Keeping on-top of the different pieces of work going on across your business can be difficult. Tracking information about upcoming and existing work is often held in spreadsheets, accounting tools or simply in peoples heads.
Often when growing businesses attempt to deploy systems they can be sledgehammers to crack nuts. At best they are an expensive way to track time spent on work, as well as other metrics. The reality is though they don’t support consultants getting access to the things they need to do their job.
Client work can be viewed as cards on a dashboard, with the ability to place the work in stages to show what stage it's at in it’s lifecycle.
For example; projects or engagements you might be working on for your clients might be staged as Pitching / Won / Delivery. Internal initiatives might be categorised by Ideas / working on / complete.
Multiple projects can be linked to client records, meaning all the project discussions, tasks and documents also collate in the client record. So as you work on different discrete pieces of work you can build up a complete history of what’s going on for that client.
Different permissions can also be set for projects and clients. As an example an account manager may have access to the entire client record, but a contracted freelancer might only be given access to one specific project.
You can also classify and filter on different projects by tagging them. This could be to reference the type of project it is, or where the project was referred in from, or simply a mark of how important the project is.
Getting started with the 4th Office
1. Add some projects and reference them to your clients
If you haven't already, add some of the current projects you're working on for clients. You can reference the project against an existing or new client record as you do so.
After you've added your first you can go back to the project dashboard and more if required by clicking on 'client projects' on the left hand side.
2. Oragnise your projects according to stage
You can have custom stages which you can use to organise your work. For example your client projects might be organised by Pitching / Won / Delivery / Complete. Just click to add a new stage, or hover an existing one to edit or move it. Just drag and drop projects between stages as required.
3. Add other things your consultancy might be working on.
You can add different project categories to track other things your teams might be working on, like internal initiatives or events.
To create new project categories, follow the instructions in this link. Each new category can also have stages, for example the category Internal initiatives might be categorised by Ideas / working on / complete.
4. Add extra information to your client projects
This makes it a lot easier to find what you're looking for. Tagging is a great way to add extra information to your projects.
Once the tag is added you can use the filter bar on the project dashboard to help narrow down what you're looking for.
4. organise your client records
You also have a client dashboard page where you can organise your clients into different stages. For example this could be Prospects / Customers / Lost