Running a virtual assistant business offers so many benefits to you as a business owner, your clients and those you bring on board as a support team for own business and client accounts. It can also be a real headache if you don’t have the right foundations in terms of core systems and processes.
If you’re looking for the right system to manage your internal projects and tasks, as well as being a rock solid central hub for managing those for your clients, and collaborating with your clients and team alike … look no further than TeamWorkPM.
Not necessarily the one that comes up number 1 on the search engines, but definitely the system that comes up number 1 for offering all you could need, in a comprehensive yet uncomplicated package, to simply and robustly handle all aspects of project and task management, so that you can focus on the real work of your business rather than spending your time with mismatching systems, worrying about gaps in the workflow, or skipping vital pieces of communication about tasks.
TeamWorkPM makes project management and online collaboration – easy! The development team have listened to what our industry really needs, and on top of a system that delivers the obvious requirements – have catered for all those niggly bits of functionality that other online project management systems have missed and that inevitably end up making the system more frustrating than helpful.
So, what makes TeamWorkPM THE system for a virtual assistance professional:
Make it your own with the inbuilt customisation options
Your TeamWorkPM account can be customised to fit the look and feel of your company branding, with fully customisable colour schemes, the ability to add your logo to the login page and project pages, and with price plan Business 2 and above you can use a custom domain for your clients and team to access the system.
You can quickly and easily add a login form to your website where your users can gain login and gain access to the system from your company site.
You have control over user access at all levels, by person and company, and are able to choose to exclude functionality from projects where you feel it is not required.
Manage your clients
Create separate client “companies” that users and projects can be connected to.
Manage your users
Users can be created and associated with client companies, your own company, or subcontractors.
Projects can be created and connected to client “companies”, enabling you to have multiple projects associated with a single client. Some of the functionality that TeamWorkPM makes available at project level includes:
- Dashboard view by project of upcoming milestones and recent activity
- Set user access rights at project level
- Easily navigate between projects
- Enables you to set clear start and end dates for true projects, or maintain an open ended project for managing ongoing client work.
- Collate task lists, tasks, conversations, files and reference documents at project level.
Being able to create, assign and complete tasks is the very base requirement in virtual services collaboration. TeamWorkPM goes beyond this by making it possible to:
- Set task lists to enable grouping of tasks by type or subproject
- Link task lists to project milestones where appropriate
- Create task list templates for sets of tasks that are used regularly (for example new client setup process)
- Manage task creation or enable your clients to create tasks themselves. You can set the access to fit your preferred way of working with your clients.
- Set due dates and time estimates by task
- Assign tasks to relevant team members for completion
- Create recurring tasks – with LOTS of options on frequencies.
- Create private tasks when you want to note something to do on a client account, but don’t want the client to see it, or for when a task should only be seen by specific people on the project rather than all users.
- Create task dependencies where one task has to be completed before another can begin.
- Attach files and comments to tasks so that all information and communication, including updates about task progress, are maintained in an easily accessible location.
- Log time worked on tasks, and use this to create invoices either from within TeamWorkPM or by exporting the data to another application where you create your invoices.
- Receive email notifications about tasks created and / or updated and respond directly by email that then updates the comments
Manage privacy, access and visibility
Unlike many project management systems where you are forced to create work arounds in your processes to cater for those times that you need certain files, tasks, messages, or reference material to have restricted access and visibility, within TeamWorkPM you are able to set privacy on individual items as far down as person level when required. You’re not locked in to blanket privacy rules across entire client accounts or even projects. This is a fabulous feature, which means you really can keep everything in one place, even when there are sensitive or private activities or material involved.
It is also a bonus for your clients, because it means they can use the system to manage all aspects of projects you are supporting them on, without having to include you on, or give you visibility of, all the tasks they have live. This is a real benefit you can offer to your clients!
As well as being able to discuss specific tasks within the comments section of individual tasks, there is also a messages section within each project where you can:
- Start conversation threads about particular topics
- Attach files to conversation threads
- Send notifications by email and respond by email directly to the message thread
- Keep clutter down by archiving old messages
- Organise messages by category
Better yet … with a Business 2 subscription to TeamWorkPM (or above) you are also able to connect to files saved in your DropBox or Google Docs account. This makes filing, storing, accessing and collaborating on files even simpler! A HUGE bonus for anyone providing virtual services or collaborating online.
