Three Things You Need In Your Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
A big part of success in any endeavor is ensuring you’ve got the right tools for the job. But how do you know exactly what you should have in your entrepreneur’s toolkit?
As an entrepreneur, success depends on a great many things. To name just a few…
- The strength of the idea behind your startup, and whether or not the market is ready for that idea.
- How effectively your competition adapts to your presence.
- Your personal health – both mental and physical.
And perhaps most importantly, the tools you have available to you. Just as a handyman is only as good as their tools, you–the entrepreneur–are only as good as yours. Here’s our take on making sure you’re armed with the right stuff, so you can be more prepared to succeed.
Key Software for Your Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
A Workflow Management System
Some people are organizational machines – they’re almost always on top of everything they need to get done. They never forget an appointment, and they prioritize their time with frightening efficiency.
Then there’s the rest of us.
Running a startup is extremely difficult, incredibly stressful work. There are a million different things that need your attention at any given time, and without some means of keeping track of everything, you’re bound to forget something. We advise using a digital kanban board like Trello, KanbanFlow, or Microsoft Planner. The important thing is to find one that works for your team and is accessible on mobile – that way, you can share, shift projects around, and re-prioritize tasks even when you’re on the go.
A Way To Take Quick Notes
You cannot control when inspiration will strike, nor do you have any say in when you might encounter a good idea or some choice words of wisdom. For that reason, you should always have access to a means of jotting down your thoughts. If you’re more tactile and old-fashioned, this could be a small notebook and a pen. You can get one from Muji for a couple bucks, but there are plenty of other places you can shop too – either way, they’re a great way to capture your in-the-moment ideas.
If you’d rather not carry around a pen and pad, you might also try a tool like Evernote, Simplenote, or OneNote. Available on mobile, each of these syncs across your devices, allowing you to write and edit your thoughts no matter where you are which is essential for your entrepreneur’s toolkit!
Sales and Marketing Software
Google offers a ton of tools that help you manage your web presence, and at a pretty reasonable price (often free). We’ve always relied on their Webmaster Tools and Keyword Planner. That said, such tools will likely only form part of your approach to marketing – and which ones you use will depend largely on what kind of business you run.
If you’re in direct sales, you’ll need a CRM system like SalesForce or Zoho. An email platform like MailChimp or Klaviyo will also be essential for email blasts and newsletters. If you’re active on social, then you’ll want SocialStudio or Hootsuite to stay on top of your social channels. And if you run a blog, you’ll probably need WordPress or Squarespace, coupled with Copyscape to ensure you aren’t being plagiarized.
There are many hands in the marketing process, especially if your startup is relatively new. It’s always worthwhile to take a step back and think about what marketing tools you use, and how you’re using them. That’s true no matter how long you’ve been in business.
The Right Tools For Your Job
This list is by no means comprehensive. It’s just a few of the most important things that you as an entrepreneur should consider having with you at any given time. As you work to drive your startup to success, you’ll encounter others.
Even if you fear one of the tools above might not be the right choice, it’s still worthwhile giving it a shot. If you start with our rule of “test, test, test,” you’ll eventually find what you need. More importantly, you’ll learn a lot in the process, and take a big step towards finding the right toolkit for you.
This article on what to have in an entrepreneur’s toolkit was provided by Aman Advani. Aman is Co-Founder and CEO of Ministry of Supply, a performance professional clothing company. Ministry of Supply provides a new way to dress for the office, with a system of wear-to-work clothing designed to take you further daily.