In the past two years, organizations of all sizes have been affected in ways that go beyond their finances, like the shift to remote work and the demands of consumers.

Small businesses in particular have to be proactive in finding and creating solutions for a more sustainable, engaging, and transparent business model, so they can take care of their employees and customers while knocking out projects, initiatives, and long-term goals.

A Work OS presents small businesses with easy-to-implement, custom workflows that foster swift and accurate data-driven decisions. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of a Work OS and most importantly, how it can change the way a small business operates.

What is a Work OS? 

A Work Operating System (Work OS) is an open platform where teams create and customize the solutions they need to execute faster, be more agile, and move at the speed of business. Work OS platforms are designed to stand the test of time by scaling with an organization’s growth and adapting to any industry or team.

monday.com’s Work OS makes it possible for anyone to create the tools they need to run every aspect of their work, from everyday work to projects that span months. By combining building blocks, like apps and integrations, team members have the power to build or customize the solutions that best suit them.

What does a Work OS do?

The goal of a Work OS is to give an organization the flexibility to empower employees and unlock their true potential—while saving time. A Work OS goes beyond a task management tool or project management software by providing the means to:

  • Create workflows
  • Assign task owners
  • Visualize work in a variety of views i.e. Gantt Chart, Kanban View, Timeline View, and more
  • Import and export files and data
  • Implement workflow automation for mundane and repetitive tasks
  • Bring team communication in one place
  • Generate sleek dashboards and reports
  • Integrate with your most essential tools

In addition to increasing productivity as a result of the above, monday.com’s Work OS offers enterprise-grade security, multi-level permissions, enhanced asynchronous collaboration, and advanced reporting. Our teams are also constantly developing new features to improve the way you get your work done.

Adopting a Work OS can improve the way small businesses and corporations alike run their work because it creates a 360-degree view of workloads, resources, and information needed to analyze their progress and success in real-time.

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Why is a Work OS important for small businesses?

A small business juggles several functions from operations and finance to marketing, so they need a wide variety of capabilities. monday.com’s low-code Apps Framework—for building custom applications— allows small businesses to create their own custom apps or take advantage of apps available in the marketplace instead of relying on several tools. Here are just a few use cases for a Work OS for small businesses:

  • CRM
  • Non-profit volunteer management
  • Event planning
  • Web store
  • Content creation
  • And more

In an effort to stay competitive and relevant for their target consumers, many small businesses are evolving in two main areas:

Company culture

Small businesses typically have smaller, close-knit teams, but this doesn’t always mean that the spirit of collaborative culture is in place.

In a 2017 Stanford study, it was found that even the perception of collaborating on a task instead of a solitary manner can boost performance, engage team members and reduce fatigue.

For many small businesses, this is easier said than done. Implementing a Work OS can help a small business bring this culture to life in two ways:

  • Champion transparency: A Work OS gives everyone access to the organization’s larger goals, who is responsible for what, and even the amount of time or resources required. The more aligned your team is on their individual goals and how it relates to the grander objectives of the business, the better their morale and investment—and hopefully productivity—will be. 
  • Increase in-context communication: monday.com’s Work OS lets you provide immediate feedback in a thread each item in a workflow. This reduces time wasted on disorganized email and chat threads and makes sure feedback is always in the context of specific projects. 

Increased responsibility in the workplace

Within just two months of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations could see and feel the change at work beyond shifting to remote. Many individuals found themselves stepping into increased responsibility at work or changes in their roles. A Work OS can help smooth some of ripples in this transition in a couple of ways:

  • Team management: With more than a few team members wearing several hats, it’s important to have an accurate and easy way to understand everyone’s workload and capacity to avoid burnout. monday.com has a Workload view for that purpose and more. This added visibility enables managers to see work across departments, too. 
  • Shift from execution to empowerment: In a recent Forbes article, Melody Wilding, LMSW, describes how some team members may find themselves with more responsibility and get sucked into over-functioning. The ease of a low-code/no-code, drag and drop Work OS can help empower these employees to not only manage their own time more efficiently but to also clearly visualize where it makes sense to pass off other tasks.

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Are there any challenges to implementing a Work OS?

When small business owners first search for a Work OS, they might be pleasantly surprised by the seemingly large number of options out there. However, what comes after the signup and subscription—implementation—can cause a few hiccups if you don’t choose the right platform.

After all, you want to choose a platform that can be customized to fit your small business, rather than your team having to fit their needs to a rigid software’s structure. Learning a new tool takes time, so choosing one with an easy-to-use interface is essential.

monday.com is the perfect environment for easy implementation and continued flexibility and support as your business pivots strategy or project direction and size. monday.com also has a Template center and 24/7 customer support to help you every step of the way.

You will also want a Work OS that offers a mobile app, so you can manage things on the go.

