Most small businesses don’t need project management software because their owners just do everything themselves. But as your small business starts to grow, you may find yourself getting less and less efficient. When costly mistakes or poor service start creeping in, it’s time to implement a cohesive project management strategy. With effective project management software, you can save time, offer excellent services, streamline your processes and mitigate errors.
Start keeping tabs
Most employees are too immersed in their daily tasks to really see the big picture. Implement effective project management analysis so that when each job is complete, you can record the resources required, the time it took and the number of employees involved. This allows you to accurately estimate the time it will take to perform these tasks in the future and allows you to see where time is being wasted. Knowing what your processes are is the first step in finding ways to improve efficiency.
Ian Needs from the Yahoo! Small Business Advisory: “By implementing a simple form of project estimation, you can easily understand a project’s impact on resource capability and its impact financially on your operating budgets. Project estimation also helps standardize the way your sales team and project managers interact with your customers and quote for work, this results in an overall positive impact on productivity, customer satisfaction and the number of projects which you deliver on time and to budget.”
Implement project management software
While most small businesses may implement software solutions for their CRM or manufacturing processes, what you really want is a single project management software solution for all aspects of your company. When you implement a single software solution, you can integrate your processes and ensure that everyone is working on the same page.
Sure, a project management software program will cost you a little more up front, but it will provide an exceptional return on investment.
Project management software also enables you to manage your clients and ensure proper communication. Quotes and invoices can be created and stored so that all documents associated with a client are saved in one location. You can keep track of each and every project so you know what needs to be done and never miss a deadline again.
Project management software also enables you to keep track of employee timesheets so that you can accurately invoice clients and effectively manage your workers.
Provide excellent customer service
When you implement an effective project management strategy, you will be able to save time and money while providing your customers with better service. The first step in effective project management is planning. Start by ensuring that you have the time and resources to effectively complete a task before taking on a job.
Plan out the task, making sure to include enough time to order the necessary materials to complete the job. Assign responsibilities to each employee and a timeframe for completion. This will mean that you always meet deadlines and provide your clients with quality service and goods.
Project management software will also make your job much easier as it can automate communication with the client which keeps them abreast of progress and informs them of any changes. You can also send thank you notes, reminders and special offers which improves your relationship with your customers while reducing the amount of time you spend on administration.
Streamline your processes
Effective project management also entails analysis of completed tasks. When you use analysis to break down the job, you can effectively streamline your processes. You can see where your employees are wasting time, identify bottlenecks and find ways in which to minimize downtime. For example, if you have frequent IT issues, you may consider a switch to the cloud to prevent delays. If your projects are held up because you are waiting for resources, you may want to consider keeping some supplies in stock. You can also identify employees who need to be more efficient and offer incentives to improve productivity.
The fact is that you just can’t do everything yourself nor can you micromanage every project. The sooner you implement a project management software system, the sooner you will start saving time and money. When you standardize and streamline your processes, you are able to take on more work and you are able to provide the kind of service that turns your customers into raving fans.