What new tech (whether hardware, SaaS, etc.) do you plan on investing in in 2017 that will help your workflow?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
How can you keep track of all the different requests that come in to optimize your products and services? It’s not easy and I’m tired of using Google Docs and email threads. That’s why we signed up for Asana and intend to make further investments with Asana to optimize workflow in 2017. Asana makes it foolproof to track workflow.
2. Mobile Backend as a Service
MBAAS (mobile backend as a service) can provide significant leverage and efficiencies, allowing developers to launch apps in a fraction of the time. I’m interested to see them integrate deeper with data sources. Just think: processing orders via Stripe, sending shipping notifications via Twilio, viewing analytics via MixPanel and sending behavior-targeted push notifications using Kahuna. That’s magic.
The key to improving workflows is to get rid of bottlenecks. A common bottleneck in most workflows is the feedback cycle between the product/work and the customers. We’ll be implementing Drift, an all-in-one customer messaging app, to cut that feedback cycle. Not only will it help us keep customers front and center (so we can adjust and iterate faster), it’ll simplify our toolset.
With Wrike, you can create custom workflows and manage projects at both the macro and micro levels. We will be using an integration between Wrike and Slack to handle project management and communications. It’s essential for scalable growth and to accommodate for the speed of our projects.
5. Machine Learning
I’d like to invest in machine learning to see how much it can do for us in terms of taking over repetitive tasks so that we can increase our workflow and focus more on key areas where the human factor is most important, like customer service experience.
6. SaaS and HR Tracking Software
We are definitely going to look at and invest in SaaS software that integrates timesheets and project management, so we can be more efficient in terms of how we operate and how we track what we’re doing. We will likely also invest in some sort of new HR tracking software. A lot of our HR work is done by hand, and we want to create a seamless and integrated HR software situation.
7. A Robust CRM System
As we get more online sales volume, we’re really looking into browser-based CRM software to integrate with our e-commerce platform. We want to make sure we’re handling sales and customer service requests as efficiently as possible. CRM software allows us much greater control over the sales process with large, high-value wholesale purchasers. Right now we’re looking at Zoho, Salesforce and Agile CRM.
Mixpanel is a SaaS analytics solution that we are going to start using in 2017. It provides all the analytics and reporting that we will need for our web and mobile app usage in a much more queriable way than most of its competitors, and its pricing structure makes adoption for early-stage startups very approachable.
Zapier is a great tool for connecting apps in order to automate work flow. If you are in a specialized industry, it is a great out-of-the-box way to customize your workflow to fit your specific needs without having to pay for pricy development.