Guest post by Thursday Bram. Thursday offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She blogs about the shift between freelancing and business through her personal blog Thursday Bram and can be reached at www.twitter.com/thursdayb.
At any given time, I have a half dozen projects going.
Those projects can involve clients, writers, designers and anyone else that happens along, which, in turn, requires a way to keep each project organized and everyone informed. Even a minor slip up or a lack of communication can have a ripple effect that could slow down a project, or even two.
Organizing projects (and needing a robust system to do just that)
Finding the right tool for managing all of my projects has been an on-going process, driven in part as I’ve found that I’ve needed to do more. It’s certainly been a learning experience, and I know it’s not over yet. As a freelancer, I relied on having a couple of different task lists that showed me what I needed to do now — I didn’t need to manage much more than getting my work done. But as the type of project I was willing to take on progressed, I needed a system that could sort through what tasks took precedence, as well as keep track of what project individual tasks belonged to. Now, with projects on my plate that have tasks I need to assign to other people, it’s important for me to have a robust system that lets me track those tasks.
Systems that scale with your business
Having to improve and even change the fundamental systems of a business isn’t an unfamiliar concept for anyone operating any kind of business.
As a business grows, the systems that you started with don’t necessarily cover the new parts of your business, or they don’t scale as you have to do certain tasks over and over again.
You get the choice of changing systems — often taking some kind of hit to do so — or stagnating because you simply can’t grow without that additional infrastructure.
Allowing change in your process
Back in the day, I fought hard against changing how I managed my projects from those simple task lists. Sure, it was taking me extra time to handle the growing number of lists and keep straight exactly which list I needed to be looking at — but I probably could have kept on in that fashion. It would have taken me more time every day, which would have minimized the amount of time I could spend on developing my business — but I wouldn’t have to change, buy new software or do anything else.
As long as it brings in new projects and new clients
But I’ve gotten used to the idea that my business’ infrastructure has to grow with the rest of the business. If an application isn’t serving its purpose anymore, I’m willing to chuck it and find something better. I’m even willing to pay more for that new application, as long as it’s going to give me the tools to bring in new clients and new projects.
- Thursday Bram and trusting someone else with your business;
- Straight from 37 Signals and their Basecamp blog on project management in small business.