Tools for start up

Running an enterprise-focused startup is hard. You take the usual challenges (financial constraints, competitive market, building a team etc) and add some special extras (compliance, sales cycle, customer success).But there are some powerful shortcuts. When we started Hive, it wasn’t easy to decide which tools would give us a headstart as an enterprise-focused startup. Here are 5 tools for start up, really, the game-changers that power our business:

Intercom

Secret sauce factor: All of your customer communications in one place. Replace 3 tools with 1.

What does it do?
Intercom is the all-in-one platform to speak with your customers. Through the platform, you can send messages to your customers as they use your website, in your application, by email, or even on Facebook. Intercom also captures a ton of customer data to help make those conversations intelligent (browser / OS / their location etc).

The Intercom platform includes 3 core products: Acquire, Engage, and Support, corresponding to the stages in the customer’s buying journey.

Why is it great?
There are two reasons Hive loves Intercom:

It’s a one-stop shop for all things customer
It allows you to intelligently automate a lot of communications
With Intercom, we all can go to one place to engage with customers and track their data. Also, you can set up rules which send automatic emails or messages to customers depending on what they specifically have done. For example, new Hive users get a series of automatic emails from Intercom in the first seven days. These emails teach them about certain key features and remind them to share with their team. These onboarding emails have decreased the number of questions we get from new users.

How much does it cost?
Price for intercom varies based on which services you choose and how many people you support. The minimum price is $57 a month for the basic package of the Engage, Learn, and Support products in support of 250 people. Once you exceed 250 visitors/users, the price goes up.

FullStory

Secret sauce factor: Do constant user testing on 100 customers without spending $10,000 a month.

What does it do?
FullStory records every single click, scroll, and page transition that customers (who opt in) make on your website. It saves all these recordings where you can playback customer interactions and even search for examples of people completing specific actions or journeys.

Why is it great?
No data or analysis compares to actually seeing your customer interact with your app and struggle to achieve a certain goal. It has been critical for us in identifying where to focus our engineering efforts. Insights gleaned watching FullStory sessions have often determined what items go into our development sprints.

How much does it cost?
The minimum price is $199 per month for up to 25,000 sessions (i.e. continuous user activity) per month. Once you exceed 25,000 sessions, the price goes up. Rumor has it that if you ask nicely, you might get a startup price.

Segment

Secret sauce factor: Try the latest SaaS tools without infuriating your engineering team.

What does it do?
Once you’ve put Segment onto the pages of your app, you can then use Segment to send data to any other tool that might need it (for example, analytics, customer tracking etc etc).

Why is it great?
It saves development time and makes it easier to add new analytics tools. Couldn’t live without it. Now it also has a warehouse feature, which puts all your events into a database for you as well.

How much does it cost?
Segment has a free plan for individuals, but for teams it charges $10 per 1,000 monthly tracked users (MTUs). MTUs are simply all the unique people that visit your website or use your app in a month.

Buffer
Secret sauce factor: Deliver a consistent social media presence without disrupting your day.

What does it do?
Buffer allows marketers to schedule, publish, and analyze social posts in one place. It also suggests the best times to schedule posts to maximize chances for engagement. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to start using it right away. Did you know, 86% of IT buyers use social media in their buying decision process? Buffer is a great tool to make it easier to engage on social media and engage with those potential buyers.

Why is it great?
It saves time. Managing our social media accounts is much less of a headache with Buffer.

How much does it cost?
The minimum price for a business account is $99 per month for up to 25 social media accounts and up to 5 team members.

Bench
Secret sauce factor: Escape admin with outsourced bookkeeping. You’ll drown in it otherwise.

What does it do?
Bench gives you a bookkeeping team to handle your monthly books with a simple portal to keep track of your financials. All the bookkeepers are based in North America and they promise to never outsource your project overseas. They assist in organizing year-end financial and work with your CPA during tax season.

Why is it great?
It is both easy-to-use and cost-effective. And they’re Canadian, so everyone is nice.

How much does it cost?
If you sign up for an annual plan, you receive the micro plan for $125 a month. This includes a connection to two banking accounts and one custom add-on (e.g. payroll reconciliations for W2 employees).

If you are interested in being more productive, you can read our 2018 productivity stack.