Most small agency owners would agree that better time management can lead to higher profits. After all, more billable hours means more money earned by the agency. Reducing the time you spend on administration and non-billable tasks leaves more time for valuable customer work.
That is exactly why finding the right timesheet or time management software can be key to maintaining profitability at work and ensuring a healthy balance between work and home life.
Small agency owners are often overly optimistic about the time they have to take on new projects, which can take longer than expected. In the blink of an eye, a day or week will be over, leaving the new project still unfinished. Sound familiar?
Productivity equals profitability, but both are difficult to maintain if you don’t have a clear idea of where time — any agency’s most valuable resource — is going. Whether you charge by the hour, by the project, or through a retainer, keeping track of time is fundamental to success.
That’s why the use of appropriate timesheet and project management software is so important. As an agency owner, you don't have time to deal with generic timesheet software designed for any business that charges out time. But neither do you have time to manage individual clients, projects, tasks, billing, and employees across multiple solutions all by yourself.
Get the Right Info
Ideally, a creative agency owner needs a timesheet and project management software that tracks information specifically for — and essential to — creative firms. Here are 4 things your agency time and project management solution must do to be effective:
1. Sort Billable from Non-billable time
While it's good to know how many projects the agency is managing per client, it’s even more important to see how many billable and non-billable hours are being spent per client, how much time is left until projects are delivered, and what the costs of each project are.
2. Understand Staff Workload
You need to know when your team is overworked or when the number of non-billable hours starts to increase against billable hours. If this imbalance is not addressed in a timely manner, you will eventually have much bigger problems that cannot be helped by time management software.
3. Know Your Project Managers
How many projects each project manager handles and how many hours they work is also important information that helps agency owners manage new client acquisition. For example, if you know that all your project managers are busy, you may have to increase staffing, or stop taking on new clients until you are certain that you have the capability to handle the extra work.
4. See Where You Stand
It is invaluable to see how many billable hours have been entered compared to how much time is left before the project completion deadline. Many people shift into sixth gear when they see these numbers. Without this information, however, your monthly client bill may be lower than necessary, or you may experience conflicts with clients when you bill more than they expect.
Timesheet and project management software should include a feature displaying this information, but there are few agency-specific solutions that, in one place, show you everything an agency owner needs to know.
What will you do with more time?
With effective time management software helping you keep track, you could have dozens of extra billable hours each month. What will you do with all this time? Use the hours to get new clients, train your staff, plan for the future, or even go home early each week to be with your family.
If you improve your time management, you can improve your bottom line — and enjoy a better balance between family and work. Your search for the right time and project management software will be over. It's as simple as that.