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Optimize Your Workflow With These 4 Tools

optimize-your-workflow-with-these-4-tools
Optimize Your Workflow With These 4 Tools

What happens after you launch a viral product? Jean Wu faced this question after her company Que raised over half a million dollars through its Kickstarter launch.

The success of the brand’s collapsible water bottle inspired Jean and co-founder Kevin Shen to streamline the business. Since launch, the two have been focusing on optimizing their workflow processes using an array of apps and services.

Ahead, Jean shares the four tools she’s using to simplify her workflow and how they’ve allowed her to focus on growing the brand.

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Four apps to improve your workflow

five que bottles standing side-by-side on concrete.
Que bottle’s viral collapsible water bottle can be extended and filled up or collapsed down into a more portable size. Que

After virality, Jean and Kevin employed tools and services to help them optimize their business operations and allow them the time to focus on growth strategies. These are their recommendations.

1. ShipStation

No matter where you are in your business journey, the first tool Jean recommends using is ShipStation. This software will help you manage all the different shipping partners you’ll be working with to fulfill orders. “It’s awesome, we’ve used it for eight years now. You can ship with multiple carriers like USPS, UPS, FedEx, and even DHL for international packages,” Jean says.

Using a platform like ShipStation is key to reaching your customers where they are. You shouldn’t spend your time stressing out about how you’ll get your product into your customers’ hands after going viral—instead, focus on finding a tool like ShipStation that can organize the shipment process for you. 

2. Zoho

After orders start rolling in, Jean suggests finding a software to help with accounting. “We use Zoho for bookkeeping and all our administrative things: it’s a great all-in-one service, so you can invoice your customer, do CRM (customer relationship management), and track your inventory,” Jean says.

Finding a service like Zoho will help you organize all of your administrative tasks in one place, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting an invoice or misplacing an order form. Services like Zoho can prevent you from becoming too overwhelmed with the financial aspects of owning a business.

a model places a que insulated bottle inside of a que convertible totepack.
Saving time with tools like Zoho and ShipStation, the Que team was able to develop and launch its first convertible totepack. Que

3. Bench

Bookkeeping is a complex task that requires more than one software to perfect. “I highly recommend Bench to keep track of your spending and profits, so you have a better idea of how your business is running,” Jean says. 

Running a business requires continuous work, and it’s easy to forget to check in with your yearly earnings and reports. At the end of the year, Bench creates a business statement, so you can see a detailed report of your profits or losses and move forward with a clear and concise plan for the budget in the new year.

4. Gusto

Handling payroll for all of your employees is one of the hardest tasks as a founder, and in order to maintain those relationships, you have to pay people on time and with precision. “We use Gusto for payroll and human resources, and they’re wonderful,” Jean says. 

Spending the money up front for a system that pays your employees accurately and in a timely manner is vital for growing a business after virality. Without the hard work of dedicated employees, your business won’t make it.

“The most amazing thing is all of these services talk to each other and work together. You can use their APIs, and they’re all integrated,” Jean says. Using these tools will help you create a more unified and agile system to help your business operate smoothly and efficiently. Shopify’s App Store has a suite of apps that integrate directly with your store, allowing you to manage your business needs all in one place.

To hear more about the tools and services Jean’s team is using to grow the company and discover how Que approaches product expansion, listen to the full Shopify Masters episode.

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This originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for wider discovery.
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