protection laws designed to safeguard the privacy rights of EU citizens — business owners now have to meet strict requirements with regard to how they capture data and use cookies.

Adhering to GDPR laws on data capture is reasonably straightforward, but it’s quite hard to adhere to the cookie laws. Your website needs to display a cookie banner which not only informs your visitors that cookies are being used but also allows them to give prior consent to them being run.

This is quite a challenge from a technical point of view, but there’s a new tool called Cookiepro which we’ve discovered and which we recommend to our clients as a way of ensuring compliance (particularly where hosted website building products like Squarespace, Shopify, and Bigcommerce is concerned).

You can choose to set up Cookiepro yourself (which will require a bit of time and effort) or alternatively pay a one-off fee to get assistance. 

10. A Social Media Manager

Most businesses end up struggling to manage several social media profiles at once. It can be tricky to keep on top of them all or analyze what’s working and what’s not across all your channels.

This is where an all-in-one social media management tool like Hootsuite is invaluable. You can use tools like Hootsuite to manage all your social media accounts in one place; schedule messages across your profiles; measure your social media campaign performance and assign tasks to your team messages to ensure that all messages
generated by your social media activity get answered.

All this improves your social media comms or frees up time to do other important stuff!

Alternatives to Hootsuite include Sendible and Buffer. 

For startups and small businesses, smooth collaboration is key. Today’s digital world requires every member of a startup team to be familiar with online collaboration tools, especially if they often work remotely.

There are lots of great tools out there that are free to use and have all the features your team needs.

Here are the 5 best collaboration tools for startups that will make every entrepreneur’s life easier.

1. Slack

Slack is an incredible tool for both groups and one on one communication. Slack allows you to break up your conversations into “channels” making relevant information easy to find. To add to the convenience, Slack comes with an easy to use a mobile app and integrates with many other tools such as Restyaboard, Trello, JIRA, and Twitter.

2. Skype for Business

Skype for Business is available as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 package, which comes with the full Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.). Skype for Business features all of the stuff you’d expect from a product with Skype in the name: instant messaging, audio calls, and video chat. But it also has features businesses need to keep safe and compliant, like local hosting and permission control.

As part of the Office suite, it also deeply integrates with your calendar and contacts from Outlook, as well as documents from Word and Excel. Are you an existing Microsoft customer? You probably already have this! If not, it’ll set you back $8.25/user/month.

Read Top 10 Startup Tools You Should Use in 2020

3. Lifesize

Lifesize allows startups to have video, web, and audio conferences along with the option to record and share meetings. It also makes it easy to integrate video from almost any platform available, giving your startup the look and feel of a top-tier business without the top-tier cost.

4. Join.me

Join.me is one of the best options when it comes to connecting and collaborating with your team. This tool gives startups the ability to share audio, video, whiteboard, live chat, and enable users to share control over their screen. The rich range of annotation and remote access features also makes this tool great for sales demos.

Join.me can be used for free, but to lift the participant cap to 5 and host unlimited meetings, you’ll have to buy a plan starting at $9/user/month.

5. Zoom

Zoom — ranked the #1 meeting tool by Gartner in 2018 — is a fast and reliable video conferencing software that works great for internal and client meetings alike.

It features screen-sharing, annotation, and cloud-hosted meeting recordings that you can automatically upload and share. A great use case to keep your team in the loop is to use a fixed room for recurring team meetings and integrate it with Slack to automatically Share the recording with participants afterward.

Zoom’s pricing starts at $14.99/host/month — and just one host can have up to 100 participants. 

India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX, has seen its average volume rise in the last 30 days by more than 470 percent.

Because of COVID-19, cryptocurrencies have seen a strong price movement that naturally has caused further trades

Crypto-currency startups in India have gained ground with the Supreme Court lifting the controversial ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In addition, several startups in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak have also benefited from market uncertainty.

“RBI lifting India’s ban on cryptocurrency trading has sparked new momentum in the market. The market uncertainty due to COVID-19 also allows more people to trade in the exchanges, “said Ashish Singhal, CoinSwitch’s chief executive.

CoinSwitch, backed by Sequoia Money, is a virtual currency exchange aggregator with around 400,000 active users a month present in more than 160 countries. “About 10 per cent of our user base is in India as of today but the number is expected to increase substantially with the new regulations and current environment,” Singhal said.

The Supreme Court quashed a ban on trading in virtual currencies such as bitcoin, imposed by the RBI on 4 March. As part of the ban, on 6 April 2018, the central bank issued a circular banning RBI-regulated entities from providing any service relating to virtual currencies, including those relating to the transferor receipt of money in virtual currencies accounts.

India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX has seen its daily volume rise over the past 30 days by more than 470 per cent. WazirX, recently purchased by Binance, has over 300,000 registered users and has clocked cumulative volumes estimated at $286.3 million to date.

“The Indian market has a population of over 1 billion and is a sleeping giant. The news about lifting the ban on RBI would further improve the acceptance of crypto in India, “said WazirX founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty.

People continued to trade even during the ban with the aid of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, but approval by the RBI is expected to serve as a catalyst to the growth momentum.

“Crypto exchanges like WazirX now have the INR deposit and withdrawal banking channels available. With banking networks now open, inputting crypto has made it easier for Indians. Indians had to use P2P because of the banking ban which was successful for WazirX but the banking channel would be even more successful because it is more convenient for users, “Shetty said.

Cryptocurrencies have seen a strong price spike due to COVID-19 that has inevitably caused further trades as market volatility is crucial to deciding trading strategy and investment decision. “But while crypto shows signs of stability in this financial chaos right now, we’re going to have to wait and watch the next few weeks to understand how cryptomarkets are really coping with their first-ever exposure to the global financial crisis,” Shetty says.

“Stablecoins (a form of cryptocurrency designed to sustain a stable market price) saw their combined market value nearly double in Q1 … If crisis conditions continue to escalate in emerging markets, we may see a more drastic rise in the use of stablecoins.”