Whether you are a freelancer or running a 100-person company, effective project management is essential. Many business owners don’t have project management processes in place. They are likely working inefficiently and may feel like they are constantly putting out fires. That can be exhausting and stressful. Many business owners struggle to put project management processes in place because they get overwhelmed. They also might think it will never work since most of their work is custom. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Project management for business owners should be a priority for you. In this article, we’re going to share four project management processes that every service business owner should have. You need these processes regardless of if you are a company of one or have dozens of employees.
Why is project management for business owners important?
Effective project management means is consistently delivering on time, on budget, without compromising on quality. This reduces your stress levels, minimizes the number of fires you are putting out, and makes your work more enjoyable. Not to mention, once you have some basic processes in place, it can help you scale if you decide that you want to hire a project manager someday.
4 project management for business owners processes to implement
These are the four processes that all business owners should have in place.
1. Client Onboarding.
Signing a new client is exciting. Celebrate each win. But what you do next sets the stage on whether that new client sticks around or churns out early.
Client onboarding isn’t just a checklist that you quickly run through. Instead, it is a process that you should optimize for an optimal client experience from day 1. This is your client’s first impression of working with you. So, your onboarding experience should reflect that from day 1. In fact, if you deliver a consistently great client onboarding, this can be the secret sauce that supercharges your growth.
At a minimum, your client onboarding process should include the following:
- Establish and communicate your timeline
- Provide an amazing “Day 1 Experience”
- Gather any assets or logins needed to get started
- Share your progress at set intervals – such as weekly – along the way
- Keep track of all tasks and processes in one place
2. Hiring employees and freelancers.
It goes without saying that if you want to own a successful business, need a team. Developing great hiring processes for both freelancers and employees is one of the most important things you can do.
These are the key components to think through:
- Where you should recruit freelancers and employees
- Writing job ads
- Interviewing and communicating with candidates
- How to evaluate candidates
- Writing contracts and offer letters
Developing these processes early on will allow you to scale your team quickly as you bring on new clients.
In order to stay in business, you need revenue. For most businesses, this will come in the form of sending invoices and follow-up reminders. These tasks are vital but easy to create processes around. Once you have these processes in place, you can delegate them to your bookkeeper, accountant, or even a virtual assistant.
4. Repeatable internal marketing tasks.
What are the internal marketing activities that you and your team are doing to attract new clients? Do you write blog posts? Or produce a podcast? Maybe you just publish on social media a few times a week?
Creating a process around any or all of these tasks helps you systemize and streamline these activities. Let’s take an example. If you produce one blog post a week, here is what this process might look like:
- Brainstorm topic ideas
- Conduct keyword research
- Write a content brief and assign the post to a writer
- Write an outline
- Review outline
- Write the full draft
- Edit draft
- Create custom graphics/images
- Assign to your VA to upload to your CMS
- Publish the blog post
- Promote on social media and to your email list
Clearly communicating your process ensures that the quality of each post is consistent.
In summary, creating these four internal processes can help you scale and streamline your business in 2021 and beyond. Focusing on project management for business owners can help you grow in ways that surprise you.