When it comes to streamlining and automating your online business, it’s absolutely necessary to implement a project management tool early on. But, how do you know what to look for or which one to pick when there are so many different options to choose from? Not to worry. Today I’m chatting about how to choose a project management system that works for you, so you can grow your online business without the guesswork. Sound like something you need? Then let’s get started.
Links for This Episode
Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #65: How to Automate Your Sales Process and Take Back Your Family Time
- #46: Streamline Your Online Business: 3 Templates To Create ASAP for Business Growth
- #5: Simple Strategies to Help Maximize Your Time as a Busy Mom
- #3: Eliminate Overwhelm and Choose the Right Tech for Your Business
How to Choose a Project Management System that Works for YOU
Well, hey there and welcome back to the Mama Business podcast. I’m so glad you’re joining me today as we chat about this topic of task management systems.
If you’ve been around the podcast for long, you know that I believe in making things as simple as possible.
And especially when it comes to tech.
Because it absolutely does not have to be complicated – and it won’t be – as long as you know what to do, when to do it, and have everything connected properly.
And trust me, I know how overwhelming it can feel when you know you need to incorporate a piece of tech into your business, but you aren’t sure where to start. Or you find yourself on Google searching for “project management systems for businesses” only to end up with more options than you ever expected could be possible.
How in the world will you choose? What will you choose? Why will you make that choice?
Or will you just put that task on a to-do list for later and come back to it…
…well, maybe never?
Hehe. Trust me, I know…there are things on my to-do list that I never want to return to.
But today is not going to be that kind of day for us. Today we are going to take the guesswork out of one piece of tech that I believe will be instrumental in helping you grow your online business – now and into the future. And that’s the project management system.
So, grab a notebook and pen or open the notes app on your phone if you need to, and let’s jump into this topic.
Get the Mama Business Blueprint!
But before we do that, I need to ask, have you ever wished there was a way to grow your online business as a busy mama without doing “all the things”. A way that doesn’t have you neglecting your family in the process or spending money or time on tech that just doesn’t work for you?
Because, here’s the deal – I know what it feels like to worry that I’d have to use every free moment of my day or become a slave to social media in order to build a successful business. To want a strategy that worked for ME, but have no clue where to start or which platforms or tech to use or even how to make it all work together.
But what if you had a step-by-step blueprint that gave you clarity around what to do and when to do it so that you could set up, connect, and automate your systems and tech, increase your visibility online, and, ultimately, create more impact – all without the guesswork?
That’s exactly why I’m creating The Mama Business Blueprint.
Where I’ll be teaching how to lay a solid foundation for your Mama Business without the guesswork.
You’ll have step-by-step, click-by-click tutorials to help you manage the tech you need, to set up your systems, and to ensure that your content marketing framework is ready to attract your ideal clients.
Ultimately, you’ll walk away with the knowledge you need to grow a successful online business AND you’ll have the systems in place to actually make it happen.
So if you’re ready for… a customized business framework tailored to your needs as a busy mama, without the confusion, overwhelm or guesswork…
Now is the time.
What is a Project Management System?
Now, in order to really understand how to choose the right project management system for your business, we have to be clear on what a project management system is.
In it’s simplest form, a project management system is the platform you use to manage all of the projects, tasks, and workflows within your business so that you meet your deadlines and stay on track with your goals. Some people also use these for their home and family life as well, but for sake of simplicity, we’re going to keep this focused on business.
Depending on the scope of your business, the actual system you use can range from a very simple spreadsheet that you use as a checklist for each project to a more structured system with more bells and whistles. But we’ll jump into those details here in a moment.
Why Do You Need One?
Because before we do so, I want to answer the question, “But why do I need a project management platform when my to-do list seems to be working for me right now?”. Because I actually got that question this week from a client and it’s a very valid question.
And the truth is that you could keep going with the to-do list you have written out in your notes app or on paper or whatever it is, but I promise you that it will not be effective for your business long-term.
And I have a good example of this, actually.
I worked at a small-town coffee shop for a few months and I had a boss that ran her business this way. She was an amazing lady, so don’t get me wrong – I did enjoy working for her and with her, but…she had no systems in place. She had grocery lists either on a notepad or in her brain, she had her employee’s schedules cryptically written and posted on a fridge in the back room, and on and on…you can probably get the picture.
Well, by now you know me if you’ve listened to this podcast at all prior to this episode, but you know that I am very systems oriented. So, when I showed up, I recognized how overwhelmed she was and I asked her if I could take something off of her plate. So, she told me I could work on the schedule. YAY! Right up my alley. But…I’d create a schedule, she’d look at it, and then she’d tell me all of the things that her employees had told her about their own schedules. So, then the entire schedule would have to be reworked.
And…she got frustrated. And…instead of putting a system in place, she just took that responsibility back on herself. And it was her business, so she had that prerogative, right?
