During a recent Business Systems training I was part of, we discussed project management tools and how can they support an online business.
Everyone was interested what online platform is using the master business coach and main lecturer of the event.
Most of the participant thought if they can invest in the same project management system the business coach is using, that would help make their businesses thriving.
Well, to their great surprise, it turned out the master business coach was using a popular free platform. He openly shared how he organised his business systems within that platform, which help him run his business with a minimum effort and intervention.
No need to mention the business systems he has set were impeccable (after all he is a business system coach). But he also showed us all that you don’t need the most fancy, expensive, or newest tool out there to create the perfect workflow within your business.
The Shiny Object Syndrome
“If I invest in a better project management system, I will be able to better organise my business and stop wasting so much of my time (money, energy, focus, list can go on…)”. Sounds familiar?
This is the “shiny object syndrome”, which most of us have felt. Even when it comes to choosing the right project management tools for our business.
Project Management Platforms don’t do the work unless You (or your team) do the work
Oftentimes, people think setting up their team within a project management platform is all they need to do. Or they do the contrary – set up a super complicated “system to rule all systems” that none of the team members understands or wants to work with.
Select a platform that suits your business needs and fits your team (for the long run).
Being involved in online project management for over 5 years now, I have tried most of the popular platforms out there. From paid like Basecamp, TeamWork and Wrike, to mention a few, to free like the popular Asana and Trello, and all inbetween.
Free or Paid Platform?
They all have the basic features every business needs:
- Separate dashboards for different projects
- Projects overview or Pipeline
- Add team members and assign to projects and tasks
- Control team members access to different projects
- Tasks descriptions and messaging
- Set due dates and sub-tasks
Free versions come with various limitations like limited web space, or restricted number of team members you can add.
Paid versions have additional features like:
- Built-in time tracking
- Built-in invoicing
- Customer support options
- Increased number of team members
- Increased or unrestricted web-space
- Set start dates (not only due dates)
- Set different dependencies
- Helpdesk communication
These additional features might be handy but not necessarily helpful or crucial to your business.
Most paid platforms offer a free testing period, so you can try the features and decide if it’s a yay or nay.
So, which is the best project management platform for small business?
The master business coach is using Asana. We, at Virtual Dream Team, are using the same platform but that’s just a coincidence 🙂
We could use any other tool just as well, because we have our business systems in place and that helps us set our project management with any platform.
At the end it is not the platform that creates the systems and runs the business. It is the manager that creates the systems and runs the business, and the project management platform is just the tool!
Depending on how well the project manager utilises that tool, you’ll end up having either a thriving or a striving business.