Master Project Management: Step-by-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs

What is project management?

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. Think of your business as a project - there are key activities and steps you must take in order to start making a profit!

How can you prioritize time?

A project plan to help your business succeed will have 6 major components: Defining Goals, Developing Scope, Estimating, Planning, Executing and Reviewing.

  1. Define SMART goals

    • The first step is to define the “Why” of your project. Think about and write down what you want to achieve at the conclusion of this project. This is the basic foundation of your project and what will guide you along the way.

  2. Develop Scope

    • With your goals in mind it’s time to think about the “What.” What has to be done in order to achieve the proposed goals above?

    • Define all activities and tasks you need to complete for your business. For example

      • Activity 1: Create your website

        • Sub task 1: Plan your user experience, how do you want customers to navigate your site?

        • Sub task 2: Hire a website designer/developer

    • Prioritize business activities: Handle a logical order and prioritize effectively to make the most of the available resources. Start prioritizing your business activities with our Operational Priorities Template.

  3. Estimate

    • Create your time management plan - estimate of how long each of the defined activity will take to be completed.

  4. Plan

    • Identify how long it will take depending on the resources you have available. Put it on a timeline so you will have a visual of the total time it will take to achieve your goals and complete your project. Check-out some of our favorites, like Asana and Trello, in the “External Resources” section below.

  5. Execute

    • It’s time to get things done. Check your plan daily and follow the tasks you have identified. Problems can appear, so update your plan as you go to keep everything on track. Most important in the execution phase is not straying from your plan.

    • Measure productivity and track progress

  6. Review

    • Reviewing the project is part of the process to ensure you stay on track. You’ll want to do this periodically as you progress through your project and at the end when the project is complete. Reviewing will help you understand what worked, what didn’t work, and will provide you with valuable insight for the next project.

Why is project management important?

And most small businesses can’t afford to waste time and effort spinning their wheels to accomplish work. Using a project management approach in your business can minimize confusion, rework, errors and best of all, it can help you delight your customers.

Pro Tip

When you start out using a project management approach to getting things done in your small business, you’ll most likely use a software tool to help you become even more productive. It’s important to find the right tool to help you achieve those goals, so here’s a five step process that can narrow it down for you.

  1. Detail the requirements you are looking for in a project management tool.

  2. Research your options - check reviews and do comparisons of the software tools

  3. Create a short list of (2 or 3)applications to narrow down your options. Compare features and check what prices match your budget.

  4. Use the free trial period to test the tool.

  5. Pick one! Sign up for your preferred plan, create your team’s credentials, and start using it.

External Resources

Checkout some of our favorite project management tools and resources! Be sure to utilize each platforms’ benefits, like mobile apps!