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Business software: This is what the top 50 start-ups rely on

CRM system, accounting program, time recording - digital tools are standard in everyday business these days. After all, they save time, relieve tedious work and bring more structure and efficiency to processes. The digital helpers have also become an integral part of the top 50 start-ups of 2018. We asked which software the companies rely on and how they make their selection.

  • Who are the top 50 startups of 2018? What innovations have they produced? And what challenges do you have to contend with? You can find out more about this in our free publication.

The top 50 start-ups of 2018, which Für-Gründer.de identified in a study in January, are innovative pioneers in Germany. It is all the more exciting for other founders to see which digital tools help them to be successful. We wanted to find out in a survey among the top 50 start-ups.

The three top mentions in terms of business software used were:

  1. with 80% task management (e.g. Trello)
  2. with 68% collaboration tools (e.g. Slack) and
  3. each with 62% CRM systems or other sales tools and accounting tools.

In addition to the top 3 of the programs mentioned, software for project management (56%) is also popular. The top 50 start-ups therefore rely on tools that facilitate cooperation with one another, bring structure to work processes, create an overview and take away the more unpleasant things of being an entrepreneur, such as accounting.

Daniel Schosser, co-founder of Crashtest Security, a high-tech start-up from Munich that offers automated vulnerability analysis for continuous protection against cybercrime, also told us this.

The two biggest advantages for us are time savings and traceability through regulated processes.

The top 50 start-up can in particular use the all-in-one platform for inbound marketing Hubspot as well as the software development and collaboration tool Atlassian Suite (Jira, Bitbucket, Confluence) and the Google Cloud Platform recommend.

Rolf-Dieter Lafrenz, CEO of the Hamburg mobility start-up Cargonexx, the first digital freight forwarder to use data intelligence to optimize capacities in long-distance trucking, also emphasizes the time factor:

The biggest advantage is the time saved by automating processes. Furthermore, we gain more structure and transparency in our organization through professional software.

The top 50 start-ups of 2018 relies in particular on:

  • the collaboration software Confluence / Gira,
  • the applicant management tool Prescreen,
  • HeavenHR for personnel administration,
  • the project management tool Freedcamp,
  • the cloud-based call center software AirCall
  • and Revisio for tax matters.

Software: the right choice is what counts

But why did the start-ups choose exactly these tools? How do you even find suitable software? Rolf-Dieter Lafrenz told us:

We always try to get a market overview of possible software programs. Then we select a narrow range of options. References and recommendations play a role in the selection, but also the functionalities, interfaces, etc. Then we test the narrow selection in practice. Then we decide.

Experience to date also plays a role in Crashtest Security:

With us, the decisions are partly based on previous experience (Atlassian), but partly also through test versions as well as trying out and comparing according to the best fit for us and according to the price-performance ratio (Hubspot, Google Cloud Platform).

So if you are still looking for the right software, you should get recommendations, test demo versions, compare prices and services - and, last but not least, pay attention to your feelings. Ultimately, usability is ultimately one of the deciding factors in determining whether the software is used actively and thus brings added value or not.

Less used - and yet helpful?

In addition to the more popular programs, a few tools stood out in our survey that - sometimes surprisingly - are used very little. For example, email marketing automation (32%) or time and attendance recording (30%). Business intelligence solutions are also used comparatively little - only one in ten start-ups makes use of them. Chatbots are similarly poorly received. The ERP system and travel expense accounting tools, for example, were barely mentioned.

Digitization does not seem to have found its way into all areas yet. 44 of the start-ups (almost 90%) do a continuous financial planning - however by no means with software, but in a very classic way: All 44 start-ups either rely on an Excel template or have developed their own Excel model.

If you also rely on the error-prone Excel format and want to put your financial planning in safe hands, we have a tool tip for you: You can save time and avoid mistakes with our digital founding platform Unternehmerheld. In addition to the financial plan, there is even more heroic things in this tool: write a business plan online, bookkeeping and much more - just try it out. Becoming an entrepreneur is free!

Learn more about helpful business software for founders:

Tags:SoftwareToolsTop 50 start-ups