Regardless of whether you are a freelancer or a small business owner, project management software can help you grow your business. Having better control of everything from project quotes to time tracking allows you to understand where your growth opportunities are and how to improve your profit margins. But finding the right project management software can feel like you’re hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack. If you want help choosing project management software to grow your small business, John Gizowski of La Grange, IL has detailed five features you should focus on below:

Budget Management

If you want to ensure your projects remain profitable, choosing project management software that helps you better manage budgets is crucial. Whether you are a freelance writer wanting to monitor client expenses you’ve incurred while completing a project or a graphic designer wanting to track supplies you purchase for a design client, budget management is essential. Look for software that helps you track budgets for each project you complete for a client so you get a better idea of annual budgets and expenditures for each of your customers. This helps you gain an understanding of which clients are your most profitable.

Idea Management

Idea management tools are vital for small business owners and freelancers looking for project management software. When you have idea management software at your disposal you can easily track which project ideas you’ve pitched to which clients and which ideas are ready to be turned into project quotes for authorization.

Time Tracking

Time tracking tools are critical when looking for the best project management software for your small business. Time tracking software helps you understand how you structure your day and which clients you’re devoting most of your time to. Gaining a better understanding of how much time you’re spending on each project helps you determine which projects are most profitable on an hourly basis. When you start calculating your time per hour and comparing that data to how much you’re earning for each project, you gain a better understanding of which clients are helping grow your business’ profits.

Customer Management

Customer management tools are essential for freelancers and small business entrepreneurs who want to build better relationships with their clientele. When you use project management software to monitor your customer interactions, you are able to track everything from their annual expenditures with your business to their contact preferences. Customer management software is especially helpful if you want to use email marketing to grow your small business.

Milestone Tracking

Milestone tracking is a must-use option for freelancers determined to build their business into a thriving venture. Milestone tracking helps you analyze completion points throughout a project and advise customers of the status of their project. For freelancers who request milestone payments for projects, having project management software you can use to send customer notifications is great.

These are five top features to look for in small business project management software if you want to find the best software for your growing company. Choose the right project management software and you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you feel as a small business owner.

About: As an engineer and project manager, John Gizowski of La Grange, IL has earned recognition and respect among his colleagues for his hands-on approach to meeting or exceeding goals, timely implementation, and return on investment in all of his projects. Beyond the office, he serves as an academic advisor to his alma mater and is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.