SMB Technology

Paymo helps small businesses tame the chaos and improve project management

Small business leaders know how to thrive in chaos — that’s been their saving grace over the last two years. But now, as they look for digital tools to keep their teams connected and their customers served in this new normal, they want solutions that help restore order, not further complicate workflows.

Most small businesses use a variety of digital tools to manage projects, track time and bill customers. Cloud-based tools can often be integrated to share data and automate tasks, but usually the simpler (and cheaper) solution is to find one tool that does it all. That’s what Paymo strives to deliver.

“Before Paymo’s project management solution, most of our customers were scraping up data manually from various standalone business apps — an error-prone process that is very time-consuming,” says Andrei-Marcel Țiț, Paymo’s Head of Product Marketing. “Or each of their employees used their own apps to manage tasks and track time, which resulted in complicated and inaccurate reporting at the end of the week or month.”

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This patchwork approach creates even more friction for small businesses that have suddenly shifted from a physical workspace to a virtual environment. Not only do they need to ensure that employees have access to the apps and information they require for their jobs, but they also need to secure company data across apps, devices and home Wi-Fi networks.

With Paymo, businesses can manage the entire life cycle of a project, from quoting clients, to planning tasks, scheduling resources, tracking time and invoicing — all in a single, secure app.

From one small business to another

Like many small businesses, Paymo’s solution was born from personal experience. Back in 2006, the founders ran a small web development agency that consistently undercharged clients by the hour for two reasons: quotes were often unrealistic and not data-based, and some clients didn’t understand why certain tasks took longer than expected and refused to pay for the additional work.

They couldn’t find a time-tracking app that met their needs, so they built one as a side project. It took nearly a year, but the tool proved so useful for their business that they decided to share it with others.

“They made it publicly available as a free software and called it Paymo because they wanted businesses to get paid more by using the system,” says Țiț. “One week in, the whole team was stunned by the sheer amount of positive feedback, primarily from the freelancing community, so they decided to pursue this full time.”

What Paymo does now

Today, Paymo is a complete work and project management platform that helps 100,000 teams and freelancers across the world manage projects and tasks. Businesses can plan projects, manage employee workloads, track time, create estimates and invoice clients, all from the same platform. Team members, on the other hand, can collaborate in real time by leaving comments, managing priorities and sharing task statuses to keep everyone on the same page with the same optimized data.

“Paymo acts as a single source of truth, replacing a lot of tools,” says Țiț. “You can basically manage every stage of a project — without messy integrations and extra costs from multiple subscriptions.”

For example, Țiț says one customer was planning projects in one app, storing all the information employees needed to generate estimates in another app and tracking employee/project time in a third app. If they made changes in one app, they had to check the other two to make sure everything was still in sync. “Now, they’ve cut the time spent on planning projects, managing resources and creating time reports in half because everything is stored and communicates correctly in Paymo.”

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Paymo’s platform can be integrated with other popular business apps for even greater efficiency — for example, by syncing messages from Slack, tasks from Google Calendar, and invoices from Xero and QuickBooks Online.

Employees can access Paymo’s platform via any web browser, or use one of the dedicated desktop or mobile time tracking tools. “The advantage of the mobile app is that employees can track their time wherever they are — at a client meeting, in the field or working from home. They can also see what’s on their plate for today and organize tasks according to their due date, priority or status.”

How Paymo helps small businesses

Țiț notes that there are many benefits for small business customers, including the ability to:

  • Create realistic project estimates based on accurate historical data

  • Plan projects in advance and deliver them on time

  • Visualize how tasks move throughout projects and spot bottlenecks early on

  • Get a clear picture of their team’s workload and days off at a glance

  • Collaborate in context with all content in one place

  • Track time in various ways and centralize all employee timesheets

  • Create customizable invoices at the click of a button and get paid accurately online

On average, Paymo customers:

  • Increase project volume by 33 percent, quarter-over-quarter

  • Complete twice as many tasks as before

  • Boost productivity by 25 percent

  • Achieve a 99 percent invoice collection rate

Best practices for deploying a project management solution

How can small businesses successfully deploy Paymo’s solution and get the most value from the technology? Țiț suggests the following best practices:

1. Know your processes first hand, including the stages tasks go through, so you can define clear digital workflows that reflect your own processes.

2. Encourage teams to take ownership. “Hold them accountable for using the platform and avoid deviations as much as possible, such as communicating via email or other apps internally, unless you absolutely have to. This way, everything is documented in one place.”

3. Create project templates and save important project details, such as assigned users, budgets and costs that can be plugged in later when similar projects arise.

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Taylor Mallory Holland

Taylor Mallory Holland is a professional writer with more than 11 years of experience writing about business, technology and healthcare for both media outlets and companies. Taylor is passionate about how mobile technology can reshape the healthcare industry, providing new ways for care providers to connect with patients and streamline workflows. She stays on top of emerging trends and regularly speaks with healthcare industry leaders about the challenges they face and how they innovate using mobile technology. Follow Taylor on Twitter: @TaylorMHoll

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