As small business owners we’re in business to make money doing what we love. And that means we need enough billable hours to cover our expenses, our payroll, upgrades in skills and technology, and profit. But if you stay in business for any length of time, you eventually reach the point where you just don’t have more hours in the day to give to your business. After all, you have a personal life too. (If you don’t have a personal life, you really need to work on that.) So, if you’ve maxed out on the hours you have available to build your business, how can you get more billable hours?
You have to get those billable hours from time you are currently spending doing other activities in your business. Here are some ways to do that:
- Delegate out anything you hate to do or aren’t good at doing in the running of your business. For example, I hate filing and organizing all my reference materials. So I hire a professional organizer to come in once a quarter to file all the papers I’ve stacked up, to set up any new files I’ll need, to pack up old files on inactive clients and projects, and to reorganize my 10 bookcases. She can do all that for me in 3 hours. When I was doing it myself it took me forever and it was never completed because I’d let anything else distract me from it. So, finding just the right reference book or file was not only hit-or-miss at best, it again took too much of my time. How much time can you recover by delegating out activities and tasks you don’t want to do, but that have to get done to keep your business running smoothly?
- Automate or computerize administrivia, including making regular backups of your computer disk drives. (I learned to get my backups automated after I’d lost my entire contacts database, including my appointment schedule – sometimes I’m hardheaded about these basic business maintenance things!) In addition to now having automated backups of my computer disks, here’s a sample of what else I’ve automated:
- Contact management and scheduling
- Taking class registration and payment
- Distributing class notes and materials
- Taking coaching payments via the Web
- Notification to follow-up with clients
- Subscribing and unsubscribing to my ezine
- Broadcasting of my ezine
- Payment and delivery of digital products
- Creating eClasses from templates
- Subscriptions, payment, and delivery of eClasses
- Tracking of billable time
- Creating time reports
- Expense and revenue tracking
- Gracefully get out from under your most time-consuming and energy-draining clients and projects. I know it’s difficult to say “No” to a client or a project in today’s economic climate. But you can refer these clients and projects to competitors in your network who are better suited to serve them, retain the good will from the clients you are referring out, and free up all that time and energy to work with people and projects you love. Just by relieving all the stress you’re under from your Clients and Projects from Hell, you make yourself open and available to more of your Ideal Clients and projects. And, have you noticed, you’re more productive and efficient when you’re working with your Ideal Clients and Projects?
Increased productivity = increased billable hours available
Put these 3 secrets to work in your business and get back valuable and billable time for doing more of what you love for your Ideal Clients!
Copyright 2004, Rose Hill, Inc
Rose Hill, Founder and Owner,of Biz Whiz Expert (http://www.SoloBizVille.com) and Team Member of Solo-E.Com (http://www.Solo-E.Com) has been self-employed since 1990. Knowing how to run corporate departments and how to market corporate entities, products, and services did nothing to prepare her for successfully running and marketing a one-person business. That is why Rose created the SoloBizVille and SoloBizU community – to specifically to help solo entrepreneurs jumpstart their business success without all the trial-and-error learning.