11 ways to improve your project management skills as a small business owners

by Jun 6, 2022Blog, Project Management, Solutions

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Project management is an essential skill for any small business owner, and it’s essential for those businesses that operate at a high level of complexity. A small business is typically much leaner than a large corporation. That means you’ll need to learn how to get things done with as little overhead as possible. Of course, this can also be a significant challenge, particularly when managing people and projects with a high level of complexity.

Even the most diligent business owner is only human, after all. As a result, it’s natural that they’ll have to make some concessions in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. For this reason, you must understand how to improve your project management skills as a small business owner. Here are some ways that you can do that.

11 ways to improve your project management skills for small business owners

1. Get Organized

Getting organized might be the last thing on your mind as you ponder what kind of business to start. But there’s no avoiding it: if you want to thrive as a small business owner, you need to get organized. I’m not just talking about your desk here—though we all know that one person who would benefit from tidying up their workspace. The organization is the foundation of any successful project, and it’s especially crucial for small businesses.

Without a clear set of guidelines and documentation, everyone will be flailing around trying to figure out what needs to happen. And this can have massive blowback for your business. You’ll have less time to focus on growing your team or making great products because you’re too busy chasing down information or figuring out who forgot which task on their plate.

So don’t wait until your office gets completely out of hand—take some steps now to organize yourself and reap the benefits later.

2. Manage your time

As a small business owner, you’ve probably realized that managing your project management skills is key to success. The most important thing you can do to improve your project management skills is to manage your time.

Consider the following:

  • Plan ahead and set deadlines for yourself. Break down big tasks into smaller ones and schedule them for specific times. Set reminders for yourself in apps like Asana so that you don’t forget about them. Don’t take on more than you can handle—if you do, everyone involved will suffer due to poor time management. Most importantly, stick to the deadlines you set!
  • Consider using an app to track how much time you spend on different projects or activities. Many apps offer free trials, so try one out and see if it works for you!

3. Hire smart

As a small business owner, you’re often asked to wear many hats. One minute you’re the head chef, and the next, you’re playing plumber to unclog your sink.

So when it comes to assigning a new project, there are many factors for you to consider—not just yourself and your skillset, but also who else within your company can complete this task.

4. Outsource

As a small business owner, you’re responsible for everything that keeps your company running—from marketing and sales to maintaining the hardware and software. Those tasks can often take up more time than you have to spend on other aspects of your job. If you’ve got ambitious plans to grow your business, you must manage these responsibilities effectively.

But what if you don’t want to hire or outsource everything? It’s easy enough to do with a low-cost virtual assistant or contractor/consultant who comes in once a month after work hours. But that’s not the best option. It gets more challenging when you want your employees to do more of their work remotely—for instance, an employee at home who does accounting for your bookkeeping system. You’d need somebody who can handle everything from depositing checks into the bank account (or online) to compiling financial reports every day from online sources like QuickBooks Pro or Intuit TurboTax—a task usually handled by one person in an office environment. When you’ve got multiple employees working remotely, it’s about more than just managing their time; it could mean losing them altogether if something goes wrong with their internet connection or other computer issues pop up unexpectedly and cause them problems dealing with customer service calls in real-time. That kind of breakage is tough to recover from—especially when there is no backup plan in place beyond hoping nobody fails entirely while they deal with downtime.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Those who are less than confident may worry that requesting assistance will make them seem like they’re struggling with the task at hand or can’t handle the job. But in reality, asking for help shows strength, not weakness. It means you’re willing to admit you don’t know everything, and it takes humility to recognize when it’s time to call someone else in. And what better way is there to build strong relationships?

6. Create a project plan

  • Define your project: It’s essential to start a project by defining exactly what you want to accomplish. To do so, create a brief statement that summarizes the outcome of your project and how you will measure success. (E.x., “I will increase my company’s revenue by $1x over the next year.”)
  • Create a schedule: Think about each step you need to take in order to complete your project, then write down all of these steps in chronological order. For example, if you want to increase your business’ revenue by $1x over the next year, define specific tasks such as researching new sales techniques or identifying potential clients on social media.
  • Identify resources: List the people and materials you’ll need for this project. If you’re planning to set up a new social media page for your business, make sure you have someone who knows how to use Facebook or Twitter at hand when it comes time to put together a page.
  • Set deadlines: This is an integral part of any successful project management plan—if there are no deadlines in place, projects can drag on forever without ever reaching completion. Set realistic milestones (e.x., “I’ll research new sales techniques this month and talk with current clients about their needs next week”) and stick with them!
  • Create contingency plans: In many cases—especially when working on long-term projects—it’s wise not only to think about what could go wrong but also to develop plans for dealing with any problems that may arise throughout this initiative (e.g., “If I don’t meet my monthly goals then I’ll look into other ways”).

Test out your plan before putting it into action; review any issues that come up during testing so they can be addressed early rather than later on down the line! You may find that some parts of your initial plan work well while others need some changes; if so – revise accordingly!

7. Listen to feedback

Your project is your baby—you’ve nurtured it, brought it to life, and you want the world to fall in love with it. So why not listen to others?

Feedback from clients, employees, or stakeholders can help you understand how others perceive your project. It can also shine a light on an idea that might need more attention or highlight things that are working well so you can keep doing them.

8. Automate what you can

As a small business owner, you have a lot to think about. That’s why it’s crucial to save time and money wherever you can. When repetitive tasks are handled by software, you can focus on the more important things (like the nitty-gritty of your business). Programs like Zapier allow you to automate your busy work by connecting different apps, platforms, and websites together, so they talk to each other. A few examples:

  • When you receive a response from a submission form on your website, automatically send it as an email or save it in a spreadsheet.
  • In one click, format your sales leads’ contact information into letters that can be printed for mailing or turned into PDFs for emailing.
  • Create automatic reminders for yourself or others on your team (e.g., send an email reminder for next week’s project meeting).

 Automation isn’t just about saving time — it can also help you reduce human error, improve data quality and free up mental space to get back to the things that matter most.

9. Know whent to take a break

It’s impossible to always stay motivated and productive – no matter how much you love it. Taking a break can be beneficial in many ways.

A few activities that will help you relax and gain some energy are: exercising, doing yoga, taking a walk in the park, or just watching a movie. These activities should help you re-energize yourself and return to work more focused. They will also help you become more productive by releasing stress and keeping your body healthy.

Even though we don’t always like to admit it, we all need breaks from time to time. If you feel tired after working on your project for too long, take a break! Don’t worry about losing focus or missing something important – sometimes the best ideas come after taking some well-deserved rest!

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Change is inevitable. And while it may seem easier to stick with the old way of doing things, making adjustments to how you approach project management will help you grow as a small business owner. Change can be an essential part of your evolution as a manager, team member, and business leader. Some key benefits include:

  • Being more flexible and adaptive
  • Learning new ways to perform tasks
  • Growing professionally by developing better skills
  • Re-energizing yourself and your work
  • 11. Use technology to your advantage

    The best part about these tools is that they are all relatively inexpensive and simple. These applications provide templates to create timelines, assign tasks and track progress. Many apps automatically send notifications when a task is completed or overdue so you can keep everyone accountable from start to finish. You can also use your personal calendar notifications as reminders for important dates or meetings.


    Project management is essential for any business that wants to be successful. It’s an essential way of managing all aspects of your company, from the products you produce to the customers you serve. Above all, it’s an essential skill for a small business owner. If you want to be more effective and efficient, you need to learn how to improve your project management skills as a small business owner. Software solutions like Nucleus One offer huge feature sets that can set your small business up for success with solutions for project management, document management, automation for office workflows or approvals, and so much more.

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