Project management made easy for small business owners

By Henry Brown

Running a small business usually involves overseeing a series of projects. Although your job title may not include the words project manager, achieving success in business frequently boils down to having the ability to control situations and deliver on promises. If you’re keen to hone your project management skills, here are some steps to follow.

Understand the project

Before you start making any plans at all, it’s essential to ensure that you understand exactly what the project entails, what the client expects and how long you have to complete the task in hand. A lack of clarity can lead to mixed messages, miscommunication and mistakes. Break the project down into manageable segments and go through every stage, making sure you know what you need to and how long it will take. Make sure you’re able to provide your team with information and advice on the ins and outs of the project and are able to answer questions.

Plan ahead

Once you know everything there is to know about the project, you can start the planning process. At this stage, it’s wise to get together with employees and colleagues, think about whether you need to hire additional recruits or freelancers and make sure you’ve got everything you require to complete the project. Do you need more staff? Do you need specialist equipment, software, tools, vehicles or machinery? If you’re running a project and you need to hire business vehicles for the duration of the task, firms like Flex Fleet can help. If you need a particular machine or specific tools, contact hire companies and get some prices. If you need people with specialist skills that you don’t already have on the team, place an advert online for freelancers or contact recruitment agencies. It’s always best to ensure that you’re fully prepared before the start date.

Set clear objectives

When you’re briefing your team, highlight the main objectives, set targets and be clear about deadlines. It’s so important that every single person understands their role and knows what needs to be done. Organize a meeting and offer the chance for people to come and see you on a one-to-one basis if they have questions or concerns.

Check in

Any good manager will keep a close eye on the project to monitor progress and ensure any potential issues are flagged and addressed as early as possible. Keep in touch with your team, host regular meetings and set interim deadlines throughout the process to ensure you’re hitting the major milestones.

The finishing touches

Before you invite clients to look at your work or you hit the submit button, focus on the finishing touches. This may involve proofreading and formatting a written report or carrying out a final inspection on a construction site. You may just notice a tiny imperfection or an error that will cause the project to fall short of the client’s expectations. By finding it first, you can avoid such an outcome.

Managing projects is an incredibly useful skill to have as a small business owner. If you’re new to leading a team or you have limited experience of overseeing projects, hopefully, this guide will prove useful.

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Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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