During the pandemic and post-pandemic times when many businesses have failed, Vladimir Milic, the founder and the CEO of VM Digital, managed to elevate his business to a whole new level — despite various organizational and communication challenges.
The positive impact Plaky had on their business was evident almost immediately. And, in this article, you’ll learn precisely how it helped them.
Here are some of the topics we’ve discussed with Vladimir:
- How Vladimir started a career in digital marketing,
- What VM Digital is about,
- Top 3 project management challenges Plaky helped VM Digital deal with,
- Plaky feature Vladimir likes best, and
- Who Vladimir would recommend Plaky to and why.
Table of Contents
How Vladimir started a career in digital marketing
Vladimir’s story is somewhat different from what you usually hear. Namely, before starting his own marketing business, Vladimir was a professional soccer player.
At a certain point in his life, Vladimir decided to make a major career change and entered the IT world.
But before becoming the CEO of VM Digital, there were a couple of steps he went through that eventually led him to his current position:
“On my godfather’s advice, I switched to the IT world, completed courses on the Basics of Programming and one advanced course, Java Web Development. Later on, I found my first job that was more focused on SEO rather than programming, and I liked it. I soon realized that I could make a lot more progress if I switched to freelance, and so, at the beginning of 2019, I decided to make that move. Shortly afterward, I decided to open my own agency, VM Digital, based in Novi Sad, Serbia.”
Vladimir highlighted how proud he was that he never had a shortage of work:
“What I’m especially proud of is that I never looked for clients. Nor do I plan to. There’s enough work for everyone, and some healthy competition should exist.”
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
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VM Digital: a successful digital marketing business run from a home office
At this moment, VM Digital successfully operates in Novi Sad, Serbia — directly from Vladimir’s home office:
“I arranged the apartment I’m in and created an office. Employees can come here to work. So, let’s say it’s a hybrid model.”
Besides the ability to work from a home office, employees at VM Digital adopt other remote workplace solutions as well:
“They can work from home or a café. We often go and work outside, surrounded by nature. We rent a house for a day — we go to work there when it’s a nice day outside.”
VM Digital works with clients from Serbia and abroad, and their services often depend on the client’s specific needs:
“What we currently do with clients the most are paid ads, design, and social media maintenance.”
Apart from working with both well-established brands and those “starting from scratch”, Vladimir added that they are currently dealing with certain reorganization matters within VM Digital:
“In our team, there are 6 or 7 of us. This is the time of external collaborations and outsourcing, so there are various possibilities… With a certain amount of outsourcing, I try to help as many people as possible along the way. Many people are changing careers and switching to design, whether it is web design, visuals for social media, or marketing. We have 4 or 5 people around 30 here who are architects, lawyers… We try to help them so that they can gain some practical experience here.”
How Vladimir discovered Plaky
“Why did we start using Plaky in the first place? I have used Clockify for 4 or 5 years. In the meantime, Pumble was also released, and we used Pumble as well. I signed up for Plaky as soon as there was an option to do so — then we waited for Plaky to be released.”
Vladimir also says that they tried another project management tool before Plaky:
“Plaky helped us a lot with the organization part. We tried Trello before that, but it somehow didn’t make things easier for us. Plaky really did help out a lot.”
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
To learn how marketing and project management interact with one another, check out the following guide:
How Plaky helps VM Digital deal with their top 3 challenges
For Vladimir, success didn’t come overnight. It was a bumpy ride — but, in spite of many hurdles, his business managed to thrive.
Plaky was a tool that helped out significantly throughout Vladimir’s business journey so far — and still continues to do so.
In this section of the article, we’ll take a look at the following 3 challenges Vladimir and his team at VM Digital faced in terms of:
- Workload management,
- Team communication, and
- Time management.
And, we’ll look into how Plaky helped provide solutions.
So, let’s dive in.
Challenge #1: Workload management
Assuming that a single person was addressed for every minor issue that occurred during a project, eventually, that person would become overburdened with the workload. That would, in turn, reduce overall efficiency and ultimately endanger the entire project.
To avoid that scenario, each team member should be held accountable for their own tasks — rather than relying on somebody else to tell them how to do something:
“I try to reach that point where I don’t have to say anything and instead have employees find solutions on their own. Tools such as Plaky help us with that.”
Vladimir adds that employees should be encouraged to develop a sense of responsibility:
“Up until now, all responsibility fell upon me, and I accepted it because it’s my business. But, now, that’s not the case anymore. Now, we have designers report to lead designers — that being so, designers must have a certain sense of responsibility towards the job, the client, the work, myself, or the person they’re mentoring.”
