If you’ve been in the tech industry for a long time, there’s a high probability you’ve built out a tech stack that solves all your most pressing problems. Technology and productivity go hand in hand, after all.
Yet what about in the early days of running a fresh-faced tech startup?
It’s hard to know where to start, but there are some essentials that most tech experts would agree will help you find your feet in the beginning and greatly contribute to improving employee performance.
In this guide, we’ll explore the types of digital tools you just can’t survive without as a tech startup.
Let’s start with the foundation of any tech startup - finances.
If you don’t have a robust system in place for keeping track of incoming and outgoing expenses, not only will tax filing season be a nightmare, but you’ll also have a hard time monitoring profitability.
To accurately examine the financial health of your startup, and make sure you’re increasing your bottom line over time, it’s worth investing some of your early capital into the right accounting solution.
Digital platforms such as Brex offer you an all-in-one online banking solution that you can use to measure, analyze, and grow your wealth.
You can also use accounting solutions like Xero or QuickBooks to get a clear overview of every transaction you make as a business. This can make the tax filing process very straightforward.
Continuing with the theme of finances, if you have a number of employees on your books - even if it’s less than 10 - it might be in your best interest to seek out a payroll solution.
When you use payroll software, you can mitigate the problem of separating out business finances to pay your employees. Digital payroll tools take care of the heavy lifting in that aspect, and perhaps even more importantly, they can help you navigate complicated global compliance laws.
If you’re looking to outsource and hire overseas, you’ll need to be familiar with local laws if you want to do everything by the book. That’s where payroll solutions can step in and make sure you don’t spend all your spare time studying up on law and creating dozens of custom contracts.
When you’ve got the nuts and bolts of your company’s finances in order, it’s time to turn your attention to what should form one of the core pillars of your tech stack - collaboration.
Without communication, there is no collaboration - it’s as simple as that!
In the early days of your startup, you were probably content to ping emails back and forth with your several coworkers and jump on a weekly call for regular updates.
As you start to grow the business, these older forms of communication start to become more tedious:
- Email threads stretch out for so long that you can’t find important information
- Weekly calls disrupt productivity and cover a lot of territory that you’ve already been over
- In-person meetings can eat up valuable time and employees can start to suffer from meeting amnesia
So what’s the solution?
A digital communication tool to add to your tech stack, of course.
It’s hard to have any conversation about digital communication tools these days without mentioning Slack, and for good reason - it can help you streamline all company communication.
Using context-specific channels in Slack, you can divide your conversations so that each team, department, or project group can exchange multimedia messages with ease. Your work conversations are then stored according to context for easy and quick referencing.
Project management can be the glue that holds your whole operation together, and allows you to upgrade the way you work.
When you first start to use a tool like Asana or Trello, it can be a lot to take in. There are a lot of notifications and complex interfaces to navigate, yet once you and your coworkers get used to it, workflows can be drastically improved.
With a project management platform, you can speed up your basic and advanced work processes.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Set up approval processes so managers can pass off on requests with a few clicks
- Create task workflows that notify each team member when it’s their turn to start working on a project
- Organize and store important data in easily-accessible digital folders
If you can make your current workflows more efficient, you can save time, and as you already know: time is money.
Hands-down the best way to improve operational efficiency as a tech startup is to automate some of your workflows and core processes.
With a tool like Zapier, you can set up automations such as having a Slack message appear in your project management platform task list. Or, you can have important to-do list tasks from Trello emailed to your inbox so you never lose track of what you should do next.
Plus, Zapier integrates with thousands of apps, so whatever digital tools you currently rely on, there’s a good chance that you could be automating a lot of repetitive tasks.
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the digital tools you can add to your tech stack to track and improve employee productivity.
If you want to inspire creativity and help your team to innovate as much as possible, providing them with the tools to create custom workspaces and workflows is a good idea.
Say you have a creative team working on designs and engineering, a digital whiteboard tool such as Miro can help them to brainstorm, ideate, and flesh out their visual discussions virtually. If you have a team of knowledge workers whose main resource is information, a tool like Notion, which allows you to set up your own custom workspace, can be a real productivity-booster.
Digital tools can give your coworkers the option to work exactly how they want, which in turn should lead to greater productivity results.
Work monitoring software such as Insightful can form the backbone of everything you do as a tech startup. Equipped with software to monitor computer activity, you’ll have all the time data you need to evaluate progress and performance.
With this pc surveillance software solution, you can make company-wide changes without guesswork. Insightful gives you the tools for monitoring work from home productivity through automatic time tracking so you know that when you implement a change, you can monitor the impact it has.
With the volatile nature of the tech startup, it can be reassuring to have employee remote monitoring time data at your fingertips.
Say you change the structure of your organization or implement no-meeting days and you’re concerned that it will be to the detriment of employee productivity. With tracking software Insightful, you won’t have to guess, as you can start tracking work time and identify productivity trends.