But then she purchased another food establishment. So now she was running both places all by herself with a to-do list on paper, sometimes, but mostly in her brain.
Can you imagine the stress she was under at that point?
And I know – you likely don’t run a restaurant or a coffee shop – but the same thing applies to any kind of business. If you don’t put this type of system in place, you risk being the only one that can do things in your business going forward. And…you also risk missing things along the way. Missing tasks or key pieces of a client’s project. Or even missing the opportunity to invoice a potential client and losing their business altogether.
Because, ultimately, your business will grow. Which means that your to-do list will as well. And whether you choose to bring on a team member or not, you need an effective way to keep track of all of it.
Personally, I like to refer to my own project management system as my mama business hub. It’s the place where everything happens related to creating content, managing client projects, storing files, keeping track of standard operating procedures, communicating with my assistant, and even my weekly and monthly schedule. At a glance I’m able to see every project that currently needs my attention, as well as the tasks and dates related to that project. I also don’t have to search through emails or outside file storage in order to find the documents I need. It’s all stored in one place – with backups, of course. Hehe.
And while your current business model might not require as much as I have going on in my project management system – YET- you do need to start somewhere. And the sooner the better. The last thing you want is a lack of systems keeping you stuck – unable to take on more clients or unable to get the help you need.
How to Choose a Project Management System?
With all that said, now that you know what a project management system is AND why you need one, let’s talk about how to choose a project management system and know that it’s the right one for you and your business.
Step 1: Ease of Use (Intuitive)
I think the most important thing you need to consider is ease of use. Is the platform actually intuitive for you. For example, a lot of project management platforms are very colorful. You can spend a lot of time creating task cards and moving them across your screen into different columns and so on. Personally, I can’t stand that approach. Too much color, too much going on, and I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it. But, if you are the type that loves sticky notes and loves charts like that – then that might be the perfect type of system for you.
In my case, I prefer a cleaner, whiter, and more linear approach. That was a huge factor in choosing the project management platform I’m currently using.
Why does this matter? Well, because if this project management system is going to house the ins and outs of your business, you want to make sure it’s something that works for you and, dare I say, maybe even makes you happy when you open it each day.
This is something that you might have to learn a bit from trial and error, and you may even want to watch a couple project management demo videos to see the insides of whatever platform you’re thinking about.
Either way, when you are thinking about the tools you use in your business, ease of use and likeability should definitely be a consideration.
Step 2: Automation
The next thing to consider is automation. Are you able to set up your process for a project type or task ONCE and then use it over and over again without having to recreate it? Are you able to automatically assign team members to certain projects? Whatever it is that would make your life easier if it was automated, your project management system should be capable of that. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself ready to move on to something better. And…that’s time and money you don’t have to waste, right? In episode 46, I did talk a lot about things you should automate or create templates for, so if you aren’t sure what this might look like, you can check out that episode. Episode 46.
Step 3: Price
Okay, speaking of money that you don’t have to waste, the final thing I want you to consider today is price. And, none of us like to talk about money, right, but the truth is, that some of the best project management platforms are not expensive. You don’t necessarily have to choose the one with the highest price point in order to get an amazing result. But, like anything, if you do go ahead and choose a platform, make sure you are very aware of what the cost is for the bells and whistles you need. If you need automations, does that require a price increase? Can you save money with a yearly subscription? Because the last thing you want to do is put time and money into getting everything set up, only to have to leave it behind because your budget no longer allows for it. So, make sure to take careful consideration in this area.
Now, I do have a super special bonus that I’m offering with the Mama Business Blueprint. Now, I talked about that program at the very beginning, but what I didn’t tell you is that as part of the program and a critical part – I believe – of getting your systems up and going in your business, I’m actually giving you a copy of the exact project management system I’ve created and I use for my own business. Remember, how I said I call it the Mama Business Hub? Well, that same Hub is my gift to you as part of the Mama Business Blueprint. And the best part is that once you have it in place, there are no monthly fees associated with keeping it up and running. And, like everything within the Mama Business Blueprint, you’ll receive click by click, step by step tutorials to get you started. So, if you are interested in more about that bonus and the Mama Business Blueprint – head over to sarahbrumley.com/blueprint and sign up today. The first round starts May 1 and I would LOVE to see you there.
Choose Your Project Management System
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. And we all know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And today’s action step is this:
ACTION: If you have not considered a project management system for your business. Now is the time. You heard me talk about my former boss and you now know how important this is to the success of your future business. Don’t wait. It’ll be so much harder to put this in place when you’ve got clients knocking on your door and no organization in sight. That right there is a good way to find yourself in a heap of burnout. We don’t want that.
…and if you are currently in the market for a project management system and some help getting your tech and systems off the ground and automated, then I’d love to have you check out the Mama Business Blueprint. Head on over to sarahbrumley.com/blueprint to see the details and register for our first round starting May 1.
Either way, Mama, I’m cheering you on. You’ve got this. Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you next time.