13 Amazing Tools We Use Every Day
November 14, 2011
For those of you who don’t know, this week is Global Entrepreneurship Week. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, this week’s content will be focused entirely on entrepreneurship. We’re kicking the week off with the tools we, as entrepreneurs, can’t live without.
Did you know Grasshopper has over 35 full-time employees? It’s true! There are a lot of people that keep this place running and it’s their goal to give you the best product for your business.
We can’t do it on our own though. Thankfully we have a whole assortment of tools from amazing companies to help us out. So we thought we’d share them with you.
Here are 13 tools we use every day here at Grasshopper.
Basecamp is just one of the many awesome products put out by 37Signals and it’s one we use all the time. It helps us collaborate on design projects, manage communication with vendors and makes working with remote employees much simpler.
2. Argyle Social
Do you know who’s talking about your brand? Do you know where they are talking about your brand? After trying out multiple social media monitoring tools, we now rely on Argyle Social. It not only helps us monitor our brand but also helps us make better decisions when it comes to social media. Plus, the tool offers enterprise features without the enterprise cost which is great for small businesses.
3. Bamboo HR
As an employee, you don’t think much about your health insurance or payroll information until you need it. The next thing you know, you’re bugging your poor HR person to get these things. We found a solution.
Medical documents, 401k papers, company holiday schedules, PTO requests…Bamboo HR has it all in one place. Plus, it’s super simple to use.
Like most companies, our engineering team works in iterations. New tasks are added, priorities change, and problems arise. How do we manage this? JIRA. We’ve been using JIRA for 4 years and it’s been a great asset to our company and in particular, our engineers.
Our buzz team interacts with so many different customers, potential customers and media members on a daily basis that without something to actually keep track, they’d go crazy! Batchbook helps them manager their contacts and communication history in one place. [Note: BatchBlue is also a member of BarCamp Tour]
From rankings reports, to competitive research to on-page optimization and link analysis, SEOMoz really has it all. Along with their toolset, they have an outstanding blog that provides tips and information for everyone.
7. Visual Website Optimizer
One of the things we’re very fond of here is testing. Testing testing testing. In the past few months we’ve launched a new how it works page and are currently working on a new home page. Why? Because we want to make sure we’re giving customers and potential customers the information they need.
How do we implement and measure these tests? Visual Website Optimizer. VWO lets you create, run and analyze website tests in a very simple manner.
8. Google Analytics
As an ecommerce website it’s extremely important to know how your site is performing. Are people finding you? How are they finding you? Are they converting? And so on and so forth.
You may be wondering how a music app helps Grasshopper function. Well, if you walk around the office on any given day you’ll see a lot of people bopping their heads to music. It keeps us lively!
As a small business, it’s important to stay connected to your employees, allow open communication and make people excited about working for you. We do that through bi-weekly reviews, open doors, monthly celebrations and well-known core values.
We’re able to track all of this and celebrate one another through Rypple, a performance management tool. In there, managers can keep track of their one-on-ones, team members can commend other team members on accomplishments and individuals can set goals for themselves. It’s a great PM tool that allows for flexibility.
Positions are open, resumes are submitted, interviews have started and the candidate has talked to six different people. How do you keep track of all this, provide feedback, decide on next steps? For us, the answer is Jobvite.
Jobvite lets you easily track the hiring process along with providing your employees the ability to help you recruit through social tools. Want to incentivize your employees for referrals? Jobvite gives each employee their own link.
You may have seen the challenge we were running with KISSmetrics, pitting websites with phone numbers against websites without phone numbers. We provided the number and KISSmetrics provided the ability to run the test.
Beyond your typical analytics, KISSmetrics offers amazing insights into how people interact with your site, lets you perform A/B tests and helps you make better business decisions.
You know how people got to your website, what pages they visited and when they converted. But do you know what they did in between?
ClickTale gives you heatmaps, form analytics & real-time monitoring to see just how users are interacting with your website.
These tools are all awesome and really do make running Grasshopper easier. What are we missing?