Deskmag.com asked operators which online tools they used to manage their operations most efficiently.
While there was an expectation for a variety of answers, they were quite impressed to have received the names of more than 400 tools. The 20 most popular ones were summarized into a word "cloud". In addition to the data visualization, they sorted the top hundred or so into a list.
Using a variety of different apps (web and phone) from third-party vendors can be an overwhelming task for any business. Unlike using apps for personal reasons, when using apps for business, the negative consequences for mistakes are much higher and more stressful. Regardless of stress level, necessary apps include payroll, accounting, customer service and retention, invoicing, marketing, and word processing. Without them, Startups can easily become prey to the competition.
A brief list of favorite Startup tools and favorite established company tools are summarized from our study below.
Stacks of paperwork and office tools - once used to schedule meetings, manage bookings, assist in calculations and offer organization - have often been replaced by Google Apps. It is no surprise they were most often mentioned as the most popular tool by coworking spaces.
Surprisingly, though, second place is the messaging platform and “email replacement” Slack, which was founded just four years ago, in 2014. The program runs on pretty much all platforms and is especially popular for internal exchange in working groups. Even files can be edited together on Slack and with each new release, comes more and more interactions and premium functions such as responses, polls and private groups vs. public channels.
Often, when a Startup begins messaging tons of people, the business mission can be lost in the fervor of activity. Managing the correspondence of these activities is vital for Startups to stay grounded in the fundamentals that will drive a Startup toward success. Once a Startup begins the never-ending process of staying in contact with customers, the subject matter can vary from cats, dogs, dinner, dates, and real business matters. People can become confused about your business offerings especially when using public social media platforms and free software.
Rounding out the podium in third place is Facebook. With the ability to advertise to prospective members, act as a searchable business listing, promotion of events, coworking owners also utilize the platform to manage their communities through private groups and answer directly to customer inquiries via Messenger.
Many coworking members are eager to begin branding and promotion of their business. However, studies suggest that coworking members should validate their business idea first with market studies and research or business planning. (see case study: startups in the game of thrones)
Early in the moments of a Startup, founders should consider project management software, blogging software for industry talk, and CRM (contact relationship management). According to Deskmag.com, Trello is the highest ranked project management platform used by coworking spaces. Trello allows teams to collaborate on joint projects, share new ideas and track the progress of old projects. Simarliarly, Wordpress is used as blogging software to focus industry talk and to congregate CRM into a shared purpose. According to Deskmag.com, Wordpress is the number nine most popular software for coworking members.
In many cases, owners of Startups imagine they are qualified to manage all of their own technical needs without a webmaster. Statistics and business failure rates suggest that most owners of Startups have a difficult time staying on top of their software stategy and usage. In the Game of Thrones, the software strategy is especially important because each day, every small business is under both a physical and virtual attack from larger predators that seek total domination. Pulling oneself up by their bootstraps, working hard, keeping your nose clean, and hoping for the best is usually not good enough to survive very long.
Software support is the second reason to join a "high support" coworking space or corridor for collective organization. Ratscoworking can function as both for your Startup.