It’s always fascinating to see what different tools startups use to manage their business or growth. We list 16 products we use to manage our startup, and what we use them for.
As a Software as a Service (SaaS) business, we embrace similar SaaS tools and products to help us with the smooth sailing of our business. We may be biased, however studies have shown the benefits of SaaS tools over typical desktop software;
Lower cost of ownership
Because the license is typically monthly or annually, the costs are greatly reduced over a one-time initial payment.
Quicker access to new features
SaaS products are ever evolving. For example, at 6Q, we release new features at a monthly frequency. These aren’t charged at additional rates, and our customers get access to them immediately.
Faster adoption uptake
Because SaaS doesn’t involve the typical software installation process, users in customer environments normally can access them within minutes, not days or weeks.
Our 16 Favourite SaaS Products
So, with this in mind, here are some of our favourite products that we use to coordinate, communicate and collaborate, in alphabetical order.
We can’t go past Buffer for social media scheduling. We love their product, and their company transparency and blog are two of the main reasons we decided to use them.
Buffer allows us to pre-schedule social media posts across our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn presences, which means we can spend more time building our product.
To coordinate booking into calendars, we use Calendly. We love the simplicity of the booking process that people undertake to make a time with us to chat. It then emails us an alert and we can add these straight to our calendars.
We’ve been big supporters of Australian email marketing platform, Campaign Monitor since before 6Q was even a vision.
We use their super easy to use email campaign builder for our monthly email newsletters, and we love supporting fellow Australian innovation.
This is a fantastic tool for segmenting and understanding user behaviour. We use customer.io on a daily basis, to see what new customers and trial users we have, as well as to trigger a series of emails, based on user behaviour or segmentation.
For example, we send a drip series during the trial period, which changes according to what actions users have performed within 6Q, such as adding segments, etc.
Who could live without Google Analytics? We watch our analytics regularly, to see what articles are being viewed, and what our audience growth is like.
We use their goals feature, to monitor conversions to free trials from our main website, landing pages and blog posts.
We share internal documents between the team using Google Drive. Even with the free account, they give you plenty of storage space.
This way, even if I am on the road, like my recent trip to a conference in Hong Kong, I can still access and collaborate on pertinent files.
We use Help Scout for both our knowledge base area, as well as for support ticketing.
Help Scout allows us to gain insights into what people are searching for in our hosted knowledge base (they call this ‘docs’) and they also give us reports on average response times and other metrics for our support email account.
It can be tricky when you’re an always connected business, to know the best times to connect with others in different time zones.
This is where free, browser based Homeslice comes into being. Just add the cities you want to keep an eye on, and it does it all neatly in the browser.
When we are doing screen sharing during support or sales calls, we rely on join.me.
Join.me is really easy to set up and get going, and it saves customers having to download large browser plug ins. The quality of screen sharing is great, regardless if it’s to an adjacent city, or across the world.
This is a great way to keep an eye on social media mentions.
We use Notify to alert us in our Slack team #socialmedia channel, about certain keywords and shares of our content. That way, we can answer any feedback or questions promptly, and know what content is resonating well on social media.
For our payment subscriptions handling, we use Australian payment gateway, Pin Payments. They have an office right here in the same city as us, and we’ve been known to socialise with their team.
They’re a great bunch, and make handling subscriptions with various tiers, easy.
For email delivery of our must-be-delivered emails, being our survey polls and subsequent reports, we rely on Sendgrid. They send billions of emails for some of the world’s largest brands, so we feel safe in their care.
For our internet to landline calls across the globe, we use Skype. Having tried a number of providers, we still feel that Skype gives us the best quality bandwidth for voice calls.
We use Slack very frequently; more than twice hourly, for internal team communications, as well as automated notifications from tools that we’ve integrated, such as Trello, Helpscout and Notify.
We even have a Slack ‘bot’ set up for our office Spotify account, so that we can skip and change music without walking over to our music streaming machine (It’s very important, honest).
We are power users of Trello, embracing their kanban system for three main boards, being our internal product road map, the customer facing product road map (read more about that here) and our content marketing planning.
Everyone in the team uses Trello to refer to prioritisation, planning and what’s being currently worked on, and who these tasks are assigned to. Their checklists are fantastic, and Trello also integrates with Slack to alert us of new cards.
The immensely popular open source blogging platform is what powers this very blog you are reading. We use WordPress to post our articles, and we find it super search engine friendly to boot.
Bonus tool: 6Q
Of course, we’d be hypocrites if we didn’t “dog food” our own product. We use 6Q every week, to see how our team of 12 people are going.
We have our 6Q set to individual mode, meaning there’s no anonymity, and we change questions frequently to gain additional feedback.
So there you have it; these are 16 of our main go to SaaS tools that the 6Q team use daily, to grow and manage our business. We’re big believers in supporting other SaaS providers, both small and large, as we continue to grow our product.
I hope I have introduced you to a few tools that perhaps you haven’t tried, and look forward to hearing your thoughts. Let us know your ‘cannot-live-without’ tools by tweeting @team6Q.