Do you track your hours? Unless you provide an hourly-based service (such as administrative assistance or transcription and editing services, for example), it’s highly probable that you don’t. However, when it comes to improving your working practices and charging your worth, it’s something you really should consider. Here’s why.
It’s so easy to get sucked into spending a whole load of time on a project or task that isn’t that important. Maybe you find yourself working too many hours and need to know where to cut down. And just maybe you have no clear idea on how to price your products and services, simply because you don’t know how long they took you to create.
Tracking your hours is crucial to your business efficiencies, working practices and your working routine. It helps you know several important things about your business and how you work, including:
It’s only when you know these things that you can analyse your working practices and make improvements and adjustments.
If you’re employed on an hourly basis (such as a Virtual Assistant or Personal Assistant), you need to give accurate reports on where your time is spent. You’re expected to track your time so you can invoice accurately.
But even if you’re not on an hourly rate for clients, it helps you to know the hours you work. Why? Because you can check how much time you’re spending on non-revenue-generating activities and back-office administrative tasks. You want the majority of your time to be spent on revenue-generating activities if you want to scale your business. Plus, if you’re looking to hire childcare or holiday cover for your business, you can give an accurate indication of the hours you need covering.
When you track your hours, you can make decisions about where to improve. Knowing where you’re wasting time, areas you need to cut down on time used and even where you’re not setting aside enough time, will all help you improve your working practices. And of course, you can also look to improve by hiring a Virtual Assistant or other outsourcers, to help take on tasks to lighten your load.
If you know how long a task takes you, you can work out your hourly rate. But as mentioned in this recent article, please don’t charge your clients a pay per hour rate - opt for package prices instead.
Working out your hourly rate enables you to know the minimum prices you should be charging for your products and services. This helps you ensure all factors are taken into account, including paying yourself and covering the time invested in the product or service. If you want your business to grow and scale, tracking your hours has to be non-negotiable.
And talking of pricing, if you’re terrified of getting your prices wrong or are stuck knowing how to set your prices, use my pricing calculator. It’s designed to help you work out your minimum cost to the client, taking into account the hours you want to work and the amount you want to pay yourself. Simply sign up for free access - you’ll find the details here.