If you are still using to-do lists, “sticky notes” and five different coloured notebooks, that system could possibly work for you in the first few months of running your business. But when you reach a certain point in your business where you are running with a number of things, serving numerous clients, and maybe you’ve even hired one or two people you’ll realize that the sticky note and notebook system is not sustainable.
You’ll find that the notebook and sticky note system can easily result in things falling through the cracks. And it can easily result in things just not moving as streamlined as they should be when you are a business owner.
So I want you to ask yourself these questions:
Do you want to open your laptop and spend a hot minute just trying to navigate the scattered to-do list and tech tools that are barely integrated with your daily mode of operations? Or do you want to have a business that runs on autopilot while giving you time for YOU and for YOUR business?
The truth is, the way your back-end looks and the way you run your business always reflects on how well you can deliver your promised client experience, and how fast you can scale your business.
Because when you don’t have a streamlined back-end, you by default start working on the busy tasks and don’t have time to be in your zone of genius, doing what you need to do to take your business to the next level.
The Answer? A Work Management System!
What is a work management system?
A work management system is just a way of organizing, tracking and managing your work as a business owner to streamline your business activities. A work management system is also referred to as task management or project management system.
You may be familiar with Asana, Trello, Click up or JIRA. These are all examples of tools that can help you create an efficient work management system in your business.
It is so important to have a system to manage your day to day work. Not just because you want to be more organized, but because you want to give your clients an amazing experience. You want the way you manage your business to reflect your brand and reputation. These are some of the very important reasons why you need a work management system.
Why do you need a task management system
To see what’s happening in your business
Make sure you know, what is happening in your business at all times. There’s no need for you to be walking around with five different notebooks and sticky notes. And God forbid, some of those sticky notes get lost, or the kids use them as their toys. Imagine how detrimental it would be if those million-dollar ideas got lost in those sticky notes.
A work management system gives you the ability to see what’s happening in your business. It provides a workspace where you can keep your ideas, notes about your business and strategy all in one single workspace. Having all that in one central space makes it so much easier to refer to both yourself and your team members. And having it on a digital platform is much more effective than having it in notebooks and sticky notes.
Stop being the bottleneck of your business
It’s so easy as a CEO to not realize that you’re being the bottleneck and the one who’s actually holding things off. When you are taking note of your action points on a notebook while having back and forth emails with your clients or your team, it’s very easy to miss a key date or to even double book yourself.
Having a work management system is going to eliminate that completely. With a work management system, at the click of a button, you will be able to see what’s happening and what needs to be done. You will also never double book yourself or have an unexpected deadline come up because all that is an easy purview.
Get rid of unnecessary anxiety
Make sure that you are not having unnecessary anxiety. For me, having papers all around gives me so much anxiety. And having an online work management system has helped me in just eliminating that stress and anxiety.
Having flexibility and adaptability
As a business owner, you need the flexibility and adaptability to move things around in your business. This is especially crucial for heavy-duty projects such as launches.
For instance, you might have planned for certain activities to be done on specific days or weeks. And ahead of that time, you realize that it’s actually too much of a workload for yourself or even your team members. You want to be able to move things around easily and communicate that with the other people you are working with.
On the contrary, if you are doing that on notebooks and sticky notes it’ll be one long strenuous process. You’ll have to remember where you had written those specific notes, scratch out the dates that you had put in, add the correct dates and then email and communicate with the people you are working with to notify them of the change of plans Sigh!
Now, with a work management system, there’s no need to go through that hassle. All you need to do is drag and drop and move tasks around depending on the work management tool you’re using.
Things you can do with a project management system?
I have already mentioned; managing your team, managing your work and the things that you need to do. A work management system is really like a to-do list on steroids. It eliminates the manual nature of having to write things down and keeping tabs on where you wrote things in different notebooks. It allows you to have everything in one place.
You can use a work management system to manage your clients. I use it to manage my client projects. Every time I onboard a new client, I create a new project in my work management system. Within it, I assign them tasks and they can keep tabs on the deliverables that I need to give them. It’s just a much more streamlined and better client experience. It is also a better experience for me too because I do not have to remember my tasks for the week. All I need is to go to my work management system, open a specific client project and see what are things need to be done.
Did you know you can use a work management system for content creation? I have a whole content bank in there and a content calendar for each of my content media channels. And you can use it to streamline the process and collaborate with other people.
If you have a virtual assistant who helps you with content creation, you can communicate with them easily on the work management system. As opposed to sending her emails and 50 different messages to remind her of things that need to be done. You can do all that in your work management space and make the communication so much easier and more streamlined.
Lead generation and Sales
I have a lead generation project within my work management space, where I keep tabs on the hot, warm and cold leads. I make sure I keep tabs, monitor and track them. It’s so much easier if I need to assign some of the leads to my VA to help with the follow-up. As opposed to having that on a spreadsheet or even worse, having that in my head.
