While not all small businesses and industries are alike, the future viability of many small businesses relies on successfully completing client projects on time and within budget, consistently for each and every client. While generating new sales is certainly vital to the future of your small business, being unable to complete the tasks for which your business has been hired will lead to acrimony with your existing customers, poor online reviews, potentially even civil liability, and, eventually, fewer new clients, no matter how talented your branding, marketing, and advertising efforts may be. Project management isn’t easy – in fact, some business professionals specialize in just project management! If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or manager without extensive project management experience, choosing the right software or platform can make all the difference.

Project Management Isn’t Easy

Despite the importance of effectively managing new projects for your business, many entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business managers don’t have a formal framework and infrastructure in place for actually, you know, managing their projects! Some believe that they or another employee can handle the responsibilities of managing a project, which may be true. However, what happens if you or your employee forgets something, or is forced to take a sudden leave from work? Would the entire project fall apart without that guidance and leadership? It pays to begin utilizing a software application or online platform specifically designed to effectively organize, manage, and track each stage of your projects, ensuring that they are completed on time and within the client’s specifications and budget.

Wrike: Our Preferred Project Management Platform

At Blue Zenith, we utilize Wrike, an online project management platform, to manage our client projects. We try to identify and eventually utilize applications, platforms, and services that provide us with enterprise-level tools and features at a price that is reasonable enough to work within our company’s budget. Wrike offers just that – an enterprise-level project management platform that is affordable enough for small businesses – while also offering a key advantage over their competitors. Wrike is incredibly easy to setup and use, with little setup time or, more importantly, training required. If you are unwilling or unable to invest in a project management tool, Wrike offers a free tier of service for up to five users with a slightly limited range of services.

Zoho Projects: Another Great Alternative For Small Businesses

Zoho Projects, part of Zoho’s suite of business applications, is a great alternative for small businesses that need a truly free project management solution, one that offers all options and features without the limitations usually imposed on “free” users by other providers, although the free tier is limited to only one project at a time. As we previously mentioned, in addition to a fully-featured project management service, Zoho also offers a full suite of other applications, including an email service, document management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and other services. While not all services offer a truly free tier, businesses can pick and choose which Zoho services they need, which can offer significant savings over other “all-in-one” business application providers.

Teamwork Projects: Simple and Elegant

Last but not least, Teamwork Projects is an excellent option for freelancers and very small businesses. They offer a simplified interface, powerful tools, and a very reasonably priced starter tier that’s only $12 a month! Because Teamwork Projects has such an intuitive and refined interface, minimal setup and training is required to utilize the service, and new users can quickly determine if the service is the right one for their business without investing money or a lot of time setting up and training users. Best of all, Teamwork Projects has now added chat functionality, which was previously and very notably missing, bringing their offering in-line with other providers such as Wrike and Zoho.