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PRIMO CEO’s 11 Must Startup Tools

13th January 2017

These are a list of tools that I use to stay connected to, and evaluate the PRIMO team, and our customers.

COMMUNICATION TOOLS

DIDWW

We have multiple phone numbers in Japan, China, and the US. Skype and other such ip phone services make it easy to get phone numbers worldwide, and inexpensively. However in some locations, ip phone numbers have a designated, or new area code, thereby making your company seem new or small. DIDWW is different because you can get phone numbers with standard area codes (03 number in Tokyo rather than 050 for example) at an extremely reasonable price. They also have a graphical tool online that allows you to arrange phone numbers and voicemail boxes with a few clicks. For example, I can graphically set up staff phone extensions by shifting their names around on the screen. DIDWW is not hard to use but there is a slight learning curve. I have nothing but good things to say about them and I recommend them quite often.

Onboarding time: 30 minutes

Slack

For those who don’t know about slack, it’s enterprise chat software. We have about 10 overseas employees and we wouldn’t be able to manage that if it weren’t for Slack. I don’t love slack but I haven’t seen anything that comes even remotely close to its usability.
We can create fun channels that simulate a breakroom, a marketing channel to discuss marketing ideas, a features room to chat about future Primo features, etc. We can also communicate with people outside of our organization with Slack. It’s quite inexpensive to use, but there is a bit of a learning curve as it seems to be very developer-centric.

Onboarding time: 10 minutes but I still don’t know how to do emojis on the mobile app.. ( - _ - ;)

Groove

Customer service helpdesk software that runs on email, Twitter, and Facebook. Usually helpdesk software requires a lot of contact with their helpdesk before you’re able to use it properly, but Groove is quite easy to learn and reasonably priced. Groove seems to have worked very hard to streamline their software and only keep the core critical features which is well suited to small-medium sized businesses. I was looking for good helpdesk software for a long time before finding Groove and now it’s a critical part of our business. There are add-ons that provide additional features as you need them. The reporting/analytics are a bit basic and it would be nice if they had a paid add-on for more information-packed reporting, but I’m nitpicking.
If you want to stand out as a business, you absolutely must be good at servicing your customers and potential customers. Therefore good helpdesk software is worth its weight in gold.

Onboarding time: < 5 minutes

Dropbox

I was using both BOX and Dropbox in the past and I initially liked BOX slightly more because they gave more free space away than Dropbox. However, as I started using both regularly I fealt that the UX of Dropbox was slightly better, which makes a difference over 10+ people. We use Dropbox daily to share files amongst the team, as well as with our clients, which we can do because they are localized in Japanese and Chinese.

Onboarding time: 5 minutes

Localized in Japanese and Chinese

Evernote

Chinese: https://www.yinxiang.com/

Evernote is a multi-platform and full-featured note taking cloud software. Whenever I have a new project, idea, or event I create a note with Evernote. For example the PRIMO pitch deck. I create a new note, then populate the top part of the note with numbers, URLs, quotes, or whatever is relevant to the project. Then I clean up and organize those ideas at the bottom of the note. Finally I design the pitch deck based on the wording that I devised in Evernote.

Onboarding time: 15 minutes

Localized in Japanese and Chinese

GSuite

We use Google Apps to share spreadsheets amongst team members. To be honest, I somehow find the UI difficult to navigate but other members of the PRIMO team seem to like it so I continue using Google’s office suite of apps.

Onboarding time:

Localized in Japanese and Chinese

Bitly

When sending out any links on Twitter, Facebook, email, etc it’s nice to shorten the URL before publishing it. Bitly does this, and give you data on when the URL was clicked, where, and by who. This data isn’t a must, but it’s nice to have.

Onboarding time: < 5 minutes

Mailchimp

A full service email marketing management software. You can create templates for a newsletter, customer sign-up/confirmation, password reset emails etc. It has a ton of features and it’s not too difficult to use. They have monthly and pay-as-you-go pricing.

Onboarding time: 30 minutes

EVALUATION TOOLS

Pipedrive

If you are doing b2b sales, CRM software is a must. Pipedrive is built for managing your sales pipeline. We’ve been using Pipedrive for about 6 months now and I love it. I tried other software but for being able to visually get a snapshot of of what deals are in the pipeline I haven’t found anything better than Pipedrive.
You list prospects and deals on the left, and move them to the right as you get further along the sales process. I have no complaints about it, and it’s one of my most recommended products.

Onboarding time: 10 minutes

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics on our sites to gain information on how effective our marketing is. Google Analytics allows us to see who is coming to our sites, from where, and when they came. Also what did they do once they landed at our site.
For example, if we put out a new blog entry and post it on Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter, we can see which traffic source is most effective and what device they are reading on etc. It’s not the easiest to use, but you can’t beat the price.

Onboarding time:

Localized in Japanese and Chinese

Heap Analytics

We use Heap to figure out visually where our potential users are dropping off. In other words, where the weakest link in our customer conversions are. For example, if we want potential merchants to follow this path:
Article about PRIMO online → PRIMO general site → PRIMO mechant site → merchant sign up → confirmation.
But they don’t get past PRIMO general site, then we can take action to make that transition a bit easier.
Web analytics software is a must but we find that we use features on both Google Analytics and Heap. We find Heap unique and extremely useful.

Onboarding time: 30 minutes

There are other developer layer apps that PRIMO uses, but they are basically voodoo to me. The list that I compiled here are great for managing a team and or coordinating a groups of customers.



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