10 tech platforms that help you scale your start-up

Start-ups can now get off the ground quicker and leaner than ever before. Any challenge, think macro to micro, there’s already a tech product within reach that has solved it for you. The right tools can help start-ups grow fast, with ease, all of it, without exponentially increasing overhead costs. With the promise of effortless scalability, it is no wonder that start-ups are stacking up on SAAS subscriptions.

“When in doubt, simplify.”
― Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

In this blog, we introduce you to 10 essential start-up tech tools across marketing, operations, and accounting that can help you reduce man-hours, increase productivity, and dramatically save money. (especially if you are a part of any of our TBDC programs, but more about that later.)

Bookmark this list and curate your start-up SAAS tool kit today.

1. Hubspot – Hubspot is a popular all-in-one marketing platform that brings together CRM, Marketing, and Customer Service features. As of 2021, it had 113,925 paying business subscribers. It is known for being very easy to use, packed with start-up-friendly features, great analytics tools and customizable everything! Here are the key services you can plug in through Hubspot for your business.

  • CRM Tools: Start-ups can use Hubspot to create customer contacts, track deals, and manage and automate emails, meetings, tasks, notifications, and workflows. 
  • Marketing Automation: You can create and manage digital marketing campaigns across various channels from Hubspot. Use it to drive traffic to your website and capture leads. You can also create automated workflows that connect to your CRM, start conversations with customers, and convert them into sales. 
  • Customer Service: Hubspot can help you create a ticketing system, customer satisfaction surveys, and a centralized customer knowledge base. 

    2. Mailchimp – Mailchimp is a wildly well-known email marketing platform that can help your business create chic newsletters in minutes. Mailchimp holds 60.51% of the email marketing market share, and the reasons are crystal clear.

    They boast of an array of templates, targeted segmentation options, automated email sequences, strong analytics and integrations with almost anything you currently use (Shopify, Zapier, Canva, WooCommerce, Instagram, and the list goes on). 

    It would be remiss not to mention the fantastic brand culture they originally went viral for. Mailchimp makes you feel supported every step of the way to ensure a successful campaign.

    Your scale-up can use Mailchimp for:
  • Community building
  • Survey data collection
  • Promotions
  • Lead conversions
  • Social Ad campaign creation

    3. Canva Another marketing tool that has taken the world by storm (190 countries, to be exact). Canva made design accessible to all.  A drag-and-drop UI, an enormous variety of versatile, aesthetic templates, combined with libraries stocked with 100 Million+ images, videos, and graphic elements, make it a must-subscribe tech tool for businesses of any size. 
    Its premium features allow you to share project files amongst team members, completely revolutionizing design feedback processes and turn-around times. You can use Canva for:
  • Social media posts
  • Presentations
  • Website layouts
  • Video editing
  • Print collaterals
  • T-Shirt designing
  • Backdrops
  • Collages
  • Proposals
  • And any other design requirements! – it’s even testing document features with writing AI. 

    4. Slack A digital HQ for over 156,000 businesses around the world, Slack simplifies team communication and collaboration. In the age of hybrid flexibility and quiet hiring, Slack can perfectly fit into your business to ensure your teams work together from anywhere, anytime. 
    Start-ups, scale-ups, or anyone can use Slack for:
  • Real-time collaboration with different teams using custom Slack Channels
  • Collaborating with clients, agencies, third-party vendors
  • Automating tasks for team members with reminders,  updates, and more
  • Instantly sharing files and documents (integrates with Google Drive, Zoom, Teams, SalesForce, and more)

    5. Stripe – Stripe helps accept online payments and send invoices and receipts and easily integrates with all website providers. Currently, Stripe is being used by 3.1M websites around the world to accept payments. An excellent benefit to start-ups is that it has 24/7 online customer service and advanced statistics available too. 

