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It is crucial to have the right balance of billable vs non-billable work and to achieve this you need time management.
As a business owner, especially a small business owner at start up, we are required to wear all the hats – marketing, sales and admin. I am sure you could also easily list a few more without thinking. Not only does this put a lot of pressure on us but we can easily end up spending too much time devoted to non-billable work which strains our profit. It is important find the right balance between billable vs non-billable time.
When was the last time you honestly tracked your time?
We have an idea of what we are doing in our day, but have you actually tracked it? When I ask my clients to do this, they are surprised by how many hours they are spending responding to emails, on Facebook or on the phone. Yes, these may be important tasks but are we giving them too much priority?
It is easy to get stuck in the busy-ness of administration or the vortex of social media.
It also means you are losing valuable billable time.
Why does this matter?
It matters because you are earning less money, which will directly effect the level of profit in your business. I am also sure that your stress levels are quite high and your sense of achievement is low.
Sounds like a pretty crappy combination to me – less money, more stress, less passion!
It is time to change things – now.
Time management with transparency
I personally structure my day by allowing 2 windows (30 minutes each) to check emails. I include this information on my email signature and have an auto responder letting my clients know I will respond to their emails within 2 business days. This provides clear expectations for everyone and you can choose the most appropriate time for you to fulfil your admin duties.
I also have two days per week that are client facing or include networking events and other “working on your business” stuff. By doing this, it means that the remainder of the week is clear for billable client work which enables me to achieve most of my to-do list. My time is structured, my profit is healthier and I am achieving my goals.
Do you map our your week? Do you have non-negotiable windows of time scheduled?
If you haven’t I’d suggest you do.