Three Tips From Startups: What They Want You to Learn

In today’s business environment, successful startups often know a few secrets that established companies never learned because they have a clean slate to start strong. If you want your business to succeed, then you should pay attention to these three tips that startups want you to learn- they’ll help you use the latest tools to work more efficiently.

Tip #1: Your Phone is a Powerful Business Tool

Smartphones (not just the iPhone… Droid does, after all) offer numerous advantages to those who know how to use them well. They not only let you work away from your desk without losing contact with clients, but also gives you access to a wide range of apps that can help you work more efficiently when you are on the go.

There are also many suites that you might be accustomed to using (Netsuite, for instance) with have mobile versions.

While some apps will help your business more than others, there’s a ton that are beneficial to all- Chase bank, for instance, lets you deposit checks with your smartphone.
Having this convenience allows you to 1) not have to run around with those big, black deposit bags, and 2) allows you the freedom to deposit whenever you want, wherever you are.

Tip #2: Use an Electronic Document Signing Service

Signing business documents (or having them signed by clients and business partners) can take up a lot of time when you rely on the postal service. Successful startups know that there is a smarter way to have documents signed.

Using an electronic document signing service dramatically reduces the amount of time that you spend waiting on paperwork completion. Whether you have insurance policies, contracts or other types of business documents, signing them digitally can reduce a three day wait to a matter of minutes. Signing documents electronically also allows you to track progress online so that you know who still needs to sign it- saving time on both ends.

Best of all (and I can certainly vouch for this) you know that the documents have actually reached your client- no more paranoia- not even certified mail can give you instant notification OR gratification.

Tip #3: Share Everything With Your Team

Online calendars make it possible for you to sync your schedule with others on your team. When everyone in the office shares their schedules, it becomes much easier to coordinate meetings- and instead of concentrating on contacting numerous people via phone or email, you can just look at their online calendars to see when they are available and set meeting times from there.

Sharing contacts can also make your company more efficient. When each person keeps his or her own contact list, you have the potential to have a major problem on your hands.

Say, for instance, that an important member of your team is out sick one day, so you need to contact her client to cancel a meeting.  If your team member doesn’t have their contact list sharead anywhere you could end up with an angry client on your hands.

Google Apps is great to use for your company if you’re going this route. You can sync up your contact/chat list automatically with everyone in the company, as well as share your calendar (keeping details public or private) to make booking meetings easier- you can also integrate with sites like SmartSheet (a project management system) directly from your Google App account.

Successful startups will tell you that working efficiently offers a lot of advantages-and as you get past the startup phase you can look into the benefits of cloud storage or NAS storage, utilizing VMware, etc. Depending on the amount of things you’re able to store in cloud storage, you may actually need to have memory and CPU intensive programs (for instance, if you’re in automation and helping to build a process for machines) and could benefit from having something like an I7 laptop.

Many established companies, however, have a difficult time adjusting to the newest opportunities created by technological developments so make sure that you ease into these changes and structures rather than give your company a culture shock.

What startup tips can you offer that will help businesses avoid becoming one of those dinosaurs on the brink of extinction?