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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You've got MORE mail :-(

The other evening I watched the old 90's film "You've Got Mail" for probably the 3rd or 4th time.

It takes us back to an era of dial-up broadband, when getting email was exciting.  Nowadays we have too much of it and we can drown under the size of our inboxes.  And with so many emails flying about, often just "for your information", its difficult to keep track, find time to read them and know what to do with them.

That's why today I thought I'd mention messaging software.  

Many of us will be familiar with Facebook Messenger or use What's App but probably you're only using them for personal conversations with friends.  But think how much easier it is to keep a track of the conversation when it's all in one place.  And if there's a group of you chatting it's easy to keep up, even if you've been offline for while.  And your personal inbox is probably getting used less and less - if you want to organise a night-out you just all hop onto your chosen social messaging platform and get it sorted quickly and easily.

So why aren't we doing the same in our businesses?

If you have teams that need to converse over projects or stay in touch about customers and day-to-day business issues, just think how much easier it would be if you were using a messaging platform where you could easily catch-up on the whole conversation, even when you've been in a meeting for half a day.

Just think how much lighter your email inbox would be without hundreds of update emails popping in every week!

Luckily, there are a few apps out there that provide this very service for businesses.

Flowdock is one that I use with some of my customers and it allows you to have a number of different group conversations going on (Flows) as well as 121 conversations, so you can manage the communication for a variety of projects or customers all in one place.

I also use Teamwork Chat with my team as it's part of the project management software that I use and it has the same functionality as Flowdock.

Slack is another popular messaging service but I haven't ever used this one so I can't comment, although as far as I'm aware it has the same functionality I've just described.  

Another bonus is that many of these pieces of software integrate (either directly or through IFTT or Zapier) with project management tools such as Trello, so you really can keep everything out of your inbox.

I love to hear if/how you're using messaging software in your business and which ones.  

P.S.  If your inbox is still filling up and taking over your day, you could always splash out a whole £37 on my 'Tame Your Email' course.

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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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