One of the characteristic growing pains of a small business is struggling with project management. Maybe you used to have a grip on everything, but as more and more work came in (Yay!), it became hard to manage timelines and production. Your Excel sheets grew into massive behemoths that only you can tame, and they are wearing you out. This is a great sign, even though it is probably stressful. Growth is good, and you can get a handle on your project management with custom software.

What about standard project management software?

Many standard project management softwares exist already, and they are readily available for a one-time purchase or monthly subscription. However, they typically are designed to do everything you could ever possibly need. This is great for very large corporations who can hire expert project managers who know the software in and out, or for companies who have a large volume of very detailed projects. So depending on how big your business is and how complex your projects are, they may be a good option. They can be overwhelming to set up, although they do have lots of support and training material. But all of that functionality has a price tag, so they may also be very costly. Some costs may be hidden; the complexity may require a lot of time to learn and use, which increases your overhead even if it isn’t listed on the price tag. The big risk is that you could end up paying for functionality you don’t even need, which can be overwhelming and create more problems than it solves.

What about free project management software?

You have a few other options beside the large project management softwares. Some free or open source tools are available that may work for you. Testing them out is fairly low risk; your biggest risk is them malfunctioning and you losing track of projects. They may also be limited or rigid in their functionality. Free softwares often have low-quality support and maintenance, or you have to subscribe to a premium version for support and training. For new businesses with only a few projects or products, free software can be a great tool for managing projects while keeping costs low.

What about custom project management software?

If both the out-of-the-box and free project management tools don’t fit your business needs, there is a third option. Custom web applications (software) are a lovely middle ground. It can give you exactly the right amount of functionality you need, without overpaying or limiting your options. Custom web applications are designed around your business processes, so they do exactly what you need. The process we use to develop software includes getting to know the details of your business, designing, testing, developing, and testing some more until we get it just right. (Check out our complete process here.) It does take longer to create, and it will cost you more than free options (obviously), but the benefits are lasting. You’ll have a grip on your projects, and the tedious parts will be automated. You’ll have more time, and your stress will decrease. Custom software can grow with your business, with custom upgrades as you need them. Support and training are only a phone call away, and our 100% local team can solve problems and answer questions quickly.

So if you’re grappling with projects and don’t know which software can solve your problems, give Rocket a call and we’ll talk through some options. (970) 482-5790.

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