Ruelha Mascarenhas
by
Ruelha Mascarenhas

The economy and the market have evolved drastically since the tremors of COVID. Businesses today rely heavily on online and remote workflows. If you intend to launch a startup, your dream needs to be fueled by the right technology. There are plenty of business applications and tools, but investing in all of them is neither prudent nor feasible. So instead, begin with these few fundamental automation tools and incorporate add-ons with your existing software as and where possible. Here’s a list that will help you with the basics:

1. Company E-mail:

This is a vital tool modern businesses need today, especially since many workflows have moved towards remote work. It's best to sign up for a professional e-mail account that comprises your company name or a custom domain. When potential clients and customers encounter an e-mail address that is not registered to your domain, they may doubt the authenticity of your business. Invest a little in a corporate e-mail service that serves as a brand reminder and a source of identification. Ensure you have some basic firewalls to protect the information exchanged therein. It would be great to have an in-built planner with reminders and push notifications for assigned and saved tasks.

2. Social Media:

Gone are the days when a billboard or newspaper advertisement was the only means to introduce a product or service to the market. Screening an advertisement on television is extremely expensive. But there is a cheaper alternative - social media. In fact, it has a better reach and focus, allowing you to reach your target audience. If harnessed properly, it has the capacity to take your business to astronomical heights. And, much of it is free! Make sure your company has active accounts on all current social media handles. Businesses cannot afford to neglect this tool today. Engage with potential and repeat customers. Grow your business goodwill. Connect with your clients and watch your business grow!

3. Travel and Expense Management System:

CFOs and Finance heads are constantly attempting to curb the phenomenal costs arising from corporate travel and associated expenses. Business trips and face-to-face meetings add value to certain propositions, but one must be able to justify the cost. Investing in a good travel and expense management system ensures budgets are maintained. Some of these applications allow users to scan their invoices in multiple formats as AI extracts all the necessary information from these bills. You can incorporate your company's travel policies and entitlement benefits so your employees stay aware of these while on the move. If they are in danger of going overboard, the system warns them and does not permit such transactions. If your employees are assigned travel or corporate expense cards, these can be integrated with your travel management system while it auto-tracks expense records. Some advanced software permits advance cash and trip requests, so employees don't have to wait in anxiety for reimbursements while they maintain the approved budget.

Also Read: Top Digital Trends to watch out for in Business

4. HR Solutions:

Having an in-house HR can be a burden in many ways. One of the biggest reasons many startups are outsourcing this function is that it is expensive! It is easier to partner with a good HR Service provider like Exela HR Solutions. You can outsource as many functions you deem fit. Right from talent acquisition and payroll processing to employee life cycle management, applications like these can take the burden off your chest, leaving you ample time to focus on your core functions instead. The mantra here is simple – do what you're best at and outsource the rest!

5. Learning Management System:

Employees need to stay abreast of product updates. Their skills also need to be synced as per market preferences and the shape of the economy. You may have hired a competent workforce, but ensuring they remain proficient is equally crucial. That is why you need a good LMS like Exela’s Lynx, which, unlike other platforms, allows you to create customized course content in various formats. This way, you ensure your team is always ahead of the game, armed with knowledge and skills to conquer. Look for applications with gamification features that can make corporate L&D (learning and development) fun and interactive, which improves recall and implementation of those skills. Companies with a plan to scale must invest in an LMS.

6. Communication and Meetings:

Face-to-face meetings and conferences have been on the decline since the onset of COVID. Even with many states easing out norms, the preference still lies in online video calls and conferences. Organizations have realized businesses can be conducted more swiftly and economically by eliminating travel, accommodation, and planning costs from in-person meetings. Several free applications are readily available and very user-friendly too. Free versions usually limit the number of participants up to a hundred or so. Try a paid version if you aim to get a large team together for conferences. These platforms bridge gaps by allowing the hosts to deliver presentations and share a view of their screen as participants can join in and collaborate from the convenience of their location. Many of these apps permit recording of the session with a ready transcript so you can easily access the matter discussed. Some of these have limitations on duration or data, so check the specifications before zeroing in on one.

7. E-signature Platform:

Electronic signatures permit users to sign documents online as if they were handwritten signatures that are legally binding on all consenting parties as per the terms in the document. This alternative is highly cost-effective when considering all the resources saved in the bargain. It expedites the signing process by eliminating the need to seek appointments, engage in follow-up reminders, and mail documents. And all this efficiency comes along with enhanced security. It is, therefore, no longer a privilege accessible only by the technologically savvy sectors but a necessity for businesses of this era. Encrypted digital signature technology provides the security, stability, and flexibility that the ongoing crisis demands. You'll never have to wait for attested documents again! Just do it online ...instantly!

8. File Transfer, Sharing, and Storage:

With many staff working from home, things are no longer the same. You cannot walk from one desk to another to share documents anymore. And sometimes, large presentations and files do not fit the size limitations set up by e-mail service providers. Hence, you may require a file transfer application, preferably one that stores information on a cloud so authorized users can access it from multiple locations. If you already have a cloud-based e-signature partner like DrySign, you can share and store signed documents digitally and access them as required, eliminating the need for additional apps.

Indeed, there are a host of applications you can select. But, this list is elementary in nature. You can build up from here according to your requirement and growth. But, for businesses to function optimally in this digital age, these are the essential tools one must get acquainted with for smooth operations and networking. Try and find applications that seamlessly integrate. For instance, DrySign is compatible with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive documents and files. You can access it via a net-enabled desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile device. DrySign is a highly secure, fast, and legally binding electronic signature solution that rids you of time-consuming, error-prone, conventional paper-based workflows. Not only does it make signing easier, quicker, and foolproof, but it also gives you the supplementary benefit of storing your files securely on a cloud. So step into the new age of digital transformation with sustainable and clever solutions.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

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