7 cost effective ways that help a startup save time

Two intriguing factors that affect entrepreneurs are time and money.

There is no denying the fact that almost all entrepreneurs suffer from time and budget constraints.

In order to overcome such issues, most startups are switching to SaaS tools as they help in working efficiently by saving time and money.

According to a survey, 88 percent of enterprises are using public cloud while 63 percent are using private cloud. Another reason why entrepreneurs have started loving SaaS tools is that they require no hardware installation as they are built on cloud.

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All the data remains secure on cloud and it can be accessed anytime from anywhere. Moreover, the ease of using these tools have made it an attractive option for startups.

This article will address the 7 cost effective ways to help startups grow:

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most important source of marketing for every startup. According to a survey, 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation.

This is because businesses can reach anyone in the world, if targeted in the right way. Also, most startups lack funds and therefore it is very important for them to optimally use their financial resources.

Email marketing is a very inexpensive mode of marketing which helps them to earn profits. According to studies, every dollar spent on email marketing offers a return of $44. Any change in the product can easily be promoted via email.

Moreover, ease of measuring the success of the email marketing campaigns makes it an attractive marketing option for startups. MailChimp, for instance, is a mainstream online email marketing tool which gives one a chance to manage contacts and send messages.

It lets one send bulk emails which helps in saving a lot of time. It also helps one measure the performance of email campaigns by analyzing the open and the click rates of the email.

Virtual Phone Receptionist

A Virtual phone receptionist is a cloud based IVR technology which stays available to the callers 24*7. Think how frustrating it would be if a business prospect is urgent to deal with?

Here’s the catch: A virtual phone receptionist never misses out on important business calls. Moreover, it never takes an off whereas a normal receptionist remains unavailable on the weekends and yet charges much more than a virtual receptionist does.

A normal receptionist in a startup charges Rs 144,322 per annum on an average whereas a virtual receptionist is available at a much cheaper cost. Thus, a virtual receptionist saves an organization more money than the costs spent on training a usual receptionist.

MyOperator is a business call management system which offers a virtual phone receptionist.  It routes all the calls to the right department and gives automated reports of all the call logs. Hence, it saves a lot of time because the same work done manually by a receptionist would take much longer and might result in inefficiencies.

Also, a virtual phone receptionist can communicate with the customers in their regional language as well which helps in better communication minimizing the efforts of a caller to understand any foreign language.

Web Analytics

One reason why Web Analytics is useful is because it gives analytics of customer experience. This is done with the help of various metrics. Some of them are cost per acquisition, click through rate, percentage of new visits, bounce rate etc.

Moreover, it helps one measure the success of one’s display ad campaigns by tracking the website traffic and letting one know which section of the website gets the maximum number of clicks. This in turn, helps in strategizing the campaigns accordingly. One such free web analytics tool is Google Analytics.

According to Web Technology Surveys, Google Analytics is used by about 56 percent of all websites – up from about 50 percent a year ago. This shows how popular Google Analytics is among companies and hence, highlights the importance of web analytics for businesses.

It helps a company analyze its sales funnel. It enables us to understand the source where our paid customers come from. Thus, it helps in saving time since all the data is available at one place without putting any additional effort.

Sales CRM

When there are a lot of leads, there are chances that startups might miss out on business opportunities. Since they are in their initial stage, every customer is important for them to grow their business. Therefore, tracking and managing sales becomes inevitable.

Pipedrive is one such tool which helps a business track sales and keeps the sales team’s focus on the actions that drive deals to close. It is an efficient way to manage leads and it shows how each lead is being handled.

This is a CRM designed for startups which helps them get sorted, emphasize on the right deals and close deals in less time.The visual overview of the sales process helps in quick follow up and hence helps entrepreneurs save time.

According to a press release, Pipedrive’s market share has rapidly grown to serve more than 30,000 small businesses worldwide. Many startups have switched from utilizing spreadsheets and other CRMs to Pipedrive, citing great design, simplicity and the focus on sales as the main reasons. It is a must have tool for every startup.

Support ticketing system

For every startup to flourish, it must develop trust among its customers.This can be done through very strong after sales support.

Freshdesk is one of the cloud based support tools which can be used by businesses to help customers get in touch with them. According to an article by Ron Miller on TechCrunch, Freshdesk has customer base of over 40,000.

It allows businesses to support their customers through emails, phone, websites, forums and social media. It is a powerful ticketing system wherein the customer’s issue gets resolved and the customer gets to know who all are working on the ticket.

This tool helps a business to analyze the trend in customer queries and create templates for the same to save a lot of manual effort and time. It also enables the organization to route the queries to the concerned department for specialized support.

Also, it helps to keep a track of the customer queries and helps to ensure that they are reverted in the given time frame. Certain metrics such as response times, customer satisfaction etc. help in monitoring performance and making further improvements to enhance customer satisfaction.

The automation of these tasks helps in minimizing errors, thus increasing efficiency and reducing the time taken.

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Web Security tool

According to a survey, the internet is critical to the success of 73% of the startups. Hence, web security is an important issue for them. Startups are more prone to security threats as compared to big companies because the latter invests huge amount of resources in web security.

According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, roughly 60 per cent of small companies will close within six months of a major cyber attack due to high costs, loss of customer information, and damaged brand reputation. Cloudbric is a SaaS product designed for SMEs which provides protection against web hacking.

The best part of Cloudbric is that it charges the startups on the basis of the website traffic. So, new and starting websites can use this service for free. Above all, this tool also eliminates inefficiencies of manual monitoring of the websites which helps one save time. It helps in identifying vulnerabilities and security flaws in a timely manner.

SEO Analytics tool

Startups have restricted funding, therefore SEO works best for them because they find it too expensive to spend on the pay per click ads. Moz Analytics is one such software which provides a variety of tools for keyword research, website analysis, competitors’ analysis, campaign monitoring etc.

It provides reports which consists of data, graphs, rankings etc. of the key performance indicators ,the analysis of which helps in improving the SEO and SEM strategies. Since all the data is available so easily which helps in planning our marketing strategies, it saves a business organization a lot of time.

These are some of the SaaS tools which I feel are beneficial for your startup to save on costs. Please share your insights on the same in the comments section below.

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