You may associate project management with major corporations or construction projects, but the skills required to manage a project effectively can be useful for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The tools used by a successful project manager can help you organize your time more efficiently, and check a higher percentage of goals off of your to-do list.

A common problem for small or independent businesses is that there is no system put into place to ensure that work is completed as efficiently as possible. It’s easy for small business owners to think that it’s better for each project to be completed individually, without any processes being developed. Yet the following basic skills associated with project management could help you realize your goals both great and small.

Entrepreneurs working on a project
photo credit: Helsenberg Media

1. Resource Allocation

A good project manager is able to delegate tasks to the individuals who will be best able to perform them. Learning how to find the right people to work with you is an essential component of successful leadership. Resource allocation is something that project managers learn in their studies, allowing them to balance out the workload to ensure that all tasks get completed in a timely manner by the best possible team.

2. Time Management

In addition to doling out tasks and keeping workloads at an appropriate level, project managers are also masters of managing their time. This skill is particularly useful for small business owners, who may complete the majority of the tasks on their own. It’s important to complete tasks in a timely manner, in the correct order to hit your goals. Project managers also are able to monitor a project’s progress and make adjustments to the timeline as necessary.

3. Budgeting

Even if the only cost of a given project is the time you spend on it, this is a resource that must be managed. Indeed, learning how to budget is a big piece of the puzzle. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you may not have access to your own finance department to handle budgeting, so it’s important to learn how to manage your money in the context of the larger goal. This should include forecasting your financial situation, and moving funds around as needed to maximize their use. In addition to project management skills, accounting skills can come in handy for small business owners.

4. Team Management

Do you plan to work with freelancers or your own team of professionals to see a project through to completion? You’ll need to learn how to communicate with them effectively to provide guidance as needed. Project management skills encompass both leadership and administrative tools to help boost team efficiency.

Project management team discussion

5. Problem Solving

Finally, risk management and problem solving are skills honed by any good project manager. They know how to deal with issues that could arise in a way that keeps disruption to a minimum, and create a workable plan of action.

As you’re looking at ways to grow your own business, it may be worth looking into the fundamentals of project management to see how they could help you become a more effective entrepreneur.