If Time Is Money, You Better Start Tracking It
Time is money, as the popular saying goes, and it’s a fact that is especially true for freelancers and self-employed individuals. Indeed, when you’re not on salary, how you’re doing financially is tied directly to how well you manage your work time.
So while most self-employed professionals would probably agree with the old adage, it’s all the more surprising to see those exact same people express disinterest or outright dislike towards the concept of time-tracking. Why is that? Well, perhaps they had a negative experience with it during their time as a full-time employee, or maybe they’re just not very well informed on the subject. But whatever their reasons are, in reality the actual benefits of adopting a time-tracking system can far outweigh any perceived negatives.
Why Do Well When You Can Do Better
There certainly is some truth to the way some people see time-trackers as just another instrument for the managers to control and monitor the employees. But that’s hardly their only application. There are dozens of different time-tracking tools available on the market, and how it’s going to work for you will depend on which one you choose and how you decide to integrate it into your work process.
For starters, whether you’re already running your own business or just thinking about going freelance, using a time-tracker can be an excellent way to improve your self-discipline. By logging the amount of time it takes you to complete specific tasks or projects, what you get is invaluable data on your individual productivity. See which parts of your work you tend to struggle with, and what things are usually a breeze for you, then adjust your workflow accordingly. At the very least, this should help you manage your workload more efficiently, or even increase your output. Needless to say, the more work you can do, the more clients you can take on, and with more clients comes more revenue for your business.
And speaking of keeping your clients happy, the level of detail that time-tracking will allow you to provide them with is another clear advantage. Time-trackers like actiTIME feature extensive reporting capabilities, allowing you to break down and account for every hour of work billed on the invoice should the client require it. And for a solo entrepreneur a customer’s trust is a priceless resource. So when you’re upfront and transparent with them, when they know exactly what they’re paying you for, they are way more likely to come to you again in the future, or recommend your services to their friends or colleagues.
Billing is one of the other areas where time-tracking can prove especially useful. As we’ve already established, time is the most valuable currency, so it is extremely important to keep track of it. Any hours of work left unaccounted for means incorrect billing, which in turn could cause sizeable losses even for an established company. And for someone who’s self-employed this could prove downright catastrophic. Fortunately, most time-tracking solutions these days offer either built-in billing and invoicing functionality, or support direct integration with a variety of popular accounting applications like QuickBooks, Xero or Wave, so it’s a lot more convenient to ensure that you’re getting paid for the right amount of time.
Big-Time Difference for a Small-Time Business
Introducing any new element into your usual work process is always a challenge. And when it’s something as major as a time-tracking system, there’s bound to be a certain adjustment period. However, the benefits you’ll get out of adopting such a solution could make all difference between your business doing just okay and it doing great. So give it a try, and let us know how it worked for you down below!