When you imagine a startup, you likely imagine sharp professionals who think fast and act faster, responding to market changes and new developments with poise and zeal. And while there’s some truth to that inherent agility, the reality is that a great business rarely comes without sufficient planning.

Throughout this project management for entrepreneurs guide, you’ll learn about best practices for managing  budding business projects effectively, and we’ll give some real-world examples of project management in an entrepreneurial environment. You’ll also see how project management software, such as monday.com, makes all the difference in the world of startups. But first, let’s find out why project management for entrepreneurs matters.

Get started

Why project management for entrepreneurs matters

In most big businesses, the processes and frameworks of project management are fairly standard. Project managers define scopes, scheduling, and budgets and assign team members tasks. But in startups and small businesses, project management disciplines are eschewed in favor of flexibility and fast responses. It’s easy to understand why — when you’re in the early stages of a business, agility is prized highly. Yet for new founders , taking pages from the more disciplined aspects of  project management is incredibly valuable.

Whether you’re creating a new business or looking for investors for your new venture, if any activity requires a series of steps, you should manage it like a project.

Leveraging a thorough project management process has a significant impact on success. Statistically, it equates to higher chances of delivering on time and under budget.

Project management is all about defining goals, devising strategies to reach those goals, and prioritizing the necessary actions to execute those strategies. These skills are invaluable to an entrepreneur. When an entrepreneur develops and leverages skills in management, operations, and strategy, even the smallest efforts can result in big payoffs. And those efforts apply in almost every business instance that matters from managing resources to strategizing

Instances where project management is a good choice for entrepreneurs

If you want your new business endeavor to succeed, it’s important to see it for what it is: one big project made up of smaller projects and tasks that when managed effectively, provides higher chances of success. Learning the foundations of project management will help entrepreneurs of every type overcome any kind of startup challenge, such as those we’ve outlined below.

Collaborative environments

For entrepreneurs managing a team, collaboration is the bread and butter of business success. A solid vision is one thing, but maximizing a team’s efforts requires collaboration and communication. What’s more, great collaboration tools help entrepreneurs widen their nets and start their venture with the perfect team members.

For bootstrappers in particular, being able to choose talent from across the globe gives a sharp edge over the competition. But entrepreneurs need equally powerful tools in place to make this level of collaboration possible.

Limited resources

One of the biggest challenges of new business is managing tight resources

Project management is the key to managing these resources. It gives you the tools and techniques to see exactly where your resources go — in terms of money and time. The cherry on top is that when investors start looking at your business, you can demonstrate how well you manage your resources with real data.

Learning and strategizing

Good decisions and solid strategies are key to success in the early days of a business. For this reason, it’s crucial to measure both individual project outcomes and how those fit with the larger business plan. With good project management practices in place, tasks, activities, and all their results are thoroughly documented, providing leaders with hard data for making decisions.

For business owners, this means reaching goals more quickly and efficiently while building a valuable information cache for future strategies. If you want to maximize these results, however, you need the right tool for the job.

Get started

How entrepreneurs can use monday.com for project management

If you began your venture with a business plan in place, you took a great first step. But if you want to maximize the strategies you defined, you need a Work OS that helps you plan, measure, and optimize your actions and provides you with useful insights into their efficacy. monday.com gives you all of that.

A data-first Work OS, such as monday.com, helps you play the long game by giving you effective insights into workflows, task progression, and more. And with dozens of integrations, monday.com can turn the data from all your other tools into action items that help you strategize even further.

monday.com’s intuitive task boards mean you can effectively manage the process to help build your business by delegating tasks to your startup team. And with visual tools, such as Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and pre-set templates you can track progress with the click of a button, leaving you to focus on your overall business strategy.

Get started

Project management templates from monday.com help you create customizable workflows fast

Single project template

Time is everything for an entrepreneur, and there’s rarely enough of it. This single project template gives you some of your time back by providing you with everything you need to organize a single project. You can jump straight into planning and onto getting things done and monday.com’s flexible customizations mean you can add the functionality and workflows you need with ease.

Project charter template

A fantastic project management starting point for any entrepreneur is this project charter template. With a couple of clicks, you can ready your business to find sponsors, manage team members, and visualize everything from tasks to decision-making. Easily collaborate across teams with real-time collaboration and gain valuable insights into business efforts using data from the tools you already use. It’s the perfect companion for every entrepreneur turned project manager.

For the information-hungry startup founder, the following questions and answers will round out your project management knowledge.

FAQs 

Why should an entrepreneur prepare the project themself?

The skills that lead to entrepreneurial success are often the very same skills required of a project manager. Project success means clearly defining goals, planning strategies for achieving those goals, and identifying possible pitfalls along the way. From an entrepreneurial perspective, these same principles apply to business research, sales strategies, market analysis, and operations. When a founder plans a project themselves, they can align goals to larger business strategies to help reduce risks, map challenges, and devise the best path forward for the overall business.

What are the five stages of project management? 

The five stages of project management methodology, developed by the nonprofit Project Management Institute, include:

  • Conception and initiation: During this stage, the project manager defines the project in broad terms, sometimes defined by a business charter.
  • Planning: The planning stage is paramount to project success and involves defining the project’s scope and creating a roadmap for a team to follow.
  • Execution: During the execution stage, the team works through tasks and activities and produces deliverables to move the project along.
  • Performance monitoring: Using key performance indicators, or KPIs, the project manager measures the results of the execution to determine whether a project is on track.
  • Project close: The final stage is the formal project closer, where the team measures their successes and setbacks and identifies pain points where they can improve for future projects.

Using the right entrepreneurial tools for the job

Creating and running a startup is risky. But with a project management mindset, entrepreneurs can learn from the 10% of startups that succeed every year and turn their small business into a results powerhouse.

One of the most prized and valuable qualities of a startup is its agility. But that doesn’t mean project management is something you should ignore. Instead, find valuable project management tools for entrepreneurs that champion that same agility and enable simplicity in workflows, so you can focus on results.