Starting a small business is no easy feat. People say you "wear 17 hats," but we all know that is a JOKE. Small business owners wear 37 hats while juggling a few small circus animals and trying to keep a light-hearted smile.
So what's the secret?
If you ask us, we couldn't live without these tools. That might be a bit dramatic, but it's the truth! Extra stress and tension is a killer. So quit working harder and make sure you are implementing these five things we ride or die by.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOL
This is easily Number 1. In fact, if you want to quit reading after this paragraph ... feel free. (That was a joke. Everything in this blog is good. Read it all.) A good project management tool will serve you in many ways. You can get things out of your brain, assign them to team members (or yourself), track due dates and feel accomplished after you see the numerous tasks in your completed column. Project management tools we recommend are:
Asana. Great for beginners, but it has all the bells and whistles to take you to infinity and beyond
17 Hats. Awesome for solopreneurs and comes with a great community to support you.
Trello. Best for managing a large number of projects by a team and it's visually beautiful.
This is essential for any team ... for obvious reasons. And modern technology makes it easier than before to sync up. Shared calendars can also be integrated into booking systems, allowing your clients to connect with you easily. Here is what we are using:
Wix. This might not be obvious to you, but it is to us. Wix is a Google partner so syncing is simple. It fully integrates into our website's booking system and looks at personal calendar for any conflicts. You can think of it as a free personal assistant. Fancy. Chat with our team to learn more about this tool.
Calendly. There is a free option available, which is great. It also has robust capabilities that allows team members to plan meetings together.
Asana. Since Asana has a calendar view, we had to include it here as well.
There are numerous options available from group texts to complex software tools like Microsoft Teams. The best way to pick a tool for you and your team, is to try something and see if it works! Here are some good options to try:
Slack. A crowd favorite because it's easy to use and integrates into most project management software.
Microsoft Teams. This might be the biggest comeback Microsoft has made. Teams is smooth, powerful and easy to use. Great for teams of all sizes and has a strong mobile app, which is a communication tool MUST.
A DEDICATED 'CEO' DAY
Growing your business needs more than good tools. It needs you! So make sure you take time every so often to focus on the tasks that you as the "CEO" need to complete. Though you may have to put off other tasks to get this done, your business will thank you.
TIME MANAGEMENT TRAINING
Last and certainly not least is time management training. Let's say that again, "Time. Management. Training." We all have the same amount of time in a day, so how do you spend yours? Is it productive? Do you procrastinate the things you don't like? Do certain tasks suck your energy? Time management training can help, and we only have one recommendation for this, Lynn Winter. Her classes teach you how to:
Customize productivity tools to maximize your strengths
Prioritize your tasks so you work with less stress
Simplify your routines so you can focus on the work that counts
Streamline your work space to increase your productivity
Leverage your technology to enhance your work
Learn more about Lynn and her services at www.lynnmwinter.com/training.
That's a wrap. I have to leave you with one small story, and if you know me then you have heard it. I had a personal trainer that wouldn't let me say "I don't have time for that." He was mostly referring to workouts, but I have used this in almost every aspect of my life, especially business. Instead he made me say "It's not a priority." Think about that. Do you have something you need to do, today? And you tell yourself "I just don't have time for that." Now think about that same task, but say "It's not a priority." Ouch. Sits a little different, doesn't it?
If you read to the end, then leave us a comment and let the Project Social team know what you want us to write about next time!