Four Productivity Must-Dos for Startups

Looking to improve productivity at your startup? See how organizations in hyper-growth mode are saving time and money with the help of communication APIs.

Erin Lansdown | April 19, 2022

Working at a startup offers numerous benefits—the opportunity to build something you truly believe in from the ground up, the potential to be a front-runner in a challenging, fast-paced marathon, and the excitement of turning an idea into something purposeful and tangible. However, if you’re working for or founded a company just getting off the ground, you’ve likely become familiar with a typical trade-off. You will tackle everything

Taking on the role of the developer, the customer service agent, the salesperson, and everything in between can make it challenging to perform the tasks that require your undivided attention. Productivity and relentless prioritization are critical in this environment. Luckily, technology is here to help. 

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Here are four tips to make the most out of tools and services, enabling teams to be more effective and focus on the most value-add work: 

1. Automate administrative tasks and manual processes 

Take a moment to consider all the time-consuming, repetitive activities that make up your workday: coordinating calendars, scheduling meetings, filtering through irrelevant emails, and responding to frequently asked questions. Wincing at the thought?

Not only are you frustrated with the amount of time and money spent on these daily chores, but your customers are going through the same experience. Analysis from McKinsey reports that the average professional spends 28% of the workweek managing emails. Coupled with the fact that workers in every industry are only productive for 60% or less each day, streamlining repetitive tasks is even more critical—especially for startups with low headcount and limited budgets. By automating workflows within your application, you can increase end-user productivity by up to 20%. 

Let’s look at renter management software provider, Funnel. By removing silos, automating manual tasks, and reserving talent resources for meaningful interactions with residents, the company is driving a seamless, simple, and personalized leasing journey for its customers. Funnel integrated its platform with Nylas’ APIs to sync existing data from its users’ email, calendar, and contacts directly into its CRM to simplify further and accelerate the process. Agents can now manage the entire customer relationship without leaving the Funnel platform.

2. Take advantage of offerings curated for startups 

Technology companies provide deals to startups for many reasons—some believe smaller businesses are the innovators of the future and will transform the way we do business. In contrast, others have been in this position themselves and want to lend a helping hand. There are significant opportunities for startups to save while in hyper-growth, no matter the intention. 

For example, the Nylas for Accelerator Startups program offers accelerator-backed startups, pre or at Series A funding, three months of free upgraded support and onboarding. Program details include:

  • Deferred Billing—qualifying startups can use Nylas for free for the first three months of their agreement.
  • Upgraded Support—companies will receive full support when selecting a ‘Basic’ package and premium support when selecting an ‘Essentials’ package. 
  • Upgraded Onboarding—get ‘Premium’ onboarding for any ‘Basic’ package and ‘Enterprise’ onboarding for any ‘Essentials’ package. 

The result is a true partnership where Nylas and its implementation teams help startups build out their communications-related integrations faster and get their applications live to improve customer productivity. 

Participating companies also benefit from: 

  • White glove service with dedicated customer support and account management 
  • Access to an implementation team to get your product or service to market faster 
  • A discounted path to Google OAuth verification ($10,000 for qualifying companies) 

3. Invest in systems that make it easy to access and interpret data 

When building a successful startup, there is a lot on your plate—from marketing your product or service to securing financing and everything in between. Parsing through minuscule data points can be overwhelming and keep you from fulfilling other essential responsibilities. However, business intelligence is key to understanding where to prioritize and how to increase productivity. And if it’s not easy to extract and analyze, you’ll spend thousands of hours and dollars trying to glean the insights you need.

A good solution should give access as well as make it easier to interpret results, enabling your organization to:

  • Utilize real-time datasets to guide strategic business decisions
  • Eliminate data silos that inhibit productivity, innovation, and ROI at scale
  • Efficiently structure and integrate data into cloud data warehousing and processing solutions
  • Transform unstructured data into an optimal format allowing engineers, technical team leads, and more to harness insights faster and with fewer lines of code

4. Outsource where it makes sense 

It can be tempting to build everything on your own in the early stages—taking a hands-on approach gives you the most control over the result. On the flip side, resources are slim at a startup, and a company that insists on building everything from scratch is like a micromanager who doesn’t trust their team. And micromanagement sabotages momentum.

As your company grows, it will become increasingly challenging to build and maintain every solution in-house. When you’re deciding whether to invest in a ready-made product or dedicate your developer resources to creating something new, consider the following factors: 

  • Time-to-value: A pre-built solution is the fastest way to connect your goals to actions.
  • Cost: Outsourcing may result in additional costs upfront, but when partnering with a trusted company that specializes in your desired solution, you’ll save money in the long run.
  • Maintenance: Vendors handle all the work behind the scenes—from implementing the solution to monitoring ongoing functionality and pushing out product updates. And the company has vast experience doing so. 
  • Security: Keeping customers safe is the cornerstone of brand trust and loyalty. When purchasing a third-party tool, it’s crucial to ensure it aligns with your company’s security requirements. 

Is your startup backed by an accelerator and at the pre or Series A funding stage? Get connected with Nylas to start improving team efficiency and enhancing the customer experience with significant cost savings.

Erin Lansdown

Erin is a content marketing professional at Nylas, where she creates digital assets that connect the organization to individuals. Before Nylas, she spent eight years working in public relations specializing in corporate communications strategy, B2B/B2C writing and editing, executive thought leadership, and other storytelling. In her free time, she enjoys volleyball, karaoke, and baking.