3 Tools to Get Your Small Biz Team Organised
Going from one team member to multiple members for any business can be a tricky time. I know first hand, having started out as a one man band, to slowly expanding my team to multiple players. For large businesses, these time management and organisation processes are already set in place, but when you’re just starting out, or you’re going from 1 to 10 in a short space of time, how can you ensure each and every task is managed properly, to keep the business running smoothly, and clients or customers coming back?
Many of us small business owners will hold our hands up and admit the early stages require a lot of trial and error. Ensuring something or someone doesn’t slip through the net is crucial in the early stages of your business, and through my own experimentation, I discovered the best way to keep everything run smoothing is with a helpful little tool!
Without the helping hand of a tool that’s specifically designed to help teams share tasks and communicate with ease, there can be a lot of pressure put on one person to keep on top of everything (usually you, the business owner). Alongside alleviating some the pressure on you, I find tools mean there’s less checking up and checking in, leaving your employees to get on with their tasks in their own way, helping them to be more productive and feel less pressure themselves.
The first tool I tried for task management was Trello, after reading rave reviews, but myself and my team have worked our way through a few now, finding pros and cons in most of them.
I’m well aware that many startups are on a tight budget, having helped launch various startup lifestyle brands myself, and so the best thing about some really great tools that are out there, is that they are completely free. Here are my favourite three…
Asana is the tool we are currently using, and I have to say everything seems to run pretty smoothly with Asana. When you first land on the Asana website, it reads ‘Asana helps teams move work forward’, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
You can create an overview of your company in one place, adding ‘projects’ and then tasks, which you can assign to each team member, with a due date, any documents attached and any additional comments.
Asana is free for up to three users, but is priced very fairly when it comes to adding more users in the future. For each team member, when you log on you are presented with your list of tasks, ordered in accordance to their due date.
A tool like Asana would be especially helpful for businesses that run remotely, but also for in-house teams, to keep everyone on track, so that you never end up with that ‘I thought someone else was doing that’ situation.
I’m also particularly pro Asana due to the fact that when you complete a task, a unicorn gif appears. As if just ticking the ‘done’ box wasn’t satisfying enough!
Next up is Trello. Trello is what we started off with, before we moved onto using Asana. It’s a lovely little tool, but it is a little more basic than some of the other available options. Trello is perfect for a sole trader, to create nice and simple little to do lists, but may not work as well for larger teams.
It’s free, and allows you to create projects with cards, that you then fill with your tasks. A nice feature of Trello is that you can drag and drop tasks, moving them from one persons card to another, or to the ‘done’ card when a task is complete.
Trello is ideal if you prefer no-fuss management, and best of all it’s free.
My third and final recommended tool is Basecamp. In one place you can organise and discus everything you need to get a job done. Like Asana, you can add tasks and assign them to a team member, who will then be notified by email. A nice feature of Basecamp is that you will get daily emails titled ‘Here’s what’s on your plate’ with a list of your tasks and when they are due.
Basecamp is probably the best tool when it comes to communicating about projects and tasks, and so may be the best best if you run your company remotely, as it allows you to easily comment and ask questions on specific tasks, and direct them to specific people, who are notified by email. Basecamp also has a real time chat feature, so that you can quickly get answers while online with other users.
With just one pricing plan for internal use, Basecamp costs £23 per month, which is a pretty good price considering how much an impact this kind of tool has on the way a business is run.
I have only used Basecamp on client projects, but my experience with it was good, and I found it particularly helpful to open up my emails in the morning, to find a ready made to do list in my inbox.
Working out how to get the most out of your team and give them the responsibility they deserve is key to a small biz, and these tools make doing just that super straight forward.
Are there any tools that you swear by? Comment and let me know.