As a consultant, you charge clients for each minute spent working on the services you provide them. However, time management may become one of your business’s largest challenges as its client base grows and the amount of work increases steadily.
Without time billing software, consultants may delay the completion of tasks or miss deadlines, over or undercharge clients, and see an exodus of customers looking for services elsewhere. If you want your business to grow, use time billing software. Here is how it will help:
Time billing software gives you insight into which clients and tasks take up most of your time. Use this data to determine if time is utilized effectively. When you understand which tasks take longer, rearrange your calendar to ensure they are prioritized.
Comparing how long tasks take compared with projected times helps consultants set realistic goals. If the work is taking you longer, schedule more time for it. If it is taking less time than anticipated, utilize the remaining time for something else. Analyzing how long tasks take allows you to refine processes and approaches.
When you start your consulting business, it is tempting to take on as many clients as possible. The trouble with this approach is that there will not have enough hours in a day to satisfy all their needs. Being unable to provide the services you promised due to time constraints will see clients leaving in droves and your business reputation in tatters.
Time billing software helps you evaluate your business’s capacity and determine if there is a need to take on more clients. If you already have too many, it might be time to consider hiring employees or freelancers to get the work done quickly.
Consultants, accountants, and financial advisors looking for more info about time billing software should look for features that maximize your business’s effectiveness. Most consultants dread the month-end as they have to recreate a picture of how they spent their time each day and how much of it was devoted to each client.
It means digging out napkins with dates and times scribbled on them, an incomplete diary, and relying on memory. Whichever of these methods a consultant uses, the final bill is unlikely to be accurate.
Sometimes, clients keep better records than their consultants. While they will not complain if underbilled, overcharging is bound to invoke their ire. Either way, your consultancy does not exude an air of professionalism if clients know that you do not keep track of time on task.
Using time billing software also helps you monitor ‘dead’ time during which nothing is accomplished. These minutes and hours cannot be attributed to a client and billed accordingly. As a consultant, you might be surprised to discover how much of your day is spent this way.
Seeing these trends in black and white will help you to remain focused and productive. When you understand what leads to a lack of productivity, you can set about altering these practices.
Identify areas for improvement
As mentioned before, time billing software can help consultants identify time-wasting activities that should be eliminated from their workday to ensure maximum productivity. Additionally, you can determine which projects and tasks take up most of your time and evaluate your approach’s efficacy.
A consultant can also evaluate their business’s profitability, especially when they charge differing rates. While you aim to serve your clients’ needs, balance that against a desire to make a profit. If a client is not driving your consultancy’s revenue, increase your rate or refer them to someone else.