management | 9 mins read

How Task Management Software Can Improve Your Small Business

how task management software can improve your small business
Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco

The Tasks at Hand for Small Businesses

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All small businesses have tasks they need to complete on a regular basis. This could be an electronics store that has specific ways to close the shop at the end of the day to reduce the chance of theft. Or, it could be a restaurant that has processes in place to ensure the safety standards of the food they serve.

These tasks can be challenging to keep on top of. If managers try to take care of everything themselves, they will eventually burn out from the stress.

If they delegate these tasks, they have no way of knowing whether employees are completing them to the appropriate standard.

Putting in place task management systems can help. Having proper procedures will provide an outline of how tasks should be completed, as well as allow those in charge to check employees are performing all tasks correctly.

Business leaders have several options when it comes to how they manage tasks. One of the most effective is to use task management software.

What is Task Management Software?

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Task management software provides managers with everything they need to set tasks and ensure they are being completed on a day-to-day basis.

The tools will often include ways for managers to set tasks, create checklists, and assign work to employees.

There are many types of task management software. Recently, cloud-based solutions that provide easy access to everyone in an organization and automatically reflect updates throughout a team have gained in popularity.

Here is a look at some of the common features of task management software.

1. Create Task Checklists
An essential feature of task management software is that it allows managers to create entries for all the tasks that need to be completed in the business.

These task checklists form the basis of the software. Once a manager has uploaded all the jobs that need to be done, they can add deadlines, assign tasks to particular employees, or specify further instructions.

2. Set Standard Procedures
Within each task, managers can create a more in-depth checklist that sets out standard operating procedures. This ensures that employees' work is an optimal and consistent way.

For example, in the entry for cleaning up at the end of the day, a restaurant manager could include a checklist that informs employees where and what they need to clean, as well as provide instructions for how to do so.

When employees complete each part of a task, they mark that they have done so and move on to the next one. Not only does this remind these completing tasks about the best ways to do things, but it warns managers if jobs are being completed incorrectly.

3. Task Checklist Organization
Tasks need to be done at different frequencies. While a shop needs to open and close properly every day, it may only need to perform a stock-take on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Task management software allows managers to set how frequently they want to do each job, ensuring they don't forget about them.

4. Assign Tasks
If there is confusion within your business about who should be doing particular work, there is a chance the team will overlook the task. Good task management software allows those in charge to assign jobs to individual employees, so they know exactly what they are expected to do at all times.

This also allows managers to see who is completing tasks and who may need more direction about how to complete their duties correctly. It can also point to when an individual employee is overworked, allowing managers to spread the workload more evenly.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

How It Can Improve Your Business

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Restaurants can be particularly stressful places to work due to the variety of tasks that employees need to take care of. Additionally, food safety regulations mean there are often set ways that certain tasks need to be performed.

Here is a look at how a restaurant manager could use task management software to streamline the day-to-day running of the business.

  • First, the person in charge needs to get a good idea of the tasks that must be completed, as well as when they need to do them. They may already have this information noted down in documents orif their task management system isn't as maturethey may have to create a list of tasks from scratch.
  • The manager can then create entries within the app for each of these tasks. A restaurant owner would likely include a section for opening the restaurant, checking inventory, preparing tables, clearing, preparing food, closing the restaurant (more on that here).
  • Within each of these tasks, the manager can create a checklist based on standard operating procedures. For example, opening the restaurant could include unlocking all doors and windows, checking the cash register and opening cash, and projecting sales.
  • Managers can then choose how often to complete each task, as well as a deadline for each one.
  • Next, the manager can assign the task to the employees in charge of completing them.
  • When they receive a task, employees can ensure they complete it correctly by performing the steps within the checklist. They can mark it done after finishing each part.
  • Managers are updated in real-time as employees complete tasks, allowing them to check everything is ok at their business. If a critical job remains incomplete past its deadline, the manager will be notified and can take steps to rectify the situation.
  • The task management software will produce reports that managers can use to make improvements to their procedures and see if there are any issues within processes.
Of course, it's not just restaurants that can benefit from organizing the way they work and implementing procedures. Stores, warehouses, bars, and cafes could all benefit from standardizing work processes in a way similar to the example above.

The Benefits of Task Management Software

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Small businesses benefit in many ways from being able to organize their tasks more efficiently. Here are some of them .

1. Ensure Tasks are Always Completed
The main benefit is that task management software increases the chances of jobs being completed effectively.

Having a list of jobs as well as a set procedure for doing these jobs means people won't forget to perform tasks. They'll also always know exactly how to do them. Managers can also set deadlines so there is no confusion amongst employees about when to do work.

2. Perform Tasks Effectively
By setting out operational procedures, managers encourage employees to complete the tasks in the most effective way. This can save time while ensuring they do the job to the correct standard.

Additionally, managers can use the software's reporting features to analyze processes and see if there are ways employees can complete tasks more efficiently.

3. Comply with Regulations
Many tasks have to be completed in a certain way, not just because it is an effective way to work, but also because regulatory bodies require businesses to do tasks in a specific way. Companies can set up their procedures in a way that is HACCP compliant, so they never stray onto the wrong side of regulations.

4. Increase Employee Accountability
Assigning tasks to employees means everyone in your organization knows what they have to do. Additionally, checklists provide employees with all the information they need to complete tasks correctly.

Managers can use the software's reporting features to hold employees accountable for all the tasks they are assigned. They can see which members of the team are performing to a high standard, as well as which ones have areas they can improve in.

4. Minimize Business and Financial Risk
Task management software allows managers to set tasks as critical and notifies managers when these tasks aren't completed properly. This will enable them to take steps to rectify negative situations as soon as something goes wrong.

Imagine it's past closing time and a shift supervisor has failed to perform closing duties on time. The software will notify the supervisor's superior, who can immediately contact the employee to check if there is an issue at the business or request that they complete the part of closing they missed.

By taking care of the issue as soon as it occurs, the risk of something going seriously wrong decreases.

5. Monitor Tasks on the Go
Many task management software products are cloud-based and work on a wide variety of devices including, smartphones and tablets. Choosing a product with this functionality allows managers to keep an eye on what is happening in their business, no matter where they are in the world.

6. Gain Insight into Business Operations
Task management software also provides business owners with more in-depth insight into the workings of their business. They can see what is done on a daily or weekly basis as when as gain insight into where operations or procedures can be improved.

Here is a simple example of how this could work. Imagine a manager notices a supervisor is consistently late with tasks. They could take this information as a sign that the employee is struggling with workload and improve the situation by either finding ways to simplify the jobs they have to complete or training other team members in how to perform the duties to take away some of the burden.

Introduction to Zip Checklist

Zip Checklist is a task management software built for small businesses. It allows managers to take advantage of the benefits mentioned above by better managing their tasks.

Zip Checklist is cloud-based and available on mobile devices. This allows managers to take their checklists with them wherever they are, ensuring they are always kept up-to-date. Additionally, it makes it easy for employees to access the software to check the tasks they need to complete and mark them off when they do them.

To find out more about how Zip Checklist can help your business, head over to our features page where you will find more information about the specific ways the product can help.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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