Staying on track with your business is a necessary process that can quickly become complicated if not done properly. You must ensure that day to day operations like finances and admin are running smoothly, while also making time to check in on your long-term growth.
If you’ve been after an extensive guide on how to track everything from regular business to milestones and client projects, we’ve got it all covered!
Tracking Regular Business
Managing the day to day operations of a business helps you track your progress. If you aren’t tracking regular business tasks, you can’t be confident that you have a solid foundation to establish long term growth.
Here are 4 key areas where organisation is key in order to keep track of your business:
- Workspace: Whether you work from home or on-site, you need to have an organised environment where you know where everything is.
- Computer Files: Having random documents and folders all throughout your desktop will make it harder to find important things when you need them. Take some time to sort through your files, deleting unnecessary copies so you have a clean space, online and offline.
- Paper Notes: Just like your computer files, you don’t want pieces of paper scattered everywhere. You can organise your notes online with Evernote, a great alternative to having to store physical notes.
- Email: Sensing a pattern? If your inbox is overflowing, it’s time for a quick declutter. You can organise emails into different folders so you don’t have to delete anything you may need in the future, but it will help you filter what is and is not relevant as it comes in.
Here are the most important areas of your day-to-day business to keep track of, and how:
- Customer Support: It’s crucial to stay on track with your customers and clients to maintain levels of customer delight. If you have people reaching out with complaints, questions or feedback, you want to quickly resolve and engage with them. Using a system like Groove can help you manage this.
- Expense Receipts: Finances are one of the last things you want to fall behind with tracking. By religiously recording your transactions, filing away receipts and reviewing unpaid bills, you will avoid any future grief with taxes. You can save time by tracking your expenses using tools like Xero, Receipt Bank, FreshBooks, or Expensify, or hire a bookkeeper to streamline this process.
- Invoices and Payments: Tracking your income is just as important to avoiding financial stress and keeping a record of your expenses. To assess your growth, you must promptly process invoices and payments which you can keep track of using the same methods as mentioned above with your expenses.
Tracking and Management Tools
One of the most effective ways to measure the growth of your business projects, teams and campaigns is using external tools made for the specific task. There is a wide range of options available, so it is important to research to find what will suit your business depending on your size, budget and needs. Most platforms listed here offer free plans and/or trials, as well as features for customisation, organisation, integration and communication.
- Hubstaff Tasks: Hubstaff Tasks helps you stay on top of projects and complete them more efficiently with Kanban boards, Agile Sprints, daily standups, and automated workflows. You can easily track each task with labels and checklists, as well as notify teammates with comments. Hubstaff Tasks has two pricing plans: Free and Premium. The Free plan supports up to five users, while the Premium plan costs $4.17 per user per month when billed annually.
- Asana: Asana is one of the most popular, widely used options. Here, you can create automation templates, add security measures, assign admins, and use app integrations. Their pricing options offer a free plan as well as an $11.99 plan per user per month, billed annually.
- ProWorkFlow: ProWorkFlow makes it easy for you to allocate tasks, manage contacts, invoices and quotes. Pricing is based on either a professional plan at $18 or an advanced plan at $27 (minimum 5 users), both per user per month, billed annually.
- Project.co: With Project.co you can communicate easily with project discussion feeds and connect to your email to get alerts and reply directly through your email. Pricing is set at $10 per user per month.
- Trello: Trello allows you to create project templates, customise workflow stages, and add attachments to boards. Their pricing also begins with a free plan, as well as a business class plan at $9.99 per user per month, billed annually.
- Toggl Plan: Toggl Plan offers options for automating task delegation, integration with third parties like Slack and Evernote, and team collaboration. For pricing, their free plan works for up to 5 users, or they offer a premium plan for $8 per user per month, billed annually.
- nTask: With nTask, you can integrate with other third-party apps and utilise various working sections for different tasks and projects. They offer a free basic plan, with pricing for their paid plans set at $2.99 for premium and $7.99 for business, both per user per month, billed annually.
- Teamwork: Teamwork provides features for instant chat messaging within teams, time/milestone and centralising project information. Pricing offers a free plan as well as a pro plan at $10 and a premium plan at $18, both charged per user per month, billed annually.
- Freedcamp: Freedcamp has a message board style discussion feed, calendar view, and app integrations with your Google Drive, Google Calendar and Dropbox. They also have a free plan, with prices for their minimalist plan at $1.49 or their business plan at $7.49, both charged per user per month, billed annually.
- Wrike: Wrike is a platform where you can add security measures, use an activity stream, and use built-in editing and approval features. Their prices have a free plan for up to 5 users, in addition to a professional plan at $9.80 or a business plan at $24.80, both per user per month. They also offer specific plans for marketing/creative teams and services delivery teams, as well as add-on features.
- Paymo: Paymo has features for finance tracking, budget management, timeline organisation and to-do lists. They offer two price options, a small office plan at $8.95 per or a business plan at $14.25, both per user per month, billed annually.
- ClickUp: ClickUp has features for marketing, sales, design and development teams, as well as options for prioritised organisation, goal settings, synchronisation and app integrations. Their pricing has a free plan and an unlimited plan for $7.61 per user per month, billed annually.
- Todoist: Todoist has advanced interactive to-do lists, with features for prioritisation, teams, templates, and tools to incentivise productivity. Their prices also offer a free plan for up to 5 users, with additional $3 and $5 per user per month plans, billed monthly.
Also be sure to check out our blogpost on tracking marketing campaigns, which has some helpful information on analytics tools that you can use across your business. Read it here!
Tracking Your Priorities
An important way to keep track of your business is by regularly checking in on your long-term priorities and how these affect daily operations.
When setting your priorities, be specific so you can optimise how you track your progress and ensure you remain committed to achieving them. Once you know where your priorities are, you need to be selective with your commitments. This means being strict in where you devote your time so you aren’t spending hours on tasks like admin, which can be outsourced or automated.
It pays to remember that despite knowing you only can dedicate so many hours to daily operations if you want to see growth, you can still be generous with your time.
If you decide to turn down something, an easy thing to do is politely decline and recommend someone with the time and capabilities to fulfil the required needs.