These 10 tools can help your start-up take flight

No company can do without the right collaboration tools. Wrong decisions can quickly lead to dead ends and cause growing pains.

Trello on iOS iPad Air, ©Atlassian
Trello on iOS iPad Air, ©Atlassian

There are now multiple excellent tools for data sharing, teamwork or project management in day-to-day business. However, some software products are prohibitively expensive for startups in the early stages. We have selected ten cloud services for your startup that can help your business take off. And best of all, basic versions of all of them are available free of charge. These versions only have minor restrictions or can only be used by small teams or individual users. You can therefore familiarize yourself with a software solution and (like shareware in times past) see whether it fits the needs of your company. Once you record your first earnings (or your business grows in other ways), you can then upgrade to the paid versions.

The idea behind this is simple and the deal is fair: many providers of cloud services and software utilities know they can’t convince all customers. Conversely, however, it is also clear to customers that they can only obtain a high-performance product that is subjected to ongoing further development if the provider has a business model that is worth it for them.

But when choosing the right software solution and the right cloud service, you should consider a few more things:

  1. Choose a tool that is easily extensible: When selecting a tool, it is important that it scales well so that you do not reach the limits of its performance when processing numerous business transactions or data records. You can also work well with a solution that can be extended with add-ons, such as Trello or Slack.
  2. Think of mobile use: We spend an ever-increasing proportion of our working time on mobile devices while on the go. A cloud service that does not yet offer a good mobile app in 2019 must provide a very good reason. It is not necessarily important that all features are available in the mobile view. In fact it may even make sense to omit some features in the mobile version due to the limited space on the smart phone screen.
  3. Usability is key: You should also note that, no matter how good and powerful a tool may be, it will not be used at all, or only with reluctance, if it is not intuitive. Especially in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for software manufacturers to launch products that cannot be used intuitively. After all, many things have changed for the better in this regard, even though individual large software providers are still testing the limits of customer patience.
  4. Pay attention to interoperability: Any self-contained system will become a problem sooner or later. After all, if you want to exchange data with another service, you will need open systems that ensure interoperability. A system should also support common storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.
  5. Avoid solutions that are too small: Although you can never be entirely immune to a service being discontinued at some point even if it is from large global corporations such as Apple and Google, you should avoid choosing providers that run a greater risk of not sustaining the product once it has been developed because they are simply too small or specific to a certain region. If a larger cloud service is discontinued, import into comparable tools will most likely be provided.

The bottom line: These 10 tools can help your startup take flight

When choosing the right tools, start-ups have to consider a few things if they don’t want to face problems later on. A tool is only as good as its operation and solutions that are not compatible with other cloud services will sooner or later lead to a dead end. Last but not least, apps for mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in our changing professional world.

We have selected a number of powerful cloud services for project management and workflow that are also used by start-ups. The nice thing about these solutions is that they all provide free basic versions, so you can test them extensively. The providers earn their money with more extensive premium versions that offer additional features. Download our free paper "Tool package for start-ups: 10 tools to simplify your work" today.

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