2015 was all-around an awesome year for Hubstaff. The blog was no exception from this. On it, we revisited our startup origin story, explored digital nomadism, learned how to save thousands on contractor fees, tackled the infamous “Big Brother” stigma, explored the delicate (for startups at least) topic of free plans, boosted our social traffic by 350% and much, much more.
It was a wild ride of successes, some mistakes, and many adventures. Luckily, we recorded the whole journey on our blog. Today, we want to present you our roundup of the best content we published in the last 12 months. We divided it in 3 categories, based on the topics we like writing about the most: Growth, Agencies, and Remote Work.Check out the top posts from @Hubstaff's blog on growth, agencies, and remote work Click To Tweet
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The best posts on startups and growth
These posts are the origin stories of our startup, how we grew to the $65K MRR we’re at today, and the bumps along the way. Not only do these posts reflect what made us what we are today, but they’re useful resources for those who want to follow in our footsteps while avoiding our mistakes.
This is where you should start if you’re thinking about starting a business. No matter what kind of model you have in mind, you should run down this list of startup idea qualifiers to truly understand what you’re getting yourself into.
This is how it all got started. We like to say that Hubstaff was born from the hate of cubicles and commutes and in this post you’ll see how this was truly the case with our founders Dave and Jared. This is one of our favorite stories because, well, I wouldn’t be writing these words without it.
Another great article on the early stages of Hubstaff and how a bootstrapped SaaS company gets off the ground. What makes this article great is Dave’s actionable advice for anyone who is searching for an awesome co-founder. He shares what he was looking for in a co-founder, how to use LinkedIn, and other places where you can find one.
Do you remember your first customer? Here’s the story of our first 25. We go over what worked and what didn’t when getting beta users. For example, inbound marketing was a winner, but online outreach wasn’t so great. There’s a lot more actionable advice in that article.
And when we say mistake, we mean it. Turns out it’s not all that hard to take advantage of a free plan from a SaaS company, which we learned the hard way. Read about why it didn’t work and what we took away from this whoopsie.
This post covers some of the tools that helped get us where we are today. These tools helped us do the essential things that needed to get done, without us having to build our own solutions, instead allowing us to focus on building the tool Hubstaff’s customers need.
Best content on how to run an agency
These are the articles that are great resources for our agency-peeps out there. If you’re part of an agency, if you run an agency or if you’re affiliated with an agency at all, these posts are for you. They’ll teach you how to increase ROI, manage your projects and teams, and get more money to the bottom line.
Now that’s what we call ROI. We were able to boost our social traffic off the charts thanks to five strategies (which we discuss in the post) and a handy online social media scheduling tool called Buffer. You may have heard of them.
Trello is another awesome tool that we use to help run our company. We’re a SaaS startup, but we think it would work just as well in an agency environment. The marketing side of our team loves using the kanban boards for tasks, and Trello is great for managing your workflow. Just don’t make any of the common mistakes we outline in the post and you’ll be fine.
Okay, so this one isn’t an article, but it’s something we began in 2015 and we’re pretty proud of it. These podcasts feature professionals whom we admire, who can and have done amazing things with their companies and brands. Each podcast covers a different topic, and, as the title suggests, is chocked full of advice to help agencies succeed.
As an SaaS business, we understand that there are way too many tools out there to thoroughly explore each one. That’s why we’ve started reaching out to different agencies to see which tools they’ve found invaluable for running their businesses. We share their insights in this article — go ahead and take a peek to discover a few new tools!
Best content on remote work and digital nomadism
Shout-out to our location-independent professionals, entrepreneurs, distributed teams and the companies that work with them. These articles are for you! We want to teach you how to be productive on the go, how to build your own virtual teams, and to remind you why they’re awesome.
Get the low-down on what our team looks like, what it’s like working in a distributed team, how we communicate, remote work challenges and how we manage it all. We also give a pretty convincing argument about why remote teams are actually better for startups.
Does being able to work from anywhere seem like a dream? Well, it’s becoming more and more of a reality, with digital nomads popping up all over the web. In fact, Rachel, one of our team members, spend a month working on the go and shared her experience on how to travel, work, stay productive, and enjoy the journey all at the same time.
You read that right, we save $32,400 a year in payroll because we don’t have to pay ridiculous fees to get money to our talented virtual team members across the globe. And not just that it saves us money in fees, but the semi-automated process we use also means managers don’t have to spend precious hours into setting up payments. If you’ve got a remote worker on payroll, you’ll probably want to check out the cool system we use for paydays.
We spoke to eight awesome virtual companies to get insights on their remote team dynamics and the tools they use. We love this article because we had lots of fun collaborating with such cool companies. We believe you’ll also love the interesting in-depth analysis of what makes a successful remote team.
Hubstaff has an awesome remote team, but it didn’t come to be as a lucky coincidence. This post details how we find and hire the best virtual employees, from what we look for to how we “hunt” them down. It also shares some red flags we’ve noticed and a fun bonus section.
This one addresses the “elephant in the room” of remote work. Sure, being able to work from anywhere is great, but what happens when you don’t have accountability? This is where employee monitoring software comes in. We wanted to find out what our distributed team truly thinks about using a work monitoring tool…so we asked. Here are their answers.
What’s your favorite piece of content from 2015?
We are truly curious to learn what was the content you most enjoyed reading in 2015. No matter whether you found it on one of the greatly popular blogs or in a hidden corner of the internet, share it with us in the comments section below.