Category Archives: Project Management

How to Start Tasks You’ve Avoided Like the Plague

Mark Twain said, “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.” It’s easy to agree (because you’ve totally been there!). However, when it comes to business projects, you won’t get anything done if you keep avoiding tasks and putting them off until the “day after tomorrow.”

In the business world, procrastination is your enemy. Whether you’re procrastinating on a difficult project, avoiding sending that email you know you have to send, or are just too stubborn to delegate—getting enough done each day is a problem most of us face. A recent LinkedIn survey reported that a mere 11% of professionals report accomplishing the tasks they set out to do in a given day. (That means 89% don’t!)

So, how can you boost your own productivity, get started on stuff you’ve been putting off, and head to happy hour or home to be with your family earlier?

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4 Tips for Producing Error-Free Work

errorsWhether you’re taking a new website live or just posting your latest blog post, chances are you’re under a deadline and in a hurry to get across the finish-line. You’re excited to show off your latest creation, and ready to move on to the next thing in your queue, so you finish up, give it all a quick glance, and then take it live!

High-fives all around! Everybody loves what you’ve done and they…wait a minute. Is that a typo? And why is that section completely broken?! Oh, no!! You’ve pushed the go button too soon, and your work is riddled with errors.

Alright, it’s usually not as dire as I’m making it out to be, but rushing to get your work out the door is often the root cause of it not being 100% free of mistakes. The good news is, you can solve this problem yourself by building a period of testing/proofing into your workflow. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through a few tips for hunting those pesky bugs. Continue reading

Goodbye Basecamp, Hello Teamwork!

For many, many years now, Solamar has relied on the project management service Basecamp to manage our team and all of our projects, but recently we’ve begun to run up against the limitations of Basecamp’s offerings.

This is partially because the version of Basecamp we use (Basecamp Classic) is no longer the focus of the company who created it (formerly called 37Signals, now called just Basecamp). They’ve moved on to newer versions of the Basecamp project management system, and while they maintain Basecamp Classic, most of their energy is on development of their new systems.

However, their new systems weren’t really a good fit for us and so we soldiered on with Basecamp Classic. We’ve spent almost a year searching for a new project management system that would serve us well, both now and into the future.

Today, I am happy to announce that our winner is Teamwork Projects, and I’d like to spend a little time talking about it, and why we chose it. Continue reading

How to Start Outsourcing Work if You’ve Never Done It

outsourcingWhen you’re running a small business, it’s tempting to do everything yourself. Because you’re attempting to keep operating costs low and maintain control, you may be resistant to hiring the help you need.

But whether your goal is to grow and scale your company or to sustain your current level of success without burning out, you’re sure to benefit from smart outsourcing. If you’re a solo operator, or even if you have a small team, it’s unlikely that you have both the skill set and the bandwidth to handle all of your business needs effectively.

Outsourcing is the process of assigning specific tasks to someone outside of your business so that you and your employees have the time and space to concentrate on growing and running your company. Continue reading

How to Use Facebook Business Manager

facebook-managerIf you use Facebook as a marketing tool to grow your business, there’s a good chance that you’re wasting time by getting distracted in the process. Whether you pop into Facebook to schedule a status update on your business page, check your notifications, or peek at ad’s performance, what should have taken 15 minutes suddenly sucked you in for 45.

You had good intentions, but then you saw a political rant that made your blood boil, a super cute photo of your friend’s new rescue dog, a hilarious dance video, or an inspirational quote… and where did the time go? Sound familiar?

You either need laser-focused discipline, or better yet — the Facebook Business Manager. It’s a time saver and saving grace for many social media managers and small business owners, and it’s much more convenient to use. When you log in to the Facebook Business Manager, you can bypasses the cat memes and controversy to land directly on a dashboard and get down to serious business. Continue reading

The Benefit of Being Virtual

15142235124_46089cd54d_kWhen Solamar started, we were completely virtual. In those days, the decision was made both out of necessity and a desire to escape from the confines of the traditional corporate environment. For five years we stayed that way, but as we grew, we wanted to have a place to call home, so we opened a fantastic space in Birmingham, AL, in which those of us who live there have been happily working away for the last four years. Now, with nine years of business under our belt, and a staff that’s grown to around 20 people, we’ve decided to return to our roots and go virtual once again. Continue reading

How to Get Supercharged for a New Campaign this Fall

trees-233466_640Fall is finally here. The kids are back in school, your summer vacation has come to an end, and it’s time to get back into your groove. Not that entrepreneurs fully indulge in the lazy days of summer, but marketing activity does tend to slow down a bit as small business owners step away from their laptops for some fun in the sun.

But if you slowed down your marketing, you may be noticing business is a bit slower than you would like right now. If you have a new program or product launching soon or you’re ready to ramp up your sales, it’s time to get moving with your marketing. Now that you’re back into the swing of things, here are 3 ways to get supercharged for your next campaign:

Get Inspired

One of the best ways to supercharge your own marketing is to get inspired by marketing and promotions by other businesses. But rather than looking around your own industry, seek inspiration elsewhere. If you look for inspiration from people in your bubble, you might find yourself inadvertently copying what they do, blending in, or worse yet, getting caught in the comparison trap.

Instead, look around you for inspiration from… Continue reading