In a world that’s rapidly shifting to remote work, one of the biggest challenges many companies now face is dealing with remote staff. Brady Kirkpatrick of GunMade.com shares how it can be difficult to manage projects and find ways to improve internal communication, especially during this time. For him and his company, one of the best investments they made was project management software.
A project management software is an amazing way for them to streamline their team’s projects. It also makes it incredibly easy and efficient to see who’s tackling what tasks and what deadlines look like. As the manager and owner of the company, Kirkpatrick doesn’t have to bother his team as much during the day since he can see what’s getting done and what’s falling behind.
Being remote has been a big challenge for many companies that have multiple people putting their hands in the cookie jar, and having a simple, yet powerful project management tool can really increase team’s communication. To add to that, we’ve talked to a handful of industry experts and asked them for tips on how to increase small- and medium-sized enterprises’ overall productivity.
Unleash Your Inner “MVP”
When starting a new business, many people fail because they’re trying to get their product to 100% before releasing it. Don’t be afraid to unleash your minimum viable product (MVP) with just your main feature, add on the rest, and refine UX later. If you spend a lot of your time in the development stage, trying to get everything “right,” someone will come out and release your product before you do.
Once you release your MVP, get feedback from your users, and refine based on that. You may find that the features you had planned don’t make sense for your target audience or that your customers want to prioritize a different feature release instead. You’ll spend time gaining users and feedback versus nitpicking with the dev teams.
– Ron Evan Del Rosario, Digital Marketing Specialist, Thrive Internet Marketing Agency
Accomplish Tasks Efficiently
First off, it’s imperative to prioritize the most important tasks. Make sure your team knows what the priorities are and how/who to accomplish them, as small businesses don’t have extra resources to get caught up in noncritical tasks.
Second, you have to automate tasks. Tasks such as SEO, IT, or web design take up a lot of time and can take your focus away from the core things. You can outsource these jobs as this will save you time and will help you to shift your focus on the important work. Small businesses should automate as many tasks as possible to achieve high productivity.
Lastly, have an open communication. To increase productivity, it’s important that your team is on the same page and they know what their target is. You can hold daily or weekly stand-ups with your team in which two things can be discussed. First what task they did yesterday and secondly what task they will be completed today. This also ensures the project is completed in a timely fashion.
– Azza Shahid, Gigworker
Prioritize Automated Communication
I’ve always been a fan of systems and technology for the express purpose of increasing your productivity. Today’s tech is so pervasive that we as busy entrepreneurs now have a full Costco-sized toolbox to make our workday more efficient. When I say automation, I mean setting up a tool to automatically carry out a task when it receives some sort of trigger action from you.
Several entrepreneurs allow their inboxes to be flooded with thousands of emails; worse, there are hundreds of emails unread. Whether you’re an Outlook or a Gmail fan, there are tons of rules/filters and categories/labels to do a lot of the work for you. If you don’t know how, YouTube will be happy to show you. About 80% of my incoming mail gets automatically categorized and filed for me so I can actually FIND something when I need it. As of this moment, I have 5 (five) emails in my inbox. The other emails have either been filed (no action required) or moved to tasks so that I can schedule those items to get done on time.
Whether you’re a Constant Contact or a Mailchimp person, these tools come with cool automation features that you may be unaware of. Yes, it takes some upfront work, but you can set up a series of emails to be delivered at scheduled intervals only to people who are in a certain list; and they get in that list when they indicate their interest in a topic by clicking on a link in your email. Let’s say you write about Widget A — they click on the learn more link you placed in your email that goes to a blog or landing page — the action of their clicking places them in a specific Widget A Interest list — they begin receiving a series of emails dedicated to learning more about Widget A. Imagine if you had to keep track of all this and do all this manually.
– Susana Fonticoba, Small Business Strategist