2016 is the year of growth. For many entrepreneurs and startup founders, that means investing in new tools that can boost productivity, improve processes, and drive more profits. The question is, where do you start?
We reached out to 26 influencers and asked them to share with us their favorite tools for 2016. We also asked them to describe what the tool is and/or why they like it.
You’ll notice that there are a few repeats throughout this list—rather than using the first mention of a tool and deleting all future references, we decided to keep all tools in, whether they had already been listed by someone else or not. To us, this is a great way to illustrate how popular a particular tool—like Intercom, for example—can be for people across a wide variety of industries.
In 2015, more people than ever before began leveraging the power of business intelligence and data to grow their businesses. With the rise of new, affordable, and easy-to-use tools, business owners began to dabble more with data. In addition to the introduction of new tools, more blog posts, case studies, and white papers on the subject of data science and business intelligence were published last year than ever before.
Have you ever wondered what makes a person capable of being successful in business? You can probably think of lot of factors that impact a person’s ability to succeed: their network, their personal motivation, their wealth, their experience, their upbringing, their ideas, their ability to execute and lead others—the list goes on and on. The fact is, there’s really no secret equation that will guarantee success in life or in business. It varies from person to person. There is, however, one thing that every successful entrepreneur and business person does each and every day of their life in an effort to build a successful career.
If you’re a business owner and you’re looking to boost growth in the final months of the year and into 2016, one of the best tactics you can implement is to create and share more maps. If you’re like a lot of other business owners, you may not be creating maps for one of the following reasons:
- You have no experience creating maps and the thought of doing so is a bit intimidating
- You can’t think of any mapping opportunities that exist for your business
- You’d like to create maps, but you don’t think you have the time needed to do it
- You just don’t see any value in creating maps
If you think you have to enroll in night classes at a community college or take an advanced MBA degree to improve your business knowledge, think again. While entrepreneurship and business classes are widely available at almost any school, many of them don’t teach you what you actually need to know. And it’s not surprising – the teachers at many of these institutions have been in the classroom for decades and understand theory more than practice.
Whether you’re thinking about launching a business in 2016 or you’re already working on growing one, you probably recognize and understand the importance and value of tools. The fact is, you can’t do it all on your own—no matter how savvy you think you might be or actually are. In order to build or grow a startup in 2016, you need to invest in tools that can help you optimize, automate, and improve every working part of your business—from sales and marketing, to employees and customers.
But here’s the problem: there are a TON of tools out there (and more being introduced everyday). So how do you know which ones to choose? How do you know which ones are a waste of time and which ones can actually help you grow your business and reach your goals?
Sales drives your company. It’s the simple truth of the matter. Now matter how good your fulfillment is, without a sales team you’ll hit a plateau—and eventually fall off the other side of it. We need salespeople to go to bat for us, to remind customers of why we do what we do well, and to provide tangible growth for the company.
Beyond the great work we do, expansion is in the hands of a good sell. They tee up every hit that you make with a great product. But it takes more than a talented salesman to produce the kind of growth that entrepreneurs really want: it takes a strong and loyal sales team that believes in your company as much as you do.
As an entrepreneur, you know you’re going to have tough months, and days where you want to give up or just mail it in. If you have a sales team that was wooed in on the promises of a great, big successful company, they’ll be as fickle as the market.
But if you can produce a sales team that’s loyal, you’ll have fellow infantry in the trenches, and the kind of people who will stick by your side for the lows and the highs.
It can be hard to do that, and it doesn’t always come quickly. But if you follow these practical tips, you’ll find yourself with a sales team that you believe in—and that really believes in you. That’s a team that’s hard to resist.
Ah, business metrics. Analysts are constantly trying to come up with the next new ace-in-the-hole for understanding your business practices perfectly, and how to keep from ever making a mistake. The truth is we can’t stop ourselves from errors in our business practices at every turn—but we can learn from them, and how to prevent them going forward.
It involves several metrics that are time-tested and truly useful. You have to look across a broad spectrum of possibilities for where you could be falling short in your strategy and operations. It’s not always going to be glaringly obvious where you’re falling short—but there are plenty of ways to sniff it out.
Here are seven metrics that are essential to finding those holes. Make sure that you stay on top of each of them, as they’ll help you sharpen your skills of owning and running a business as a whole.
Not only will they help you to find the week spots, but also to ideate and execute new ways of doing what you do best. Refining is an incredibly necessary part of running a great company. If you can use these to that end, you’ll be ahead of the pack much more than you know.
Regardless of what stage your startup is in, these 6 habits are important for you as the owner to adapt and implement to be successful. As your startup grows,it will continue to demand more of your time and energy, so it is important to develop these habits now so you don’t need to go back to these basics later.
Finding the right investor can be the key to taking your startup dream to the next level. Once you find yourself in front of that potential investor, make sure you are doing everything you can to present your great idea most effectively so you can make the most of every opportunity you find. Even the best of business plans can fail to secure proper funding if some of these investor presentation elements are not properly executed.