Small businesses don’t have time to waste. Unfocused meetings, and tedious follow up on projects can drain your energy and your bank account. How do you regain control without micro-managing your team? Typically, the problem isn’t the project planning, it’s in the follow up. Having the right small business project management tools is critical.
To keep your team on track, we put together our 5 best small business project management tips and tools to keep your team on task.
1. Use a file sharing site.
Stop sending document back and forth via email. Store your documents in a central location. Project files can be stored on a cloud file storage site like:
2. Use small business project management software.
Today, there are dozens of affordable cloud-based small business software project management tools to choose from. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Asana for Gmail users
- Teamwork Project Management Software
- Insightly CRM and Project Management
- Trello Card-Style Project Management
- Basecamp Project Management
- DaPulse Visual Dashboard
Your project management can often link to the files you have stored on your file sharing site. Using the project management software for communications will reduce the back-and-forth of trying to find the most recent version of “that one document” and sifting through hundreds of email messages to try to remember what was said and who is responsible.
3. Share your calendar.
Both Google G-Suite and Office 365 allow you to share your calendar with others in your office, or even to publish your calendar online. You can create custom calendars for business areas, like the Marketing and Tradeshow calendar or the Conference Room 1 Resource calendar. You can also subscribe to internet calendars, and even bring in the project management calendars mentioned above.
To streamline your home/work life, you can create a separate calendar for personal obligations. The beauty of having multiple calendars is that you can see all your commitment in one place, and selectively share your availability with your team. You can then access your calendar via your phone, iPad or other device.
4. Create workflow.
Document your process. Once you have everything “set” like you want it to be, use automation tools like Microsoft Flow, IFTTT (if this then that), Zapier and even Outlook Tasks or Boomerang for Outlook to remind you of overdue tasks. People will be amazed how on top of things you are when you use technology instead of your memory to keep projects moving forward. If you keep thinking, “There has to be a better way!” …there probably is!
5. Use chat and online meeting tools.
There’s nothing more frustrating than needing “just one quick answer” to finalize a project…. Except maybe having someone commandeer 30 minutes of your time for “one quick question.”
Get your entire team committed to using an instant messaging tool like Microsoft Teams to get answers quickly. Instead of meeting face-to-face, schedule online conferences where you can share your screen, and even record the session for people who couldn’t participate.
Popular online meeting software includes:
Your business success largely depends on your ability to manage projects efficiently to completion. As a leader in your company, your job is to get everyone on the same page, enthusiastic about the mission at hand, and provide employees with the project management tools to do their jobs efficiently. We hope these small business project management tips and tools have been helpful.
Anything you would add?