90% of startups fail. Plus, it’s the end of the year. Those two facts alone are enough to send startup owners into a frenzy.
Does this sound like you? As an entrepreneur, you’re probably experiencing tons of pressure as the year comes to a close.
You’re up to your ears in tasks, from finalizing financial reports to tackling various administrative duties.
But you can save yourself some headaches and valuable time using tools and resources that streamline processes.
15 Essential Resources for Startups Navigating the Year-End Crunch
As you navigate the year-end crunch, check out these resources for startups we’ve gathered to help you finish the year off strong.
In business, we’re constantly learning. So, educational resources are great for helping you stay informed about industry trends, best practices, and potential year-end challenges.
Consider taking courses on different aspects of business, such as:
- Strategic thinking
Harvard Business School offers online courses that offer the flexibility you need as a busy entrepreneur looking for professional development.
2. Industry Publications
As the year comes to a close, you need to be up-to-date on market trends, competitor activities, and industry insights. These resources will help you make more informed decisions during the crucial year-end period.
TED Talks also offer highly valuable insights for entrepreneurs. TED’s extensive video library showcases expert speakers — many of whom are business owners themselves — sharing powerful testimonials, insights, and advice.
You should also consider reading entrepreneurial success stories. Why?
Because in the challenging uphill journey of a startup, reflecting on your accomplishments, no matter how small, is essential. Every milestone you achieve is a testament to your success, regardless of your business’s current status.
Finding inspiration from motivational stories can provide the much-needed fuel to persevere.
Sharing these success stories within your company can ground employees and reinforce their determination. Consider Tabitha, the resilient owner and chief creative officer of House of Joppa, a store specializing in Catholic home decor.
While battling breast cancer, she continued to run her business and fulfill her role as a mother. Today, she has not only triumphed over her illness but has also steered her business to success. Stories like hers are powerful reminders of resilience and determination.
Clean Origin is another business that didn’t have an easy road ahead. People were used to mined diamonds. So, lab-grown diamonds just sounded strange.
However, Clean Origin managed to send the right message to its audience by telling its story.
The company raised awareness among its blog readers and target audience about lab-grown diamonds, their origin history, their importance to the environment, and their value.
As a company, you can harness the power of such narratives by inviting speakers to share their experiences.
These stories motivate your team and instill a sense of purpose, reminding everyone they can overcome challenges with perseverance and a positive mindset.
3. Productivity and Collaboration Tools
You and your team are likely facing increased workloads and deadlines during the year-end.
So, consider using productivity and collaboration tools to help you improve team efficiency and communication.
Tools like Asana, Trello, and Slack allow you to achieve effective task management to stay on top of work. Using these tools, you can:
- Seamlessly communicate with built-in chat features
- Track and manage projects from emails
- Get real-time updates and notifications when on the go
- Communicate and collaborate quickly
- Automate recurring tasks to save time
4. Analytics and Reporting
Analytics and reporting tools like HubSpot and Zoho Analytics can help you analyze your performance throughout the year. You can also use them for data-driven decision-making and strategy for the year-end.
You’ll be able to create visually appealing charts and graphs, consolidate data into a centralized dashboard, and uncover patterns using advanced analytics.
These reports save you a lot of time because you don’t have to jump from source to source to get the needed information.
5. Marketing and Sales
Any startup preparing for the new year should make sure marketing and sales are finishing strong.
The last thing you want is for your sales and revenue to drop as the year comes to an end. It’s important to keep the momentum going.
Marketing and sales tools can ensure you stay on track. There are various types of marketing and sales platforms available:
- Email marketing (e.g., Mailchimp)
- Social media marketing (e.g., Hootsuite, Buffer)
- Marketing automation and CRM (e.g., HubSpot)
- Sales enablement and analytics (e.g., Salesforce)
- Lead qualification (e.g., Active Campaign
- Website and analytics (e.g., Google Analytics)
- Search engine optimization (e.g., Semrush, Moz)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising (e.g., Google Ads)
Video marketing tools are another great marketing resource.
‘Tis the season for commercial videos, one of the most powerful resources for attracting new and old customers, increasing brand awareness and loyalty, and driving sales.
According to Wyzowl, 89% of people agree that watching a video helped convince them to buy a product or service.
Plus, with the holiday season right around the corner, everyone’s eyes are wide open and looking for amazing deals. It’s the perfect time to invest in video content creation.
During the holiday season, people are more accepting of videos and advertising and don’t mind you showing them everything you have to offer.
The trick is to do it through a heart-warming and compelling video that they can truly enjoy, focusing on the Christmas spirit and the importance of giving.
6. Startup Funding and Financial Tools
Consider startup funding and financial tools if you need help managing finances, accessing funding, and ensuring a healthy financial position as the year ends.
QuickBooks, Freshbooks, and Bill.com are popular accounting software solutions to help you keep track of your books.
Startup funding decreased by 35% in 2022. But you can increase your chances of securing the cash you need by streamlining financial management.
Plus, investors love to see entrepreneurs with calculated numbers in their pitch decks. Funding and financial tools can help you do just that.
So, sit down and create a startup financial model. This model is an all-in-one solution that uses your financial statements to help you understand what capital you need to run a startup and how much you need to raise in funds.
Thanks to help from big financial firms, you can create a detailed multi-sheet business planning financial model without too many headaches.
7. Website Builders
Website builders are a valuable tool for startup owners who don’t want to spend the time building a website from scratch or spend the money hiring a web design agency.
You can quickly and easily update your company’s website using a website builder like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. That way, you can keep your online presence up-to-date during peak business periods.
