7 ‘must-have’ technologies for startups to survive COVID-19

Ever since the pandemic, there has been a lot of pressure on startups to rebalance and align to the new normal. 

Technology is looked upon as the great enabler in this race to survive and compete. 

This is why you will find abstract phrases like ‘digital maturity’ and ‘digital transformation’ thrown around in internal discussions about COVID-19 and business continuity. 

But instead of a 30,000-foot view, if you are looking for a more actionable way of emerging smarter, resilient, and more agile post this era of social distancing, read on. In this article, we try and help you figure out which cost-effective technologies can help small businesses and startups streamline processes, harness data, or shape entirely new ways of doing business.

Top 7 technologies your startup needs right NOW

Growing and agile startups are increasingly investing in technologies to support remote work and fix impacted revenues and disrupted supply chains. But they are also conscious about using fewer apps to get more done, to save costs.

It’s not about simply spending on scores of high-cost solutions and then hoping that one of them sticks. Rather, it’s about investing in the right technologies that deliver maximum ROI.

As such, to help you make well-informed IT acquisition decisions, here are the top 7 affordable solutions that companies should incorporate into their workflows:

  1. Financial management tools: Startups are currently struggling to stay afloat, and beat the revenue crunch. So, you need to keep track of all the cash inflows and outflows diligently. Not just that, it’s also essential to be on top of the financial planning game, be it budgeting, receipt and expense management, forecasting, or analysis. To this end, some of the top apps to consider are Xero, Younium, Teamogy and QuickBooks. 
  2. ATS and other hiring technologies: Recruiting and hiring, with social distancing rules, in place can be a struggle. But you don’t want to lose out on top talent just because you cannot meet them face-to-face anymore. This is why it’s important to have in place a powerful digital interviewing system. Even paying for the premium subscription to video conferencing apps like Zoom or Skype is a good start! You should also invest in a reputed applicant tracking system (ATS) for it automates job posting, candidate management and eliminates a lot of paperwork. This, in turn, frees up your HR team’s valuable time to focus on more strategic tasks. Sometimes the ATS also comes with onboarding features that allow you to shortlist candidates and evaluate their performance as a remote employee! Do check out recruitment software Manatal and social HR software WebHR to learn more.
  3. Sales and customer relationship management tools: In the current economic climate, customers are reluctant to commit to purchases. Thus, every lead is precious and needs to be nurtured carefully. This explains the rise in the adoption of customer relationship management (CRM) technologies like Zoho, HubSpot, and Salesforce. Not only does it deliver faster and more customized customer service, but also enables your sales team to track leads, evaluate team performance and monitor the funnel. Social media messaging tools and bots are also increasingly being leveraged to resolve customer queries, requests, and complaints digitally. 
  4. Digital payments solutions: Transacting in fiat money is so passe. It is inconvenient and quite unsafe for cash to physically exchange hands, with COVID-19 raging all around us. So, more and more startups now make and accept payments through sophisticated fintech solutions such as PayPal, Flywire, Instamojo, and AeroPay. 
  5. eSignature solutions: eSignature solutions have been around for ages. But it was in 2020 that its demand skyrocketed. Touch-free paperwork has become the ideal solution to ensure that document sharing and signing doesn’t come to a standstill. This is how startups can get everything from funding paperwork to invoices and employment contracts signed by stakeholders from anywhere in the world, without ever touching a printer, pen, or scanner. The likes of SignEasy (check out the 30-day trial) allow you to sign securely and hygienically from anywhere and anytime. By cutting paper costs, improving user productivity, and keeping your staff infection-free, SignEasy can also help save a lot of money for your business. 
  6. Supply chain management tools: eCommerce transactions have only risen during the lockdown, as the pandemic pushed even more individuals online. To manage this surge in orders, it’s time to get your ‘supply chain house’ in order. This means all the drudgework between inventory management to order fulfillment needs to be automated. eCommerce fulfillment solutions like ShipBob and ShippingEasy can help. By automating the picking, packing, and shipping of orders, they ensure that your customers enjoy fast and affordable shipping. You can even employ autonomous robots at warehouses to increase worker productivity, reduce error rate, reduce the frequency of inventory checks, etc.
  7. Digital adoption software: Plan to add many new tech solutions to your workflows? Wonderful! Just remember though that the tools are only worthwhile if people use them effectively. Especially since physical demos and walkthroughs are difficult to achieve nowadays, you could digitize the software training sessions. Via interactive walkthroughs, beacons, and contextual help each user is personally guided through each enterprise application. Digital adoption solutions, such as Whatfix and WalkMe, will teach you to use the tool better, while they work.

Why SignEasy can help tide you through the COVID situation

Signeasy features

People are stuck at home and already overwhelmed with managing home and office tasks together. To give them some respite, at least from the admin task of document management, eSignature solutions can come in real handy. 

Here are the top 6 features of the ESIGN Act and eIDAS-compliant SignEasy that can help in that aspect:

  1. AI-powered: No more having to send follow-up messages or reminders to individuals about giving their consent on forms, as SignEasy automates this process. It also ensures that you are regularly updated about the real-time status of the contract. This would leave your team with enough time to focus on the more strategic and creative tasks. 
  2. Mobile-first: The average human spends about 4.3 to 6 hours on their mobile devices every day. To make the signing workflow even more seamless, it’s only natural that SignEasy offers intuitive smartphone apps for iOS and Android. No matter where the user is, SignEasy can be harnessed to sign and send documents with ease. 
  3. Integrates with legacy platforms: Every minute saved is invaluable today in business. Even opening an eSignature app every time you need to sign documents is a waste of time. This is why SignEasy’s ability to smoothly integrate with your legacy platforms comes in handy. It allows your employees to sign in the flow of work, i.e from within the business or productivity app itself.
  4. Cloud-based: Small businesses tend to have lean budgets. So, they wouldn’t want to spend a lot on the storage of online documents. At the same time, they may need the extra space whenever the need arises to scale suddenly. Cloud-based eSignature solutions are quite flexible in that aspect. For example, SignEasy integrates with cloud solutions so that users can store and import as many files as required, securely and easily.
  5. Secure: With Covid-19 pushing more people to conduct their dealings online, globally an increase in security breaches has been recorded. To ensure that your classified documents and signer’s personal details are kept secure, SignEasy uses passcode and biometric authentication. Also, the documents are sent and stored using SSL encryption. 

Conclusion

COVID-19 has changed business workflows forever. To adapt, startups need to choose technology. Various mobile, cloud, robotics, AI/ML, or 4G/5G solutions can be harnessed to save costs, achieve growth and outpace competitors. But, the quickest and most affordable way to take a step in this direction is by using SignEasy. 

To see how we can support your business in times of crisis, here is a link to signup for the SignEasy demo.

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