Even with a great team on board, startup founders find it difficult to ensure streamlined operations across their departments. This often results in chaos, missed payments, and general feelings of frustration.
How does this actually happen? Well, when building a successful startup, a lot of time and investment is poured in. Team members are constantly putting in hours from across different departments, not only to help drive the business, but also as part of company culture and camaraderie.
The problem, therefore, is often unrelated to the actual staff, but rather arises from the inability to see the entire picture in order to help maximize efficiencies.
Achieving Victory Through Better Organization
This is where deciding on a system of order to help things run smoothly among your R&D, marketing and sales teams kicks in. Here are three true and tested ways to help instill order to different facets of your startup.
Prioritizing Planning and Customer Requests
With all the tasks needed to be completed on any given day, it’s not surprising that some items get lost along the way. Being able to actually prioritize certain tasks and client requests can help prevent bottlenecks from forming. Using different organizational tools can help you oversee where and when your team is falling behind, while customer messaging software and platforms such as Intercom enable to you to stay on top of specific key requests that should make their way into the product pipeline. All of this enables you to make smarter decisions regarding prioritization, staffing and budgeting.
The bottom line: Startup owners should have a clear vision of where they see themselves both now, in the near future, and long-term in order to best keep track of progress and make adjustments accordingly.
Keeping Track of Invoices
Some startups are so busy with their daily activities that they actually forget to send invoices to their clients. That’s where things tend to get sticky, usually ending up with sending an employee, or even worse, yourself, on debt collection duty.
As the ultimate reason we run a business is to make money, this is clearly a reflection of poor organization, one that can thankfully be addressed given the emergence of great software and tools to optimize invoicing. For instance, WorkflowMax enables users to customize the layout of invoices, from both a content and visual aspect, and send them right away to staff or clients.
The bottom line: As a startup, ensuring an orderly process of invoicing helps maintain a steady workflow and a healthy cash balance to keep your business afloat.
As your startup continues to grow, the amount of coordination needed among your workforce increases. Adopting project management software, especially with embedded dashboard and visualization features such as those offered by dapulse and Asana, can help relieve some of this accompanying stress by providing ways to assign specific projects to team members with clear and distinct target dates to meet startup growth trajectory. My own personal favorite application for project and task management is Trello – it can be customized and tinkered with, to seamlessly integrate with your startup. It’s also extremely user-friendly and doesn’t come off as over complicated for employees to roll with.
The bottom line: In an orderly system, different departments are constantly updated—ideally in real-time—regarding the activities and progress of other staff members. This ensures a more cohesive team effort that directly contributes to the success of your business.
Finding the Right Balance Between Order and Passion
While order is incredibly important for achieving steady progress for your startup, finding the right balance between that structure and the passion you have for your business is essential.
It is nearly impossible to substitute the desire to perform and succeed with tools and software. However, by considering the use of project management and invoicing software, you can better prepare yourself and your staff for sustainable productivity and business growth. These are only a few tools that will help you turn passion into execution when it comes to the many tedious tasks involved in running a company. Be sure to make mental room for these, as there’s no substitute for good organization.
This is something everyone on your team can and should support. Implementing new systems and tools within your workforce also takes time, diligence and even a bit of psychology know-how for the sake of seamless synchronization – be patient and good things will follow.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.