Manage simple text documents / reference material
The development team at TeamWorkPM make a number of suggestions on how the “notebooks” section of the system can be used to manage collaboration on simply formatted text documents.
For a virtual services provider the key benefit of the notebooks within projects is for the storing and sharing of key reference material, such as login details, key information about the client account etc.
Manage events and appointments
TeamWorkPM includes a calendar function that enables you to create appointments, one-off events and recurring events, that can be colour coded and assigned categories.
There is also the facility to set notifications at specific time intervals approaching events, so that designated users receive reminders by email, SMS or both.
The calendar can also be setup for iCal feed.
Crucial for a virtual services professional, TeamWorkPM has a number of options on time tracking making it simple for you and your team to track time against specific tasks using one of 3 options:
- A start / stop timer within TeamWorkPM online
- A start / stop timer accessed on your desktop
- A time log screen where you can simply enter time worked
Time can also be logged at a project level where it isn’t appropriate to log time at task level.
Reporting on time worked by client account, project, specific date ranges and user accounts is super simple.
Time logged can be used to produce invoices within TeamWorkPM or easily exported to a number of supported invoices / accounts systems or a CSV file that can be imported into any other accounting system.
As well as time tracking, it is also possible to record incurred expenses within the billing tab within a project, so that all your project costs are in one place, and can be billed on to the client where appropriate.
Manage your overall view
Within TeamWorkPM you can quickly and easily view open / active tasks by client, by project, by person responsible or by due date
You can view overall workload commitments based on estimated time to complete tasks falling due within customisable timeframes. View all, or by person responsible.
You can also see a simple update of most recent activity across projects and tasks.
The ability to quickly see the overall picture helps you to stay in control, and gives your clients confidence in the delegation process.
In all areas of TeamWorkPM you are able to quickly produce reports and well formatted print outs, PDFs and exports. The availability of reports on so many combinations of information stored within the system is second to no other tried or tested up until this point. Invaluable for you AND your clients will love them!
… and a couple of other things
TeamWorkPM is accessible on your mobile phone, and the interface is brilliant. It’s clearly visible, easy to navigate and very friendly to use, enabling you, your clients and your team to view, update and interact with the system even when out and about. This means you are able to offer a truly virtual service that sits well with clients who don’t like to sit still!
There is a simple but really useful function for users to set their “status”. Much like on Facebook or Twitter, but it is really useful for you / your client or your team members to alert when they are unavailable to receive communication, or when they are actively working on a particular project.
Manage your pennies
While this system is brilliantly functional, has a stylish interface and facilitates highly effective project management and collaboration online – it’s also really inexpensive. The pricing is surprisingly reasonable and makes it very affordable any virtual assistant business.
The final point to make about this system and the team behind it is that the customer service and support is outstanding. The team are very responsive to questions, queries and suggestions for improvements (if you can think of any that is!!).
While we have skimmed over A LOT of what TeamWorkPM has to offer, the list of functionality covered here is not exhaustive. Full details of the functionality and pricing can be found on their website, from which you can also sign up for a free trial of the subscription level you feel would best suit your business.
Head on over to the website, take a look around, setup a trial and get a feel for the organising and management power that you could have at your finger tips, to help you keep a firm grip on your client accounts, projects, tasks, your team management and collaboration and your own business activities and administration.
Feeling a little overwhelmed?
Building and running a successful virtual services business is dependent on solid foundations, made up of the right core systems and processes. TeamWorkPM is undoubtedly a great contender for THE right system.
If you want to learn step by step how to set up each part of the system for maximum efficiency within your business, as well as best practice on collaborating within a virtual services business and how TeamWorkPM can be used to facilitate and manage those practices, you’ll want to be on our brand new training program launching 18th June 2012:
Not only will this training help you navigate through the entire setup process for your business, including such things as which privacy settings and notification options to use for best practice, you’ll also receive user manuals and crib sheets that you can use to train your team and clients on how to collaborate with you, and utilise your TeamWorkPM system for best results.
To register your interest in this invaluable program, and take advantage of a spectacular 50% launch discount, available only to VAProMag readers, enter your details below.