Smart Business: 7 Must-Have Tools for Entrepreneurs in 2016


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Smart Business: 7 Must-Have Tools for Entrepreneurs in 2016

Doing smart business is all about making the right decisions at the right time. All entrepreneurs, no matter their experience, know how difficult running a business really is – there are numerous tasks to worry about, while making sure all employees are doing their part of the deal.

However, what most entrepreneurs don’t realize is that it’s not necessary to have all that in mind, because there are many helpful pieces of software out there.

When our mind is unburdened, it’s easier to come up with fresh ideas and innovative ways to make progress. This list consists of seven different tools that I’m sure you’ll find most helpful.

Data Gathering – SurveyMonkey

Every entrepreneur, no matter what business field they are in, needs to communicate with the receiving end – their target audience. In order to create the perfect line of product or the perfect list of services, they need to know what their audience is after.

Gathering data is a very important step towards making significant progress, and probably the best way to do it is by creating surveys. With SurveyMonkey, you’ll be able to conduct in-depth marketing research and find out where to move next – they have a very nice list of different types of surveys you should definitely look up. It’s very simple to use and quite easy to customize their drafts according to your exact needs.

Furthermore, the information you gather here will help you engage your audience and ultimately raise your conversion rates.

Data Analyzing – Datapine

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Gathering data is a start, but you’ll find out that all that work is completely useless unless you’re capable of analyzing it properly. Growth hacking is probably the most popular subject in the world of business right now, and everyone is trying to figure it out.

However, most people often mistake it for a simple shortcut, which it definitely isn’t.

It’s a shortcut – that part is true – but the road towards success needs to be cut the right way. One of those ways is smart data analytics and Datapine is a very handy tool that will help you see things clearly – it brings the sense of ease when creating graphs, charts and dashboards to a whole new level.

E-mail Management – Sanebox

The need for this tool is quite obvious – just think about how much time you spend trying to get your inbox in order on a daily basis. Face it, all that time can be put to good use.

So, you should outsource this task to a smart piece of software named Sanebox, which will do a simple, but very efficient filtering process and remove unnecessary messages that are cluttering up your e-mail. You’ll be able to make your e-mail work again because of the unique features of this software. Like being able to snooze emails, for example.

Cloud Accounting – Wave

There’s always a need for getting your payrolls and your accounting in general in order, and you should know that more and more people are turning to Wave to help them with these tasks.

This online platform offers a wide range of solutions for payroll, payments and accounting, and it currently tracks over $60 billion. Best of all – it’s completely free for all freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business. This cloud platform provides its users with cash and an accrual based accounting services.

Bill Payment – Dashimage02

When it comes to a more personal matter, this useful app might really come in handy. Dealing with cash and bills on daily basis – when paying for a lunch bill after you’re done with a business meeting, for example – is time-consuming and every second counts.

With Dash, you’ll be able to pay everything via your smartphone and without wasting any of your precious time. It works pretty well when it comes to impressing your business partners, as well.

Project Management – Basecamp

Words like projects and deadlines are the crucial part of every entrepreneurs’ life and I bet you hear them numerous times, day after day. Well, there’s a very neat and efficient way to organize everything on your plate and have clear insight into each action that’s going on in your office, without even getting up from your desk – Basecamp.

Navigating it is very simple and all your employees will be able to use it after going through a quick tutorial. Everything on this platform is organized in “basecamps”. You can leave comments and instructions, and each individual has their own “my assignments” card, so it’s quite difficult to miss anything out.

Career Progress – Coursera

Speaking of your employees – if their career is stagnating, that actually means that they are moving backwards, because you can be sure that your competition is directing their resources into educating their team.

By using Coursera, you’ll be able to create a team of versatile professionals without them even leaving your office – they offer a wide list of courses that will help your employees advance. There’s a difference between specializations and courses on their website – specialization consists out of a number of courses – so you customize and direct your education according to your needs.

Once you start learning about various software that can help you improve your business, you’ll see that there’s a whole sea of them out there – you just need to find the right ones. The bottom line is that you can get help and unburden your mind so that you can devote it to developing fresh ideas.

Business Owner - AltusHost 1

Why Business Owners Should Plan for Failure and Not Success

When you find online advice aimed at entrepreneurs, most of it will focus on things like investing, creating a business plan, refining products, etc. Although these are very important aspects to cover when running a business, there is also another side to the whole story. People like to consider and prepare only for good things that might happen to them in their business endeavors. It is important to dream about success, but you won’t get there if you don’t plan for failures as well.

Bear in mind that the majority of start-up businesses fail in their starting years. And, if not prepared properly, they are likely to close down soon after they open up. By changing your mindset, you will find it easier to recognize the biggest business issues and prepare financially, emotionally and intellectually, to make the necessary steps in case a certain business endeavor fails.

Planning For Failure Is Not Wrong

 

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You might think that this is somewhat paranoid or negative. On the contrary, planning for disastrous situations only makes you smarter than the rest. First of all, let’s get something clear, there is a huge difference between thinking that you are going to fail and preparing yourself for failure. These are two completely different things.

When thinking that you are going to fail, you will discourage yourself and hold back growth. Being prepared means making practical decisions and thinking about all possible outcomes, so that you can prepare and motivate yourself.

In many ways, this kind of attitude can also encourage you to make more progress, since being prepared removes fear and gives you confidence to keep going further. Additionally, if you are honest to yourself and if you think about your future, it will be much easier to identify the mistakes you are making along the way, and correct them as you go.

You Will Look At Things More Objectively

 

Businessman with strong muscled arms

Starting up and being a leader of a business can be a very emotional and difficult experience. The majority of entrepreneurs feel like their company is their “baby”, since it’s something that they started and took care of since the very beginning with utmost devotion. By preparing yourself for worst case scenarios, you can balance the whole thing.

How exactly can this be done? By planning for failure in advance or considering exit strategies, you will start looking at facts and possible negative outcomes, becoming more objective and analytical in your actions.

You will get a much better perspective if distanced from your business organization, as it will be much easier for you to look at your company from a customer’s or an investor’s standpoint. Generating ideas will be much easier and you can also notice all the errors you’ve made because you were too emotionally invested.

Moving On Will Be Much Easier When Planning For Failure

 

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Preparing and considering all possible outcomes can help you handle hard blows that might happen in the future. A big part of being an entrepreneur is making mistakes, understanding where you went wrong and dealing with them. Everyone makes errors, and it’s impossible to make everything run smoothly without a hitch. You have to learn to overcome your failures quickly and learn from them, so that you don’t repeat them in the future.

It’s highly unlikely that your first start-up will instantly take off. This is why you must be prepared to deal with current problems and adjust to make progress. Plan financially, mentally and emotionally, and remove your personal feelings from it as much as possible. This is the only way to recharge your energy and keep dealing with new business affairs. When I first started optimizing my e-commerce store, we had a lot of problems, but we kept our heads cool and made things work in the end. You need to learn to roll with the punches if you want to overcome adversity and succeed.

Nobody wants to face failure, but this is one of the important parts of being an entrepreneur. Cover all the aspects of running a business such as marketing, business growth strategies, hiring capable workers, and you won’t have any major problems. The important thing is to keep moving forward and not let the mistakes you’ve made discourage you. Best of luck to you on the road towards success.

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