You can use Stripe for:

  • Payment receipt: It can handle credit cards, transfers, direct debit, e-wallets, and more. 
  • Hosting a checkout page
  • Tracking payments analytics

    6. Google Cloud – Google Cloud Services is designed to help startups build, deploy, and scale applications or websites with the help of Google’s computing, storage, machine learning, IoT, and other cloud products. Companies like Spotify, bit.ly, Forbes, and Freepik are Google Cloud customers
    GC has programs like The Startup Program, tailored to match the stage of growth of your start-up, providing product and program engagement that is unique to your business needs.
    Google Cloud can be used for:
  • Cloud Storage
  • Compute Engine Service
  • Relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server
  • Content Delivery Network Service
  • Libraries and Command Line Interface
  • Cloud Data Warehouse
  • Operations Suite
  • And many more!

    7. ShopifyShopify is synonymous with selling online. With merchants in over 175 countries, brands like Kylie, YogaBar, WholeFoods, Fitbit and Tesla call Shopify their online home. If you are an e-commerce business owner, look no further. Shopify is built to scale your business seamlessly. 
    Use Shopify to:
  • Showcase products with industry-wise templates
  • Receive payments
  • Monitor performance with detailed dashboards
  • Sell on multiple channels, including online marketplaces
  • Plug in marketing automation and tools 
  • Optimise with SEO tools
  • Manage inventory, sales, and payments in real-time
  • Centralize customer data

    8. Amplitude – Today, analytics is everything. Without analyzing customer behaviour, purchase trends, and user engagement, it is nearly impossible to develop a triumphant growth strategy.  Businesses like Walmart, Ford, Atlassian trust Amplitude to help make data-driven decisions for their future.
    Whether you are a mobile app, a SaaS platform, or an e-commerce business, Amplitude can help you understand your users, drive conversions and increase your pace of growth. 
    Use Amplitude for:
  • Tracking user behaviour and engagement
  • Understanding user journeys and funnels
  • Segmenting and targeting users with precision
  • Analyzing real-time data and A/B testing
  • Tracking mobile and web engagement
  • Creating customized reports 

    9. QuickBooks– Accounting and finance are often overlooked by founders because these verticals can be time-consuming and complicated, but let’s never forget that every business starts and ends with numbers.QuickBooks is an easy-to-use, start-up accounting tool that can help your business streamline and manage finances. It is known for its pleasant user experience that can make numbers fun for you! Over 4M businesses use QuickBooks, out of which 40% are small businesses.
    Use QuickBooks to:
  • Monitor cash flow and expenses
  • Create invoices and estimate
  • Automate tax calculations
  • Manage bills and pay bills
  • Track inventory and create purchase orders
  • Create financial reports and gain insights
  • Integrate with multiple platforms and tools

    10. Bubble – A very advanced development platform, Bubble, can help your business build apps without any code. With a drag-and-drop UI, it allows you to interlace programming features and functionalities. Bubble is known for its appealing visuals, great variety of integrations, scalability (it can easily scale to a 100K users a day), and security (compliant with certifications such as SOC 2, CSA, ISO 27001, and more). Apps like Beelango and Treepoints have been built using Bubble. 

    Use Bubble for your business to build:
  • Functional websites
  • Internal tools
  • Web apps
  • Event mobile apps

    When budgeting for the growth of your business, the time vs cost factor becomes a key consideration.  Businesses that have used cloud technology report that they are able to introduce new capabilities to the market 20-40% faster. With the average time to fully implement SAAS software into your system to only 7 hours, smart tech tools will remain a permanent fixture in start-up budgets. 

    Here are a couple of quick tips when planning your start-up tech stack budget:
  • Use freemium plans and free trials before committing to paid plans
  • Prioritise plug-ins based on the need
  • Look out for deals and offers that run during promotional periods
  • Talk to platforms for their enterprise plans if you foresee a large requirement
  • If you are an NGO or Not for Profit, many platforms provide discounted pricing, reach out to them to find out
Did you know?
TBDC Soft Landing program Start-ups receive access to US to $500,000 in tech credits for scaling your Start-up?

Google Cloud

Looking to take your start-up to new heights?
Start-ups accepted into the TBDC Soft Landing program receive access to  USD $500,000 worth of credits that can be applied to each of the tech tools listed above and many more. Our entrepreneurs enjoy discounted subscriptions, exclusive free subscriptions, extra features, free users, waived fees, and much more to scale up lean and fast-track their growth trajectory. 
If you are a local or immigrant entrepreneur looking to start-up, buy, or scale your business in Canada, contact our advisory team today!

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