Squarespace is known for its clean, modern website templates. Take a look:
8. Human Resources Management (HCM)
Are HR administrative tasks taking up too much of your time? HCM software like BambooHR, Workday, and ADP allows you to manage your workforce to optimize staffing needs and HR processes during the year-end.
If you want a solution geared more toward small businesses, Insperity offers a great solution designed for your unique needs. And if you hire freelancers from around the world, Remote is a great solution to streamline the payment of international contractors before your books close.
9. A/B Testing Tools
At the end of the year, you’re likely running marketing campaigns to draw in more customers and boost holiday sales.
That’s where A/B testing comes in handy, as it takes the guesswork out of improving the performance of your campaigns. A/B testing involves comparing multiple versions of an ad, social media post, email, or webpage to see which performs best.
This testing allows you to make data-informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t. Different elements you can test include:
- Call-to-action (CTA) buttons
- Email subject lines
- Content formatting
- Ad placement
- Image choices
Crazy Egg is a popular A/B testing tool that provides valuable insights about your marketing performance.
10. Stock Photo Websites
Cease and desist letters aren’t fun, especially at the end of the year when you’re trying to wrap up projects, meet year-end goals, and enjoy a well-deserved break.
The last thing you need is the added stress of navigating legal matters during this already hectic season.
But that’s the risk you run when using certain images on the web.
The solution? Turn to the wide range of royalty-free stock photo resources.
You can use these images without paying additional royalties to the copyright holder. They come with a unique license you can purchase for a one-time fee.
You can edit royalty-free images to match your branding. And you don’t have to credit the original owner, which is helpful if you’re working on a presentation or social media campaign.
Royalty-free stock images are typically available on paid subscription sites like Adobe Stock, Getty Images, and Shutterstock.
You can also use copyright-free stock images if you don’t want to pay a subscription. While the original owner owns the copyright to an image, they give others the legal authority to freely use it.
Find these images on popular free stock photo sites like Pixabay, Unsplash, or Pexels.
11. Virtual Assistants
Running a startup means tackling many tasks on your own. Maybe you don’t have a large enough team yet to handle everything efficiently.
A virtual assistant can free up some of your time so you can focus on crucial business activities during the busy year-end period.
Virtual assistants can perform numerous mundane tasks, such as:
- Email management
- Social media management
- Data entry
VAs can also be valuable during the holidays when you want to take time off but don’t want to leave your business unattended.
Hire one, and after training them, you can leave them to handle your most pressing tasks while you’re away.
Don’t know where to look? Consider platforms like Zirtual, Virtual Staff Finder, or Outsourcely.
12. Growth Hacking Tools
Looking to take your business to new heights with the new year approaching?
Growth hacking tools can help you achieve rapid growth. There are a variety of resources out there that can help give your business a serious boost.
- Growth hackers and marketers
- Growth hacking agencies
- Landing page templates
- Video interviews of successful entrepreneurs
- ROI calculators
- Customer data platforms
13. Branding Tools
As a new business owner, you might not know where to start when it comes to branding. Or, maybe you have an established brand but want to change things up a bit come the new year.
Branding tools can provide inspiration, ideas, and guidance as you look to develop your brand. Consider these valuable tools for branding:
- Email signature generators
- Logo makers
- Image editors (e.g. Canvas)
- Slogan generators
- Form building tools
- Design tools for creating graphics, web pages, and short video stories
- Brand management platforms
- Brand template platforms
14. Review Platforms
Customer reviews play a vital role in your startup’s success. So, one of the most important resources for your new business is a reliable platform where people rave about your offerings.
Take Henry Meds as an example. One of their most popular products – semaglutide, is quite new and innovative for potential customers, so they need to be sure it’s worth trying.
That’s why Henry Meds partners closely with trustpilot.com, one of the most trustworthy review platforms.
Henry Meds even shares the TrustPilot reviews on its homepage as a form of social proof because the brand knows how important these reviews are for establishing trust.
With 46% of consumers feeling that online business reviews are as trustworthy as recommendations from friends or family, it’s a no-brainer to leverage these third-party review platforms.
The more positive reviews, the better. Your bottom line.
15. Mental Health Resources
Burnout is common as the year draws to a close (even with the most successful companies).
Add to that stress and anxiety about what the new year will bring. Protecting your and your team’s mental health is so important.
Providing mental health benefits, including outpatient treatment, prescription medications, counseling and psychotherapy, and other offerings, is a start.
You can also organize recreational activities to invigorate your team. Whether it’s a simple picnic or an adventure-filled trip, you can step outside the norm by providing your people with unique experiences.
For example, Normandy Beach Tours offers tours of iconic World War II sites in Europe.
These activities, which range from luxury experiences to informative tours, provide a much-needed respite from the office grind.
More than just a break, they serve as catalysts to recharge employees’ energy levels and nurture meaningful connections.
The laughter, action, and personal moments people share during these experiences refresh employees’ spirits and contribute significantly to creating a cohesive and supportive team dynamic, laying the foundation for a fruitful and successful year.
When running a startup, it’s all about maximizing what you have.
Currently, you might not have a ton of capital or resources. However, there are several tools available to help you fill in those gaps.
In this article, you’ve learned about some of the best resources for startups to help you end the year with a bang.
Just remember — using any startup resources takes strategy and planning. You need to find the right tools that meet your unique needs.
About the author:
Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She’s also the content manager at Login Lockdown, covering the latest trends in tech, business and security. Kelly is an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and ecommerce startups.