Time is a finite resource for every business. It’s also the one that’s the most mismanaged. By taking control of how your design and creative studio is using its time, you can maximize your productivity, provide crucial insights into your workflow, and increase your profits. Managing your time resources well happens through time tracking.
Time tracking allows your teams to break down their workday, allocating time to individual projects. Instead of making guesses, time tracking delivers useful, tangible data. That data can help you make smarter decisions for your business. It’s a process that goes way beyond punching in and out on a clock.
5 reasons your creative studio should be time tracking
The information you get from time tracking will impact every aspect of your business, from your productivity to your profitability. Here are five major benefits of time tracking and how you can seamlessly integrate it into your current workflow.
Helps you stay on budget
If you aren’t tracking your time, then you may be basing your budget more on guesswork than on facts. For your business to be profitable, you need to be charging your clients more than you are spending on completing the project. But how do you know how much you should charge for your time? How do you know how much projects cost versus how much you charge for them? The best way to get to those answers is through accurate timekeeping.
Time tracking allows you to look at billable and non-billable hours company-wide and ensure they are at an efficient ratio. Time tracking data also gives you more control over your utilization and realization rates. The information you get from time tracking will show you if you are overworking certain teams or under-utilizing others. This can give you insight into where to trim waste as well as where to more efficiently spend your budget.
Good for client transparency
Time tracking can be good for your clients, too. Sharing time tracking on their project with them can help them appreciate how much work went into their creative project. It can also help set expectations for future projects. By reviewing time tracking data with clients, they’ll know that the time they paid for was actually spent on their project and not somewhere else. If questions come up about why something took so long or why a project costs so much, you can easily show them the data to back up your invoice.
Inc.com even suggests that making billable hours transparent and easier to understand will result in you getting paid faster. It’s an easy way to improve client relations and give them insight into your process.
Makes future job costing easy
Timekeeping provides your business with a lot of important data. That data becomes an invaluable resource for your studio, especially when it comes to pricing out future projects. Costing a job becomes easier because you can look back on similar projects and see exactly how long it took to complete those tasks. It eliminates the guesswork of job costing and provides you with a solid framework to build your quote on. You’ll also know how profitable those projects were, and change your costing accordingly. This can help your business focus on more profitable work, too, which is a quick way to increase your bottom line.
Easy and accurate billing
Time tracking eliminates worries about overcharging or under billing your time. That’s because your numbers are there in black and white. You don’t lose potential revenue by underestimating your billable hours and you don’t damage client relationships by charging too much. Time tracking can also help you keep track of non-billable hours and make sure those costs are being rolled into final invoices. After all, all work time should be paid time, even in the creative industry.
Good time tracking software will make it easy to bill your clients, too. Invoicing for a certain project is as easy as turning tracked time into a branded invoice. When billing is that easy, you are much more likely to stay on top of it. That means minimizing cash flow issues and eliminating unpaid work.
Know what your teams are working on
A 2014 survey by Salary.com found that 89% of employees admitted to wasting time at work. While it’s probably unreasonable to expect your team members to be 100% productive, how much time is being wasted is surprising.. An incredible 62% of those surveyed admitted to wasting up to an hour a day of work time. Another 16% said they waste about two hours a day. Add that time up over your entire team and you are looking at thousands of unbillable hours each year.
Time tracking can help make your team accountable and keep time wasting at a minimum. Employees will be aware that you are reviewing and approving their hours.. Making them more aware of what tasks they are doing and how much time they are spending on them. Time tracking may encourage more transparency, productivity, increased billable hours, and less wasted time on the clock.
That information is useful to your management teams, too. Knowing how employees spend their time can help eliminate time wasting tasks such as too many non-billable meetings. It can also identify those team members who are the most productive or help managers make a case for the necessity of a new hire.
How to integrate time tracking into your studio
Time tracking shows you exactly where your company’s time is going. The data collected allows you to reflect on important questions about your business. Was your time well spent? Are you charging clients enough for creative projects? Knowing the answers will help strengthen your bottom line. Now you just need the right time tracking solution.
Time tracking shouldn’t take up too much of your company time. The key is to work with software that’s easily integrated into your current workflow while also offering you the reports, data, and tools you need. Time Tracker offers a system that’s designed for easy use. The system works on any device, anywhere. It easily integrates with other internal accounting systems to create flawless time tracking, billing, and productivity insights. It works for your remote workforce, too. Get a free 14-day trial and see the difference it can make for your business’ bottom line.