At the heart of every business is the need to be productive, which is determined by how efficient and organized you can make all functions within the company.
Even at the earliest stages of your startup, you need to identify those solutions that keep all components of your company organized and working together for maximum efficiency and return on investment.
Here are seven ways to cover all aspects of your organization to become more efficient and productive while still using minimum resources.
1. Organizing Product Development
Keeping product development on track with the scheduled launch date is important because you are relying on this disruptive product to change the marketplace and drive your sales. Everything and everyone has to be working toward this same end goal, so it’s vital to organize all aspects of the product development.
However, when your team may be working virtually and outsourced around the world, being organized can become a challenge. Changing that is Jira, a development tool that helps your team to build a product, get feedback to improve it, track progress and interact with all product development team members. A significant amount of data can be captured in the process to be used toward continual improvement processes as well as the basis for future product development projects.
2. Organizing Projects and Teams
As a startup, your primary team is also most likely virtual and scattered across a wide area, so there is a greater chance for misunderstanding and confusion about who is working on what and when it’s expected.
Since putting everyone in one room with a schedule is not going to work, in this case, the next best thing is to use a work management tool like Wrike. This online organization tool provides numerous ways to track performance and time on projects while setting controls to keep certain groups focused on a particular project and get the right information to the appropriate people.
You can engage with your team and share due dates and expectations all in one spot while also creating custom workflows and integrating with other existing files created in Word, Excel, Google Drive and other software.
3. Organizing Business Strategy
You want to make sure you have a succinct, targeted business strategy that addresses your target audience and speaks directly to them. To achieve this end, you need to know and understand them before the messaging and content is created.
A company like Searchmetrics can help you by providing advanced analytics that shows you who is most likely to buy your product or service as well as how you can communicate with them to get the most efficiency and profit margins from your business strategy. The solution can also help you increase your effectiveness with search engines so you can instantly gain a greater presence to engage with those key prospects.
4. Organizing Inventory
To keep overhead costs as low as possible, you need to keep a tight rein on inventory, which requires expert levels of organization. Automating the process for greater accuracy is a way to track everything you have via barcode technology. This means you can eliminate internal theft as well as receive alerts when inventory is low.
This way you can track how materials are being used for more effective ordering and cost management. The data you receive from this inventory tracking software also helps you understand how sales and productivity among the staff are impacting the cost of inventory so you can make changes in other areas of the company to further the efficiency.
5. Organizing Social Media Presence
While it helps to have an engaging presence on all the major social media platforms, the effort can eat up all your time plus it can be hard to keep up with in terms of posting, tracking, and responding. That’s when you need a social media management tool that will help you organize all your social media campaigns while leaving you time to interact and respond to your audience on these platforms.
Social Oomph helps you streamline your social media tasks by taking the manual labor out of updating Twitter, Facebook (including profiles, groups, and pages), LinkedIn (including company pages, profiles, and groups), RSS feeds, Plurk, App.net and blogs. You can schedule updates, get suggestions on people to follow, and gauge how your social media content and campaigns are doing in terms of engagement.
6. Organizing Information
In wearing many hats during a startup, your personal and professional lives often intersect and further complicate how well you can stay organized with your flow at work and home. OmniFocus can keep it together for you and create a structured task management system to guide your daily decisions and keep you from getting distracted by information overload.
Currently just for Mac, iPad and iPhone, OmniFocus can provide a context to all the information that hits you on a daily basis, separating the relevant from the currently irrelevant so you can get more done at a faster rate without losing track of anything.
It gives you notifications about what you have coming up for the day as well as provides updates on the goals and objectives you have set related to various tasks in your life. Even better is the fact that it synchs information between all devices you are using in the Apple family so you can jot a thought down on your iPhone and see it later on your Apple mini.
7. Organizing Cash Flow
Although it might seem easy to do as a startup to organize cash flow since there might be very little, you may actually get so caught up in the other aspects of your daily routine that you forget to send an invoice or remind a customer that a payment is overdue. That’s when it helps to have an online invoicing tool that gives you a dashboard view of your current invoices, those past due, and those upcoming if you have recurring payments from clients.
Companies like Freshbooks deliver this capability so you can continue focusing on core capabilities while still keeping an eye on the cash flow from any device. The online invoice tools sends invoices via email with convenient links to payment options like credit cards, e-checks, and payment portals like PayPal. You can set automated reminders and acknowledgments to keep a steady stream of cash flow.
Even after your startup is built out and you are generating revenues, these tools will scale up with you and continue to keep your business organized. Many offer more features that you can add later on to handle larger volumes and projects so you never lose that efficiency that helped you from the start.