Business Management Platforms? What You Need to Know [Guest Post]

06/10/2013 4 min read Written by Lynton

affinity live work systemWhen all of your business is scattered amongst email conversations, spreadsheets, and other documents, organizing that data becomes a job of its own. Ideally, a company could leverage that information by having it all in one system. With the right features, you can optimize for team collaboration, time management and getting paid for the work you do. There are many web-based platforms out there, but which one is right for your particular business?

It can be daunting, with the time it takes to research, test and implement. A large part of the process is analyzing your business processes, establishing needs and comparing those needs against the types of services that are out there. 

It can be daunting, with the time it takes to research, test and implement. A large part of the process is analyzing your business processes, establishing needs and comparing those needs against the types of services that are out there.

Many SaaS platforms handle one or more of the following features: project management, contact management, sales (CRM), invoicing & accounting, time-billing, contracts, proposals, help desk and support tickets, email syncing, integrations, and reporting and analytics.

Here’s what you should consider when searching for the right business management platform:

Collaboration Tools

The most useful part of any project management platform is the fact that a group of people can collaborate on a single project from anywhere. Being able to collaborate on project resources, manage users, assign tasks and coordinate schedules is helpful to any remote team. 

    • To-do lists
    • File sharing
    • Milestones
    • Time tracking
    • Project overview

Task Scheduling

When applied correctly, task scheduling is an incredibly crucial part to any project process. The ability to allocate tasks to different people and create dependencies on sub-tasks will help get all staff on task and on time.

A good example of hybrid project management is a software that allows the project manager to set up general milestones and the sub-tasks are left to the individual team-members to set for themselves. It’s a middle ground between to-do’s and objectives. 

File Storage and Sharing

Upload documents and files to share with your project group. This is one of the best ways to get an overview of the project you’re working on in terms of deliverables. It also makes it so that you don’t have to go hunting through email chains for content.

Time Tracking and Dependencies (Task hierarchies)

The size and depth of a project can be diluted over time with strategic milestones, hierarchies and dependencies assigned by date and staff. This is one of the most essential features of a project management system.

Reporting and analytics

If a project management software has reporting capabilities such as dashboards, you’ll be able to visualize a project with graphs, charts, and assess risk. The following are different types of project reporting

    • Gantt Charts
    • Activity Streams
    • Single-user views
    • Timesheets

Tips for migrating

Evaluate multiple applicationsThe biggest mistake you can make is to not consider alternatives. Choosing a web-based platform to manage your company data is a long-term commitment, so make sure to date around before you tie the knot.

Establish goals and needsWhile shifting, you should have a clear idea about results you expect from it per quarter.

Deploy quicklyThe migration should be treated like a project of its own, and should be down quickly, or else your business may suffer some potential losses.

Consider integrations and add-onsDon’t overlook the different combinations you can create with platforms that connect to each other. Many do-- so take a look at integration partners and find what’s right for you. It could be that a project management software talking to an accounting software does the job for you.

Exporting data in standard formatsFor added security and other obvious reasons, you will want to be able to export your data as back-up.

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This is a guest post by Sarah Khogyani, marketing coordinator for AffinityLive an all-in-one CRM, project management, client support, time billing and invoicing platform.


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By: Lynton

Lynton is a HubSpot Elite Partner that provides certified knowledge and tools to grow your business through integrated inbound marketing, including lead generation strategies, website designs and development, and CRM integrations.

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