There are hundreds of amazing, cheap-or-free online tools that we entrepreneurs can use to keep our businesses organized. If you’ve got a meticulously designed workflow, a skilled team to execute on it, and the right tools to keep work on track, there’s nothing you can’t do!
Well…except grow your business at an exponential rate, constantly add new clients and products, and expect to oversee it all single-handedly. You’re a bona-fide superwoman, obvs, but even superwomen need sleep. (Sometimes.)
Big growth spurts are incredibly exciting, but also challenging to navigate, which is why many business owners opt to hire project managers.
Project management software can be a life-saver when growth is slow, but if your workload is outpacing your team, it helps to bring in an actual person to monitor and manage progress on important deadlines.
Many of my colleagues insist that their project managers have prevented countless business disasters, especially when dealing with large, complex, or long-term projects.
Think you might need to bring a project manager onto YOUR team?
Before you start interviewing candidates, let’s talk about what a good project manager will and won’t do for your business.
What does a project manager do #1: liaison
Virtual teams are marvelous, but come with unique challenges. When you don’t see your contractors face-to-face, wires can get crossed and expectations can get muddied.
A project manager works to facilitate communication between the business owner and the rest of the team, ensuring that everyone is informed, connected, and all on the same page.
What does a project manager do #2: organizer
One of the most important functions a PM serves is to monitor deliverables and due dates. She is tasked with following a job from concept to execution to delivery, and ensuring it’s done right every step of the way.
A top-notch project manager will maintain and update schedules for each task, and check in with all contributors on a regular basis.
What does a project manager do #3: conduit
Many miscommunications and dropped deadlines are the result of confusion over task ownership and handoff.
When you’ve got a project manager on your team, that person becomes the single point of contact for the work she oversees. She’ll hand off of project elements between team members (e.g. ensuring the proofreader gets the content from the ghostwriter), and take responsibility for passing work from freelancer to freelancer.
A project manager is NOT …
- A babysitter. Although she can nudge team members, she shouldn’t be expected to actively manage freelancers who are chronically late turning in their work.
- A warden. Her job is to keep the project going, not reprimand her fellow team members when they slack off. (Unfortunately, that falls to you as the business owner!)
- A magician. She’ll make your team as efficient as possible, but your PM can’t turn back time or transform shoddy work into greatness.
The biggest benefit of hiring a project manager?
When you have someone dedicated to keeping projects on schedule, it allows YOU to focus on the money tasks instead of chasing due dates!
You might balk at the idea of paying for a project manager to organize and motivate your other team members, but doing so really is an investment in your long-term success.
She’ll keep current work on-track, you’ll bring in new clients and collaborations, and your business will bloom.