Start up Software: What software do I need for what and how am I positioned for the future?
Are you on the verge of realising your idea and founding a company but are still looking for suitable tools? Or you have already founded a company but have always put the topic of IT on the back burner?
We know how hard it is to get a business off the ground. Choosing the right IT is enormously important but also comprehensive. So that you don't invest more time than necessary in your start-up software, we have put together a package for your start-up software that covers everything you need cheaply and efficiently. With the exception of GSuite, all the tools presented here are available in free versions, which in our experience are completely sufficient.
First, however, we would like to present the tools and applications that we consider useful for start-ups from the very beginning. Here we have a clear focus: Which tools are future-proof and which can be seamlessly automated?
"Why is that important? Automation is really not a priority when setting up a company".
Wrong. If you focus on cloud software, API-connected applications and competitive architecture from the start of your IT selection, you save yourself a potentially expensive switch to these very tools later on.
A comprehensive automation of your IT is not only cheaper, since you already use all the necessary tools, but also saves you a lot of time right from the start. Especially for start-ups, a lot of time is often spent on customer acquisition, possibly marketing, defining processes and driving your business forward. Therefore, you should not spend even more unnecessary time on repetitive, time-consuming tasks that you can leave to automation right from the start.
Don't waste your time - Automate from scratch.
As a result, your company is also enormously scalable and your IT is competitively positioned. The whole thing is automated via Zapier, a cloud automation platform that we set up for you as certified Zapier Experts. You don't know Zapier yet? Read here what Zapier is and how it works.
Among the categories, which start up software do we recommend for what?
Project management: Asana
All-in-one: GSuite (or Google Workspace)
Newsletter Marketing: MailChimp
Contact forms: Google Forms
Hubspot for your customer relationship management
Hubspot is an all-in-one software for marketing, sales and customer service that is modular in design. All these functions can be added as desired, but are built entirely on a free CRM system. Thus, although the products are available separately, they can be integrated seamlessly and are therefore scalable. The free CRM tool may be enough for you to start with, and when it's up and running, you can add exactly the functions you still need.
What also convinces us: HubSpot CRM can be automated as an app in Zapier . This means you can automate sales and CRM right from the start: For example, you receive a message or an enquiry via your website or a lead form is filled out: The automation responds automatically and immediately invites the new lead to a consultation.
Project management in start ups with Asana
Asana is also available in a free and premium version, whereby in our eyes the free version is completely sufficient (even in the long term). The only limit is the number of users (15). After that, you have to pay for it. With this, tasks can be managed and distributed in the team, projects can be created, you can get an overview of the status of the individual project tasks and collaborate.
Of course, you can automate the application: Create tasks automatically from your messages, create calendar events from Asana tasks, save completed Asana tasks in a GoogleSheet (because unfortunately you can't view them in Asana afterwards) or create new projects in Asana for new leads from your Hubspot CRM.
Manage your business in GSuite (recently Google Workspace)
There is probably not much more to say about GSuite. Most people are probably familiar with the service. Google Drive as cloud storage, GMail for your emails, Docs for any documents, Calendar for your appointments and so on. We always recommend using all services consistently and not jumping to Microsoft OneDrive in between, for example.
So it is also possible to integrate your G-Suite without any problems. The possibilities here are really comprehensive.
You can automatically save email attachments in Google Drive or add Asana tasks to your calendar. As a database, Google Sheets in particular offers countless possibilities for qualifying data and reusing it for other applications.
The necessary evil: bookkeeping. But easy to automate with Lexoffice and Zapier
No one can avoid bookkeeping. We recommend Lexoffice as your accounting software. Why? You can read about it here. Because with Zapier and Lexoffice, a variety of automations are possible that make bookkeeping as easy as possible for you and thus significantly less time is wasted on this unloved task.
Mailchimp for newsletter marketing and more
It's important to keep track of your leads from the beginning and turn your prospects into potential customers. That's why we consider email marketing essential. With Mailchimp's "Free Forever" plan, for example, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month and reach up to 2,000 subscribers for free. Forms and landing pages are also included.
If you integrate the whole thing with Zapier again, you can, for example, automatically add new MailChimp subscribers to a Google Sheet. Or you can connect MailChimp with Hubspot and save changes in the customer status from MailChimp directly in the CRM. Never miss a lead again.
Integrate contact forms via Google Forms
Contact forms have become an established way for your customers to get in touch with you, upload files or answer predefined questions. With Google Forms, GSuite offers a cloud tool that allows us to create and automate forms independently of your web hosting. This way, the data you send doesn't just end up in your email inbox, but goes directly to where it's needed: Into the CRM, into the accounting or into the newsletter tool. There are various providers for contact forms, but Google Forms is included in the GSuite and since we recommend it anyway, this means no additional costs for you.
Secure modular start up software now and benefit from automation
The modularity of our Start up package offers the flexibility and scalability that are particularly important for start ups. With all the tools presented, individual plans with different costs and scope can be selected entirely according to one's own needs. This allows us to implement different business models and requirements. The core is the iPaaS software Zapier, with which we combine all tools to automate your business in an innovative and state-of-the-art way right from the start. For only 79€, we set up the automation, connect your accounts and optimise your processes.
You benefit from a start-up software that grows with you and can keep up with the changing requirements of your young company. Not the right solution for you? Together we will find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.
Please note that you have to bear the costs for the presented tools as well as Zapier and its monthly subscriptions yourself.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address. 02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.