Could this transform the way you work?

b2ap3_thumbnail_trello-logo.pngI know I've talked about Trello a couple of times lately but I don't apologise for spending more time talking about it this week because this tool could help you work differently and in turn allow you to take your business to the next level.

I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks developing the way I use Trello in my business and working with clients to implement Trello into their businesses and I thought it might be worth offering you 5 reasons why you should consider using Trello in your business ...

1. Keep your project communication in one place

Trello is built for project management and it has loads of features that help to make project management slick and easy but one of the key things for me is around project communication.  

When you're working with several different people on a project (customers and/or colleagues) there can be a lot of emails flying around and if you're not careful your inbox gets overloaded and you can't always come back to the email you know you've seen a few days ago.  There are a number of tools now that have been designed to take the conversation out of your email inbox and Trello can integrate with some of these.  However, it also has it's own inbuilt platform with the 'Comment' feature keeping a track of what's been said and allowing you to notify specific people when you want to ensure they see it.

Also, you can email-to-boards and email-to-cards, so if you do receive email regarding your project, don't let it sit alone in your inbox, move it over into Trello with the rest of the project.

2. Bring your processes alive and make sure your team are following them

For me this is a biggie.  I have spent the last few years creating process manuals for businesses to ensure that the whole team know how to do everything, should they ever need to know.  

Now there's definitely a place for this, particularly if you're looking to sell or franchise your business or get a manager in to allow your (semi) retirement, but the reality is, on a day-to-day basis, people that are already working in your business are just going to carry on doing what they've always done and not look at your shiny new process manual ... BUT ...

When you turn your process into a Trello board that becomes integral to the way they have to do the day-to-day work, then you can be sure they are following the process you've set and you can see at any time exactly where all your prospects and clients are in your process.

3. Create a central hub for your business, even when you use a number of other pieces of software

I use several pieces of software in the day-to-day running of my business.  In some instances Trello has taken over some of the funtionality of other software (see point 4) but in others it isn't the right tool for the job.  However, I have created a central business hub in Trello so that I can come to one place and link through to the various other pieces of software when appropriate.

4. Manage your sales pipeline and customer onboarding

This is really an example of point 2 in practice and demonstrates where I have chosen to bring a process out of another piece of software (my CRM) and into Trello.

My Sales Pipeline board and Customer Onboarding boards are very visual and allow me to easily move the prospects through my process and see at a glance who's due for follow-up what the next action is with them.  I find it much easier to manage this process in Trello than my CRM but I have automated and manual integrations with my CRM so the two systems work together.

5. Unchain yourself from your email software

Too many of us spend too much time controlled by our email.  I have long preached about only checking your email twice a day but have been guilty of not doing this myself because I have needed to be in my email client to action emails and go through my task list.

I had previously brought my task-list out of Outlook and into Wunderlist but I still was constantly in Outlook for my time management (calendar blocking showing me what I should be working on next) and actioning emails.

I have now brought both of those things into Trello by using the email-to-board feature and setting up a weekly task management board and today is the first day that I've successfully stayed out of my email and have just gone in a couple of times during the day to process what's in there, ie. delete the rubbish, send quick responses and forward messages for action to Trello.

 

I could wax lyrical all day about the wonders of Trello (as I'm sure some of you have heard) but that's just 5 reasons why I think that all small businesses should be at least looking into Trello and finding out if it could transform the way they work.

I'd love to hear about how you're using Trello, if you are already on board (excuse the pun!), and if you want to find out more just get in touch.

 

 

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Do you want to know more about Trello?

This morning I am at Sheffield 4Networking meeting doing a presentation on the 5 pieces of software that I couldn't run my business without.

One of those pieces of software is Trello.

I know more and more people are starting to use Trello but someone just this week said to me "I use Trello but I hadn't thought of using it how you use it" so I thought it might be useful to record a demo of how I use Trello.

I know I did a very brief introduction to Trello a few weeks ago but that simply gave an overview of the sorts of things you could use it for. This demo goes into much more detail about specific boards I use and how to actually do things on Trello such as copying template lists onto a card, etc.

It's not a quick view - it's 26 minutes long - so it is for people who use Trello but think they could use it more/better or for people who want to start using it and need some guidance on how to use it.

 

I hope it's of use and please get in touch if you want to have a chat about how you could use Trello better in your business.

 

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I’m having a love affair in the office

I have to admit to being guilty of having ‘shiny object syndrome’. You know what I mean, the next new shiny gadget (or in my case, piece of software) is introduced and you want to try it.  Like a small child, the old toy gets thrown in a corner and you’re mad for the new toy.

I think over the years my team have got fed-up of me keep changing the software we use as I’m introduced to the next amazing tool that will help us work more efficiently, so I am now consciously trying to stick with the key tools that work well for us and have a very specific role within the business. 

I now have 4-5 pieces of software that are central to how I run my business (bearing in mind we’re a remote team so everything has to be managed online), but there is one piece that has become the king-pin.  I use it internally within the team, with my clients and their teams, with teams I volunteer with outside of work and even just for myself at home.

I’m totally in love with this piece of software. It’s so flexible and I just love to find new ways to use it.  

I discovered Trello a couple of years ago but didn’t really get into it.  It was only last year when I realised it’s potential to be a great hosting place for the process/staff manuals I was building that I investigated it more and understood how many uses this piece of software might have.

If you are old enough to remember T-Card boards that were used in the office or factory back in ‘the old days’, you'll find Trello familiar as it’s basically an online version of a T-card board, but with so much more functionality.

As a brief example, I set up 2 boards last week.  The first was with a business friend who was struggling to manage her sales pipeline.  We set up a Trello board which now clearly shows her the different stages of her pipeline (each stage is a ‘list’) and who is in which stage (each prospect is a ‘card’).  As the prospect moves through the pipeline the card simply gets moved from list to list but with the ability to add notes along the way, attached files and tick off items on a check-list, it’s interactive and an easy way for her and her Marketing Assistant to keep on track with what’s going on- and she no longer has to wait until she's back in the office to get an update on pipeline progress.

The second board I set up was shared with a friend I’m working with to run a children’s Christmas project at our church (I know it’s a bit early but it needs a lot of planning and preparation so we’re starting early!).   The project involves a number of different tented areas with quite a lot of equipment/props/costumes required, scripts, helpers, refreshments, the list goes on, so this is a great way for us to manage each area with check-lists that we can both access so we can see what's been done and not duplicate work.  We can also upload the scripts and forms that will be required so that everything is kept in one place.  This might be an extra-curricular activity but it’s a project like any other and is an ideal use of Trello.

I now have 33 boards and as well as helping me manage my pipeline and work with my clients, it is also a central portal of information within the business - processes and instructions on how to do nearly everything in my business can be found one board or another!

In December I did a brief overview video of Trello so if you haven’t used it before and want to get a feel for what it looks like then take a look, it’s just 5 minutes but will give you an idea of what it’s about.

 

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