what to look for in a business partner challengeThe technology world is moving fast. While not every new piece of equipment or software can speed up your business, you should stay up to date. That’s why we asked nine entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what will help them transform their startup this year.

1. An internal chat platform

Many companies still rely on email for intra-company communications. We found that by using HipChat as an internal communication platform, we could improve speed and accountability in our discussions. Furthermore, we have found that it gives employees an opportunity to bond on a deeper basis.

– Joshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets, Inc.

2. Good project management software

Every entrepreneur’s team should have an easy-to-use, powerful but flexible, cloud-based project management application. Good project management software can preserve and nurture ideas while providing a platform for collaboration. Discussion threads are able to form around good ideas, and when an idea matures into a project, you can create a timeline and add resources.

– Dusty Wunderlich, Bristlecone Holdings

3. LastPass

LastPass is the best tool for managing online passwords and credentials. It can help a company centralize its important data and work more efficiently.

– Lane Campbell, Syntress SCDT

4. Video equipment

Video has become an increasingly important marketing asset in today’s digital marketplace. Rather than hire expensive videographers, empower your team to make high-quality video content by providing easy-to-use, portable video equipment. For a relatively small investment, you will notice a huge difference in the quality of video made with a good camera instead of a webcam.

– Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

5. USB modems and scalable data plans

Especially for remote businesses like ours, we want to encourage our team to stay connected and work wherever they feel they’re being most productive and on whatever device best suits their needs. That means it’s important to enable them by purchasing scalable business data plans and hardware that lets them connect to the internet, even if there’s no Wi-Fi.

– Jared Brown, Hubstaff

6. Slack

A tech agnostic chat platform like Slack allows everyone on the team to communicate seamlessly at all times. Furthermore, you can create informal networking groups of your favorite CEOs, investors or otherwise, and continually share contacts and knowledge.

– Brennan White, Cortex

7. Training software that works

It’s important to get hands-on with your team. Your face-to-face time investment will be amplified when you pair it with effective self-paced training. By creating lessons in training software, you’ll give your team tools they can revisit, share, and add to as your company grows. At Verge, we use Lessonly to onboard new team members, allowing us to scale quickly.

– Matt Hunckler, Verge

8. Stress management technology

While claims of negative ions reducing stress have yet to universally be scientifically endorsed, one thing that has shown great results is yoga. Sending employees an app gift card for products like “Pocket Yoga” in order to unwind at the office is a great high-tech/low-tech way to get employees to start taking better care of their health, and reduce sick days.

– Cody McLain, WireFuseMedia LLC

9. RankTrackr

SEO has become very important to entrepreneurs, as it allows their ideas to be present in front of potential clients, customers, and investors. RankTrackr is a productivity tool that shows you your company’s rankings in search engines, your competitor’s rankings, the keywords your target market is using right now, advanced local tracking abilities, and more. Get your name out there faster!

– Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

The bonus: LivePlan

You probably saw this one coming but, we’re listing it anyway as it truly is a great tool that requires a very minimal investment. It’s perfect if you’re looking to start a business (use the pitch and plan features) or run an existing business (use Dashboard to track your key performance indicators). If you’ve never written a business plan before, never pitched a bank for funding, and never completely been able to make sense of your accounting software without a lot of help, LivePlan is the place you want to start.

What technology is integral to keep your business running smoothly? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

AvatarScott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.