That’s the one thing I would love you to do as a first step when you are ready to create your work management system. Put your lead generation list on your work management tool. Do not keep that list in your head because you are bound to forget things. And you will leave money on the table by not following up properly and not having a proper lead generation system.
Product development and launching
I use my work management system for launching! Especially when it’s those long launches like challenges or master classes, where there are so many moving parts and a launch can take anything from six to eight weeks.
It’s so much more streamlined to have everything in one place and for me to see what’s happening; where are the gaps? Which areas do I need help with? Versus having all that in my notebook, and not being able to track it in a more streamlined way.
Last but not least: “team management.” I’ve mentioned having team members in almost all of the previous areas. It’s so useful when you have one workspace for everyone in your business.
At the start of the day, they know what needs to be done, their responsibilities and their tasks. They don’t need to be asking you every now and then because they also have access to your work management system. It makes it so much better because you are all on one page.
Everyone knows what is happening, who is holding things off and who is the bottleneck in the business. Hopefully, there are no such people in your team. The work management system holds everyone in your team accountable. It allows you to easily track and monitor everyone’s work without having to call them and being on the phone all the time. Or having to do so many emails and back and forth, trying to make sure things get done on time.
How to determine which is the best project management system
I mentioned Asana Trello, Click up and JIRA earlier on in this blog. But I know that there tends to be a lot of people online who will tell you that one or another tool is the only tool that will work for your business. You may want to read this post where I talk about these tools and how to know which one is going to work best for your business.
And even though I do have my preferences, it is going to be different for each business. There is no single business that looks alike. We all have different goals and visions for our business. We all have different setups and methods of operation, so one system does not necessarily fit all businesses.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you figure out which work management tool would be best for your business:
- What does your team look like currently?
- What does your team construct look like?
- And what are your future plans? Are you planning to just be a lean outfit or are you planning to hire a really big team over time?
- What is your working style and preference? Do you want a system that’s robust or do you just want something that is simple to replace your notebooks and your sticky notes?
It really depends and differs from one person to another. And this is something we talked about in my VIP Day, where we help you pick the right tools for your business, depending on your strategy and vision. Because like I said, it is different for everyone.
How to optimize your work management space
Step 1: Pick your tool of choice
Obviously, the first step is picking your tool of choice. If you are really unsure and you need help, check out my VIP day. You and I will go through the motions and make sure that you are picking the right tool for your business, from the onset.
Alternatively, you can read this blog, where I show you how to set up your workspace specifically in Asana. Asana is my preferred work management system right now, but I have used the others and they are great.
I will briefly highlight the other work management tools. Trello is really good if you are looking for something simplistic. Click up is great if you are looking for a robust system and you want something with all the bells and whistles.
Step 2: Create a hierarchy for your workspace.
The workspace is going to come as an empty shell. You are going to have to put in the necessary projects and teams so that everything is well organized within your workspace.
I like to use the four core areas of business for my hierarchy. So, I have a team for; sales, marketing and content creation, operations and client management. And then within each of those teams, I have separate projects. For example, with my client team, I have separate projects for each client.
Step 3: Create tasks
Thirdly, create tasks for each of your projects from your standard of procedures or just by migrating your notebook and sticky notes into your space. Because you don’t want to still have that system as a way of tracking your tasks. The goal is to have one work management system.
Step 4: Allocate tasks and team members to the appropriate projects
It’s best to do this from the onset than just having one big project with so many different tasks and different things, all bunched in one project.
If you have a team, ensure that each of them is actually relevant for those projects. For example, with my social media manager, I do not have her in my team for operations because she’s only helping me with content creation. So, she is only a team member of my content creation, project and team.
Step 5: Setting up a weekly task’s project
Make sure you have a separate project where you can track your weekly tasks. I have one that is called weekly planning, and that is where I put in my top three priorities for the week and the main task(s) for the week.
PRO TIP: Link your tasks to the other relevant project(s). For instance, your task is to create a specific piece of content that is relevant to your content creation project. You can actually link your task(s) in your weekly planning project to the other relevant project(s) and you’ll view them in both projects when you open those project workspaces.
To have a better understanding of how to set up your business in Asana as your preferred work management system read this blog. I show you how to actually do this in practice. If you have any questions or need help ensuring that you create your workspace the right way, slide into my DM I’m always a DM away.
If you would prefer to have someone else support you in creating your work management workspace, feel free to reach out. It’s a service I offer through my systems set up service where we help you create and set up your project management and client relationship management systems.
I hope this post has convinced you of the need to have a work management system for your business. Remember having a work management space is way more than the tool that you use. It is more of what you actually put in that tool and how you set it up so that you can be more efficient, save time and be more streamlined in how you manage your day-to-day activities in your business. Listen to the full podcast here.