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
Check out this blog post to find useful tips on how to better manage your team’s workload and thus avoid misunderstandings such as who’s responsible for which task or not knowing when a task is due:
Challenge #2: Team communication
Communication challenges are becoming more prevalent with remote and hybrid work models.
One of the reasons for this — as Vladimir explains it — is that face-to-face communication and virtual communication are 2 completely different types of communication.
In light of these differences, Vladimir highlights the importance of regular meetups of hybrid and remote teams:
“We still need to get together at least once or twice a week when more serious matters occur for the sake of time efficiency and better communication. Today, there’s a widespread use of chat apps, such as Pumble, Slack, Viber, and similar. However, you can’t always convey what you want to say well via messages. And, it’s faster when you do it in person.”
Vladimir also adds that, in his experience, apps such as Plaky prove to be particularly helpful for establishing proper communication:
“If the communication is challenging — which is predominantly the case among younger people as they haven’t been in the business for that long — then, of course, apps such as Plaky prove to be of tremendous help. The flow of information and communication — we used to have a serious problem with that. We had to change something, so we introduced project management tools like Plaky.”
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
Learn more about the importance of communication in the following blog post:
Challenge #3: Time management
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that improper time management is one of the most common reasons for project failure.
Whether you’re dealing with one or multiple projects, a project management tool can help reduce time waste and improve overall time management.
Plaky has contributed to time-saving at VM Digital — in combination with the time management tool they currently use:
“We find Clockify especially important because of the deadlines. And Plaky built on that. What we would otherwise have to discuss on a 30-minute call, in this case, I can open Plaky, tag the person I need, ping them, Plaky notifies them, and that’s it. If I need to participate in the comment [section of a Plaky card], I simply enter the relevant information. Basically, it made us more efficient and saved our time.”
💡 Plaky Pro Tip
To learn more about time management in projects, read the following blog post:
A Plaky feature Vladimir calls ‘a revelation’
Apart from the useful Plaky features and the platform’s customizability, there’s one thing that Vladimir likes best about the app — it’s the Plaky templates:
“I don’t know who at some point said ‘Let’s make a social media template’ — but that’s how I would have made it myself if I bothered to make one. It would be quite similar to the one in Plaky. However, I don’t have to do it — with a simple click, I enter the data I need [in a Plaky template], and that’s it. Those templates are quite a revelation for us. They helped us because they sped things up and made everything easier for us.”
💡Plaky Pro Tip
To find some interesting social media content calendar ideas, take a look at the following blog post:
Vladimir further explains why Plaky templates are useful:
“Those templates are the real deal. With them you get, more or less, everything done — from social media tasks to to-do lists. There’s this specific one — the marketing one — which helped us quite a lot with client communication and internal communication.”
Who would Vladimir recommend Plaky to and why?
We’ve asked Vladimir who he would recommend Plaky to and why. Here’s what he had to say:
“I have already recommended it to 2 or 3 agencies that are sort of like sister companies. I think some of them have already started using it. People mostly go for those conventional tools, and it’s a classic story — everyone will go to the same café in the neighborhood. This is the same story — everyone goes for Trello. But, what do you get out of it?”
Vladimir explains that he especially recommends Plaky to those struggling with proper organization.
“Every time I would meet up with some of my colleagues who are in a similar business, it would be the same story – complaining about the organization, about projects… Plaky really worked out for us. So, I recommended it mostly to colleagues who are in a business similar to mine because I am aware of how much it helped me. To be honest, we use it more than Clockify — which is quite unusual as we’ve used Clockify first and for years now, and I insist on using it. I think everyone from VM Digital is on Plaky all day. Things are constantly happening over there — including task updates and more, all in accordance with internal protocols.”
Final thoughts: “What matters is that it fits our needs.”
In Vladimir’s case, Plaky helped raise project management at VM Digital to a higher, more mature level. It also helped his team overcome difficulties in terms of organization and communication:
“Plaky allowed us to sort some things out, and we did sort them out, in terms of projects, to-do lists, some day-to-day matters, and certain interpersonal and organizational capabilities and protocols. We managed to achieve all sorts of things with Plaky templates — plus, we managed to communicate certain matters internally. It’s that one thing that made things easier for us.”
Vladimir concludes that his team didn’t look for a tool that’s too complicated. On the contrary, they wanted a creative project management tool that suited them specifically:
“It doesn’t have to be too complex in terms of functionalities — what matters is that it’s suitable for us — that it does what we need it to do, the way we need it.”
And that’s precisely what Vladimir Milic and VM Digital recognized in Plaky — a straightforward project management app that satisfies their unique preferences and working styles.