8 DIY Tools You Need to Get Your Business off the Ground
I’ve learned the hard way that building a business from scratch requires scrappiness and strategy in equal measure.
While you're building a solid team to help support you, you're also in the process of getting your business off the ground. And that process is rife with setbacks and rejections.
You may often feel that the only way to make money on your venture is to invest every dollar you've got to your name into external agencies and consultants to ensure that your go-to-market strategy is seamless. While working with outside help has its merits, I’ll be the first to tell you that alternately doing it yourself (DIY) to launch brand-building initiatives is both possible and effective.
So, don't spend all your resources on expensive consultants: Below, I've listed the tools I wish I'd known about when I began my own entrepreneurial career. While some aren't free, they do empower you to manage your foundational business practices in-house without throwing all of your marketing budget to third-party boutiques or large, enterprise agencies.
Without further ado, here are those eight tools:
Deluxe’s Free Logo Maker
Promoting a recognizable, identifiable logo is important, but it can cost a lot of money to have one custom designed. Rather than hiring a designer, use Delux's free logo maker, which is absolutely free until you finalize the logo you want.
You simply browse the industry-specific templates, choose the one that's best for you, customize it, then check out and pay an affordable, one-time fee. No paying for drafts, no paying for revisions. You design it exactly how you want it, and then you’re good to go.
Designing an attractive, functional website is more important than ever in today’s internet-focused society. Web designers can be expensive, though, and may not be in your budget at this point. Luckily, there’s Themeforest. Themeforest has a wide selection of stunning WordPress themes you can choose from and purchase for your site.
You just choose the one you want, import the demo content, customize your site with your info and you’re done. I know, it sounds easier said than done, but there are endless tutorials online to help.
To market effectively, one of the most important things to know and understand is your target audience. You could always hire somebody to make an educated guess on the best and most effective ways to reach your target audience, or you could use LeadCrunch's Predictive Outreach, a platform which uses artificial intelligence to help you create, define and engage with “look-alike” audiences.
It then helps you market more effectively, giving you a better return on investment. The platform enables you to implement and run smarter demand generation campaigns to ensure that your new venture’s messaging reaches the right audience.
Social media is one of the most important tools for a business these days, to communicate, notify and interact. Social media makes business more personal and lets you create a community around your brand.
Along the way, it’s important to post attractive, high-quality posts that lead to attractive, high-quality landing pages, and Famous Industries makes that possible. Its platform lets you replace landing pages with its engaging and effective Instant Apps, which are proven to increase engagement and drive conversions.
When you’re just getting started, you’ll probably find yourself too busy to handle all customer support on your own, but it may not be worth bringing on a full-time employee to handle it either. That’s where Desk comes in. For an affordable monthly fee, you can get all-in-one customer service support for your business to make sure your customers are taken care of, but for a fraction of the cost of bringing someone on.
A good portion of customer support is devoted to answering the same few questions over and over or guiding different customers through the same process. Since so much of this can be handled easily, why not give the job to a bot? Bold360 is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to respond to customers, walk them through processes and help them with their needs.
You can use Bold360 to provide your customers with 24/7 support and reserve your top-notch customer service reps for handling the more technical stuff.
Right off the bat, you’re going to need accounting and payroll services, but hiring professionals to handle these tasks may not be in your budget right away. Gusto is a great service you can use to cover the majority of your HR functions and assist with accounting. It handles everything from payroll to benefits and more, for a fee that is much more budget-friendly than the cost of hiring an entire staff right away.
As you get going, you may find yourself in need of other resources that aren’t on this list or that you didn’t think you’d need. That’s where Startup Stash comes in. It’s a curated directory of resources and tools designed specifically to help you build your company and get it off the ground. You can browse the different categories, from idea generation to sales, and everything in between, to find tools that will help you with what you need.
What other tools are you using to help you get off the ground?