They say the hardest part is getting started. But it doesn’t have to be.
Whether you’re looking to optimize your existing business or just getting started, you need the right tools for the job. Below, you’ll find some of the best ones out there. Most of these were created by innovative Vergers who knew that there could be a better way.
Think of these tools and resources as turbo chargers to get more out of your business. We use them here at Verge, and I think you’ll love them, too.
Nail Your Pitch
Does your pitch close the deal every time? Even if you’re not raising money—even if you’re not selling—you should always have your pitch ready to inspire action and motivate others to support your cause.
Maybe you’re on the hunt for a critical new hire. Maybe that person you struck up a conversation with at a conference could be the perfect partner to grow your business from a sapling into a sturdy redwood. You’d better know how to swing your bat when that ball comes across the plate.
For a limited time, you can get the PerfectPitch Bootcamp (a 7-video course) absolutely FREE. So next time you have an opportunity to pitch your biz, you can knock it out of the park
Build Your Audience
Consumers spend 138% more when marketed through email, according to Convince and Convert. And 91% of all consumers use email at least once a day, according to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. So, the sooner you launch your first campaign and start building your list, the better. At Verge, we use Delivra, email marketing software that allows you to connect with your audience simply and effectively. Delivra has been building email marketing tools since 1999, so effective email is in the DNA. Check them out >>
It’s pretty easy and inexpensive to get started with email marketing, but it takes care and attention to grow a real audience. So here’s a pro tip: Get more of your emails read by using deliverability tools like 250ok (you’ll be glad you did).
But getting into inboxes is just the beginning. As a founder, you know that you have to build real relationships with your audience by consistently delivering value over time. And one of the best ways to do that is through effective storytelling.
You can do this through your writing or you can do this through other mediums. At Verge, we really like video because it helps humanize our community. There’s so much that can be communicated through video that you just can’t get with traditional email or web copy. And there’s much more blue ocean to set sail with your message when you leverage good video.
You can shoot your own video with something as accessible as your smartphone. Even if you’re not a pro at video editing, you can shoot your own footage and have a service like Candidio edit together your snippets into a final story. This can be a great way to get started, but you may want to make a bigger splash with professional team.
You know what’s really awesome for solving business issues?
You knew that, I just wanted to remind you about our dear friend, revenue. And I want to help you get more of it. Ramp your sales by nurturing your connections and building trust with your audience. Track your leads with a platform like SalesForce and manage your relationships with software like Contactually.
Sales reps spend 40% of their time on admin and post-sale tasks, according to a study by CSO Insights. That means you’re losing revenue because of sales inefficiency. Luckily there’s software that makes sales easier. TinderBox equips you with a platform to create, track, and manage your proposals in a way no other software does. This is great for not only closing more deals, but learning how to sell your product or service better than ever before.
Learn Faster and Better
As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to set the vision and strategy for your company. That’s a big job.
So, how do you know you’re building what your customers really need?
The short answer is, you talk to them. We use Formstack to make it easy to connect with our members. This powerful suite of form tools integrates with our other software to reach our community and better understand their problems, get feedback on our products, and gain insight on what to build.
Great founders never stop learning (that’s why you’re here, right?). And you can’t possibly learn everything fast enough because things change and businesses never grow exactly how we predict. So, how do you get ahead of the curve?
I learned all of the basics of web design and development using one awesome resource—Lynda. Fast forward to today, and Lynda has more than 3,000 video courses on everything from technical web stuff to business strategy and skills. The best part is that you can go at your own pace. You’ll be blasting through courses in no time!
Create an Exceptional Product
Your baby is beautiful. Well, at least to you it is.
But how do you know that your customers are all seeing the same beautiful baby you are? You product is growing up, and there are going to be some awkward adolescent stages. But you’ll never know if you’re showing up that way if you don’t have systems to monitor your web product.
You need to know that the important stuff is getting done right. This is exactly why we recommend you use Gauges. You get real-time web analytics (at a startup price) to show you what’s working and what isn’t.
Yes, they’re a Verge sponsor. And yes, they are awesome at what they do. They’re talented software team also built a powerful tool that makes it dead simple to create PDF reports and Excel exports from your applications. This is something that software customers LOVE and it’s one of the easiest way to add massive value to your user base.
So if you have a software product, the DocRaptor API is a no brainer. Get it here >>
Build Your All-Star Team
Great entrepreneurs build great teams around them. As much as we’d like to, we can’t do it all if we want to build something bigger than ourselves. But it can be difficult to find the right people to get you where the business needs to go.
Many Vergers start by outsourcing small pieces of their projects to identify, test, and develop new talent. We use HubStaff to hire developers, designers, marketers and more.
Their competitive rates make it easy to get started and their time tracking software gives you and your management team visibility into how effective they are and what they’re working on. This is a winning combo, but only when you provide quality direction.
“Great teams start with great training. But you need leverage. Luckily, there’s software that can help.”
Lessonly is a learning platform that gives you the power to build your team at scale. Their sexy drag-and-drop authoring tool lets you build lessons for employee onboarding and training, sales enablement, and just about any other aspect of your business where instruction can be helpful. You can track progress, test comprehension, and gain insight into how to improve your processes.
Fund Your Growth
Bottom line: don’t raise funding for your business until you know how the equity game works. The worst thing you can do is to give away part of your company before you know what you’re getting into and why you’re raising the money.
Get the lowdown on divvying up equity. The Equity Bible is the straight-to-the-point guide we recommend to all startups before they raise money (whether it’s their seed round or Series A/B/C/etc financing). You’ll also want to make sure you land the best investors for your company.
That’s why we created the Perfect Pitch Bootcamp video course (FREE for a limited time). Just enter your name and email below and we’ll hook you up
You’re Awesome. Seriously.
I’m so grateful for what you’re doing.
You’re taking action, and that takes guts. Of course, you could be doing other things with your time. But I’m so stoked that you invested in building a healthy business that not only fulfills you and your family, but creates real value in the world.
I’m here to help however I can and the Verge community has your back. I do my best to answer each and every email I get (it’s been a little more difficult as we’ve launched our events in more cities). So, shoot me a note if you get stuck, start to feel lost, or just need an encouraging word.
Getting started can be easy if you just focus on taking that next step. Thanks for being courageous enough to move in that direction.
Founder and Chief Magician of Verge ®
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means, at no additional cost to you, Verge will earn a small commission if you decide to purchase one of these products or services. Please understand that Verge has experience working with all of these businesses, and we recommend them because they are tested and trusted, not because of any commissions we make if you decide to purchase. Don’t spend money on products you don’t need. Do invest in credible products and services that will help you grow your business (no brainer)