For many entrepreneurs, that can mean kicking off their first business, which has become a lot easier than it was even a few years ago thanks to a herd of startups that exist to take care of the worst parts of it. Here're the ones we've found that work.
If you're running a business with anything physical (like a giant fridge for your new restaurant), it's tough post-recession to get financing. Even if you can, rates from vendors can be tough. Behalf, which the New York Times reports now has a major partnership with MasterCard, provides new businesses with reasonable rates ($10-30 per $1000 per month) by actually purchasing whatever the business needs for them. This allows them to approve approximately 40% of their loans, as you're literally getting the items you got the loan for. This builds up your new business' credit faster and accesses better pricing, as Behalf pays vendors up front rather than organizing a payment agreement.
Most salespeople know that bringing a customer who will actually want your product is the best way to sell something. LeadGenius takes this a step further by employing a globally dispersed, vetted virtual workforce to fill your sales pipeline. Their pitch is taking more than just lead-generation out of the sales process and filling your various CRMs (Salesforce) with the necessary data. This takes out some of the tougher (finding appropriate people to sell to) and most boring (data-entry) aspects of making your company money off your plate. Finding the right customers is arguably one of the toughest parts, and companies like Stripe and Survata both report good results.
Employees really like to get paid on time, and ZenPayroll is a fairly ($25 set-up, $4 per employee) fool-proof way to do so. The company makes it as simple as telling them what accounts to pull the money from to start paying your people, and they'll even file necessary tax documents with the government. They integrate with whatever accountancy software you use, and currently supports 34 states.
It's easy to forget how annoying it is to set up new employees. Parklet, a relatively new startup, automates the annoying parts; W-4s, required signatures and generally keep a skeleton crew without an HR director sane while hiring. Employees can build profiles that will automatically sync with other solutions, and Parklet automatically builds an organizational chart out as people join (or leave) the company. Employees can also add their personal details too (hobbies, for example) and the company is creating functionality to introduce like-minded "office buddies" to create company harmony.
Freshbooks is a simple-looking yet surprisingly powerful accountancy web-app that lets you deal with any and all invoicing in a few clicks. You can automate invoices for contractors and integrate payment systems like Paypal directly into each one, making getting your money that bit easier. You can also receive other people's requested invoices and generate accountant-friendly income statements.