Hewlko - News 28.12.18
Resolution #1: Six reasons why I love time-tracking
It’s the time of year people make resolutions, so I thought I would share one resolution that has made the most positive impact on my business – time-tracking. Time-tracking is the documenting of hours worked, I use the time-tracking system called Harvest. Time-tracking provides me with data to understand how much time I spend on revenue and non-revenue generating activities and forms the basis for quoting future projects. Time-tracking lets me know how much time is spent on administration, bookkeeping and creating marketing content. It also helps me schedule work and determine if I should outsource specific functions or hire additional team members to tackle larger projects. Below are the top six reasons I love time-tracking;
#1 Justify your time
Ever have a client ask why their invoice is so high? On a project where we didn’t have a budget set, a client asked me that question. I opened my time-tracker app and together we reviewed the specific days each deliverable was requested, easily answering the question. Time-tracking is similar to having a contract and payment schedule in place, it is just one more item that provides transparency that mitigates problems.
#2 Collect data to quote on future projects
When developing a quote, I start by reviewing similar completed projects. I compare a projects original quote against the actual time-tracked to understand if the project stayed on course or if it actually took more or less time to complete. Then I adjust the new quote accordingly. Having an actual record of real time-tracked has been invaluable for learning how to quote accurately.
#3 Stay flexible
Typically, I create a quote that the client signs off on, but clients are only charged for the hours I work. So, if we get through a project with minimal revisions, they are rewarded with their invoice being on the low end. If they need to change their scope midway through and require a few illustrations or 20 charts instead of 5, I have reference points to ensure the additional requests are signed-off on as a separate project fee.
#4 Evaluation and troubleshooting issues
It is one of many ways to evaluate your team. You can easily view a team members hours in a time-tracking system to see how many billable hours they are bringing in, how many hours they are contributing to operational items and flag items that are taking too long. It means I can help troubleshoot any issues and ensure the client doesn’t get charged for a team member that’s doing things in an inefficient manner.
#5 Creating timelines
Because I have tracked mine and team members time for the past 8 years, I have a good understanding of how long projects will take and it allows me to create accurate timelines to manage expectations along the way.
#6 Future planning
In the past few years, it has been helpful to track how much time I am putting towards bookkeeping and marketing efforts. When I reach the stage where those types of work no longer interest me or other projects help me to build the business more effectively, I have the data to show how long I’ve spent on these types of efforts and will know how to hire for those roles.
Most of all, I love time-tracking because it helps set expectations, provides transparency and mitigates many issues that can come with any type of project. What to start time-tracking, but not sure if you want to pay for this type of service yet? Start with a simple excel sheet or try the free app called My Hours.
Not sure if you are getting a good rate or project fee? Best practice is to get three quotes or proposals before you start any project. If you need more help navigating, I’m always happy to get on a call to discuss 403 400 5327!
Already Home - A coffee for charity
This year we collaborated with long-time client Ellen Doty to create artwork for her single Already Home. With every purchase of this special brew you also receive a free download for the song and $5 from the purchase of every bag will be donated to Inn From The Cold to help those in need this winter.
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