4 Project Management SaaS Tools to Increase Productivity and Organization For Your Business
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There is so much great software available now, and some of it includes functions that would have required multiple programs in the past. Whether you’re looking to streamline your own business or that of a client, it’s important to know what’s out there. In this post, Tim Worman outlines four of the most popular project management SaaS (software-as-a-service) on the market today.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel discouraged. After all, you have a lot on your plate. In addition to mastering your craft, you need to master SEO, balancing a budget, project and client management, and business analytics, among everything else.
Fortunately, project management SaaS helps lighten the load. It automates and streamlines tasks, providing structure and freeing up employees’ time. Thus, project management SaaS is invaluable for productivity consultants and other business professionals to cut costs, stay organized, and save time.
It’s especially useful when dealing with more complex projects that have several moving parts. The right project management SaaS enables business owners and startups to break projects into more manageable pieces, providing a birds-eye-view of the tasks at hand.
How to Choose the Right Project Management SaaS For Your Business
So what criteria should you decide when determining the right project management SaaS for your business?
My answer to this question is the same unhelpful tripe you’re probably tired of hearing: It depends.
So let me offer something a little more useful. You should only consider project management SaaS that includes the following:
- Invoice billing
- Task management
- Project/Client management
- Document/Form Creation
Doing so ensures you won’t need additional software down the road. As such, the four project management SaaS products included here offer these capabilities.
But before I go any further, it’s crucial to understand SaaS and its role in business.
What is SaaS and Why Should You Care?
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a web-based subscription model that enables anyone with an internet connection to access data. It operates from a central location where users pay a monthly or annual fee to access – for our purposes – their project management tool.
Some of the world’s most recognizable companies operate a SaaS business model, including Slack, Hubspot, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Dropbox, and Adobe.
SaaS business model has become mainstream, and for a good reason. The benefits are tremendous:
- Cost-effective – There are no licensing, installation, or maintenance fees. Those expenditures are the responsibility of the SaaS platform.
- Recurring Revenue – Charging monthly or annual fees ensures recurring revenue.
- Ease of Use – SaaS apps are notoriously easy to use. Customers login to their account and can immediately pick up where they left off the previous day.
- Scalability – Low monthly/annual subscriptions make SaaS products easily scalable.
4 Project Management SaaS Tools to Consider
Below are four popular project management SaaS tools that provide structure and organization for your business, increasing productivity. While there are many more, these four offer the more impressive array of features at a price point your budget can handle.
Small business owners wear many hats: budget analyzer, employee management, inventory specialist, client acquisition lead, and marketing director, among others. As such, 17 Hats harnesses the need for small business owners to assume many roles and include features that every small business owner needs to grow their business (hence, their name).
A powerful (and free) Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is one of the more enticing features it offers. You’ll have access to all contacts, leads, and clients in one location. However, because it’s free, like every SaaS product, you’re severely limited with what you can do. For example, you’re only given four invoices per quarter to bill clients. So as your business grows, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
17 Hats’ paid plans divide into 3 Automation Levels. Each level has access to all the following features:
- Workplace dashboard to view all client and project activity
- Customer-created documents for every occasion or activity
- Invoicing and recurring billing
- Branding elements
- Automated emails (with templates)
- To-Do workflows
- Task management dashboard
- Client portal
- Online scheduling
- Lead capture form and autoresponder for lead generation
- Advanced analytics
However, the level you sign up for will determine how many documents, invoices, lead capture forms, etc. you have access to and can send to clients.
Other than having an awesome-sounding name, Hello Bonsai is a robust project management SaaS tool. However, unlike the other SaaS tools on this list, it doesn’t have the name recognition that’s often needed to survive in this space. Nevertheless, its client-focused interface more than makes up for it.
Perhaps more so than its competitors, Hello Bonsai is tailored toward client interaction and caters to freelancers.
For example, Hello Bonsai has an impressive selection of predesigned invoices, proposals, agreements, contracts, and quotes forms. It’ll guide you through the sales process of when clients sign up to signing a contract and closing the deal. All conceivable documents, forms, and agreements are readily available and customizable.
Hello Bonsai also includes a task tracking work portal that tracks all workflows and tasks for every client. This portal tracks all your clients’ tasks, to-do’s, the employee assigned to each client, and due dates.
HoneyBook markets itself as an all-in-one business platform. It’s an end-to-end client management system that caters specifically to small- and mid-sized businesses. You can access all projects, client communications, and tasks from your command center. When you click on a project or client, it brings up all communications, documents, forms, and activities associated with said project or client. So, for example, if you’re trying to see what’s going on with a project, you can see all stages, from inquiry to payment, and add an action or pick up from where you left off.
What’s really intriguing is that no chat or communication is lost depending on your number of employees. Since all client activity is in one place, you can pick up where the last employee left off, saving clients (and yourself) the frustration of reiterating past conversations.
Wrike is built for and markets to agencies and team collaboration. While solopreneurs can get some use out of it, you’ll be better off with one of the other options on this list.
Since it caters to teams, many of its features are far more robust than the other project management SaaS on this list. For example, its 3-pane dashboard provides a consolidated view of your entire workflow. The first pane provides a view of all teams, projects, and financials, allowing you to manage resources more efficiently. The next pane enables you to create tasks, assign tasks, set due dates, and finalize approvals. Finally, the last pane lists all current tasks and subtasks, ensuring nothing is overlooked or missed.
From there, you can pull up and gauge your analytics in real-time, use the form builder to create documents using conditional logic, automate workflow with its over 400+ integration, and collaborated team collaboration tools like live editing.
I hope this provided helpful guidance on organizing your business with project management SaaS tools to increase productivity while removing unnecessary stress. If you incorporate these tools into your business and commit to using them every day, there’s no doubt you’ll find the same benefits I’ve enjoyed since taking the leap.
Photo by Vadim Vaseni / DepositPhotos
Tim Worman is a freelance writer for hire who offers ghostwriting, copywriting and blogging services. He works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.