As a startup, you may think that simple is best. This isn’t necessarily wrong. The only problem is that many see simplicity as having fewer programs and fewer expenses, and they cut out one key tool: project management. As an entrepreneur trying to get a startup off the ground, a project management tool can be an invaluable asset to your business at any stage.
These are just a few of the areas that project management can help your business be more successful:
When it comes to projects you’ll always have a deadline. Sometimes this deadline is enforced by a client and sometimes you enforce it on yourself as a goal. Having a project management system in place keeps you accountable to a set timeline and tracks your progress.
Team & Task Management
Even if you’re a team of one, managing people can be tough. As an entrepreneur, you’re juggling many aspects of your startup and you should be able to check in to be sure your team is on track easily. This also comes into consideration when thinking of the individual tasks that make up larger projects or goals. Often times these tasks have to be completed in a certain order. If someone is waiting for too long on another task before they can work on their part of the project, your time management will be affected.
The other great aspect of project management software or a project management system (PMS) is that it involves an element of communication. This is where you can not only dictate a timeline and deadlines, you can assign specific tasks to specific people and check in on the progress all in one place.
Utilizing a project management software may seem costly upfront, and creating your own in-house system may seem time-consuming. However, project management can save you money in the long run. A solid PMS for a startup means tracking projects and keeping them on deadline and on budget. If you quoted a client a price and your team takes too long, that could be a lot of work you’re paying people for but making no money.
A project management system is also a streamlined and efficient way to record the hours and rates of pay for multiple team members. This can make payroll more cost-effective and less of a headache.
The real benefit when you think of time management, team and task management, and budget management altogether is how it affects your overall workflow as a business and as an individual. When you can clearly track the progress of the projects your startup is responsible for, you not only become more reliable to your clients, but it frees up more time for you to be out there getting new projects and clients.
What to Look for in a Project Management System
Not all project management systems are created equal. We recommend finding a program that meets all your needs rather than creating a process in-house with spreadsheets and secondary messaging apps. No matter how you choose to set up your project management system, it needs to be able to do a few key things:
- Easy to use, or no one will use it;
- Ability to specifically assign tasks and deadlines;
- Scheduling and planning functionality complete with reminders and notifications;
- File-sharing within the platform to keep things organized and bundled together;
- Communication component for your team, both within projects and outside of projects;
- Real-time reporting so you can stay informed;
- Dashboards for reports on specific KPIs;
- Customization to tailor the program to your specific needs; and
- Time and budget tracking and management
When it comes to your startup, a project management system can help you to feel more proactive instead of reactive. It’s never too soon to feel more in control of your business. The best way to pick a project management software is to find out what other business owners and entrepreneurs are using. Come to a Your Entrepreneurial Society event to network with other business owners and ask them. We host weekly events for you to network and engage with other entrepreneurs. Find an upcoming event on Facebook.