Key functionalities to look for in a Work OS

A small business has many functions in one. Here’s a snapshot of some of your top business functions and how a Work OS can help.

Automations

As a part of the HR functions of your business, managing important duties like payroll, time tracking, and more can get scattered fast. You can use automations to help with a number of these types of tasks, such as processing employee paperwork.

For example, when an employee submits a new vacation request and it comes to a manager for review, you can automatically send an email notifying the employee that the request was received with an explanation of next steps.

automations menu

Templates

Marketing and sales management go hand in hand with the success or evolution of your small business, but it’s not always easy to know how to map them out. A Work OS should have a robust offering of templates, so you can become an owner and executor of all of your workflows and then convert them into dashboards and reports. The added bonus? You can get started fast with tried-and-true templates.

Surveys and forms

As a small business owner, you know how crucial a deep understanding of your customers and their satisfaction is to your success. Look for a Work OS like monday.com that lets you create customer satisfaction surveys and forms whose answers will automatically populate your main workspace or board. From there, you can gain insight to your customer’s opinions and motivations and make accurate, data-driven conclusions about your strategy.

3 small business problems: solved

Small businesses are unique in a number of ways, from their size to their product, and of course the way they tend to interact with consumers. In order to not get lost in the mix, we’ve compiled three pain points your small business could be facing, and how a Work OS can help you pivot and thrive in spite of them.

Problem #1: Remote Work

If many of your employees have shifted from in-office colleagues to remote or hybrid teammates, adjustments must be made.

How a Work OS can help:

A Work OS is perfect for your business’ remote workforce because you can use it to manage work schedules, send important updates, and collaborate on work all in one intuitive platform with a mobile app.

Problem #2: Money and shopping is going digital

The phrase “Cash is king” appears to be going out of style, especially when it comes to business. According to Finaria.it, digital payments will reach $6.6 trillion in 2021, which is a 40% jump in just two years.

Cashless payments are appealing to customers because of easy-to-use methods in addition to COVID-19’s effect—people are embracing contactless payments as a part of their personal safety measures. This too is a nod to the rise of e-commerce in general. The most competitive businesses are making their offerings available online to stay connected with their customers.

How a Work OS can help:

Making the transition from storefront to online isn’t the easiest process, especially if your business has run a certain way for years.

monday.com’s Work OS offers integrations with e-commerce platforms like Shopify, which makes getting a high-level view of your store in one place and automatically tracking your products, inventory, and orders much smoother.

For example, with the Shopify and monday.com integration, you can get notified when an order comes in and coordinate with your team to get your products shipped. From there, it’s easy to keep track of what needs to go to whom and make sure it gets there on time. You can also track inventory with our premade inventory management template.

Problem #3: Time and money lost to inefficient and non-secure processes

Responsible and caring employers must work to create a safer and more efficient work environment, whether it’s fully remote or in-person. Many people don’t make the connection that doing this can in turn positively impact your bottom line. Let’s see how a Work OS can help you do it.

How a Work OS can help:

monday.com can help your small business go paperless, which will benefit the environment and the way your small business runs. Here are just a few benefits to making the switch:

  • Saves money: The cost of working with paper can add up to $400,000 per year.
  • Saves time: An average of 4 weeks of productivity is lost for a business each year waiting on misfiled, mislabeled, untracked, or lost paper documents.
  • Easier to transfer information: monday.com offers cloud storage so all of your documents can live in one place where you can search for and share them easily when you need them.
  • Allows for stronger security: In 2020, there were more than 1,000 data breaches in the U.S. Naturally, going paperless or more digital raises the fear of hackers. You can read more about monday.com’s security measures here

Small business success story: Kim Garst

Part of your research when it comes to Work OS would plausibly be testimonies from customers who have used them and achieved success. So you won’t have to look too far, we’ll give you a brief overview of one of ​​Kim Garst, Founder & CEO of KG Enterprises, LLC – a leading marketing, consulting, and training agency— who used monday.com’s Work OS to rapidly scale her profits, business, and her remote team.

With a full plate including managing a blog and a new client, Kim and her sister, Ronda, saw the need for a flexible platform that would allow them to build out the workflows and processes to suit their unique needs that would also serve a growing and globally distributed team (by 600% so far).

After using the monday.com free trial, the duo used it for a wide range of functions, from communicating, collaborating, and coordinating with employees and clientele across multiple time zones to hiring staff or building content for her blog with defined, repeatable processes no matter where they are. For the full story, you can read here.

Taking small businesses to big success

Shifting work environments and the constant change of consumer demand can place a lot of stress on small businesses—it requires them to find solutions that can help them pivot and scale with ease while prioritizing their employee and customer satisfaction.

In order to juggle their needs from A to Z, small businesses can use an easy-to-implement and intuitive tool like monday.com Work OS to maximize their productivity and create customizable solutions to help them succeed.

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