There comes a time in any startup where things start to get bigger. You can no longer run it from your bedroom or the kitchen table and you have to not only start hiring people, but think bigger than about just being a one-man band.
One of the key things though is just because you’re getting bigger in terms of people and turnover, doesn’t mean you have to act like a traditional company and get an expensive office, the equipment that goes with it, and even the HR department to boot.
Here are five apps, some of which Pocket-lint uses, that will help you transition from the bedroom to the boardroom without losing the thing that’s cool about your business.
RingCentral is a cloud based telephone service that offers you the ability to have a full function office telephone system, but without all the hassle.
Key features of note include the ability to have 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 numbers or create your own vanity phone number to reinforce your company branding. Meeting and Conferencing options to promote team collaborations and business efficiency.
You can also set up business SMS and MMS features for marketing, there’s an Internet fax option if that’s still your thing, and more importantly an Auto-Receptionist that means you’ll never miss customer service calls or sales opportunities again. You can even customize your virtual answering service to route calls to the appropriate department, extension, or voicemail inbox anywhere around the globe, even outside of office hours wherever you or your growing team are.
Keeping track of who owes you money and who doesn’t can be a full time job. But it doesn’t have to be. Wave, a free online invoicing service, makes things easier by letting you manage all your invoices in one place. There’s support for multiple users, repeat invoices, creating PDFs, and quickly seeing who has paid and who is overdue. There’s the usual array of report options for things like aged receivables and monthly income, but also rather handily, Wave offers users the ability to take Credit Card payments if you’ve got a Stripe account.
The moment you get staff, the moment you’ll need to start paying them. But chances are you didn’t start a business to be bogged down in the quagmire of national insurance contributions, PAYE, and pensions. SageOne, is an inexpensive PAYE system that will do all the calculations and submitting to HMRC for you. All you need to concentrate on is how much you want to pay your staff.
One of the key things about working remotely with others is always having access to your central files. Dropbox not only lets you create shared folders to do just that, but also lets you scan in documents and reciepts via your smartphone or tablet. With plenty of storage options, including the ability to go back to a previous saved versions, Dropbox’s interoperability means it works on pretty much every device on the market today. It is an easy and secure way to pretend your in the office accessing the office storage network, but knowing you can be spread around the world.
G-Suite is Google’s suite of business apps and services and is a great place to start if you’re looking to give team a suite of software and ensure a central management of it. The suite comes with Google Calendar, Gmail, G Drive, Google Docs, and other apps, but still allows you pretend you manage it all from your company and domain name. The service is billed monthly, allows you to add and remove users on an ad-hoc monthly basis, as well as, letting you analyse how the team is getting on. It also supports features like remote wipe if one of your team lose a device.