I had a bit of a revelation at the weekend. I worked out what our turnover would be if we both did 4 hours of billable work a day at our standard hourly rate. Bit of a shock because it was around three times what we are actually bringing in. That’s not good is it? Though in some ways it’s encouraging because it means that we do have the capacity to bring in much more with just the two of us working on the business.
So, what are we doing so wrong that we’re not bringing in that much? In an 8-hour working day it should surely be quite straightforward to work 4 billable hours, shouldn’t it? We always seem very busy but are we spending too much time on admin, or is it that we’re just so bad at quoting that we end up working for much less than our hourly rate? That’s what we need to work out.
Based on my findings we’ve started tracking much more closely how much of our day is spent on work that we can class as billable. So far we’re finding that in a normal working day it can be quite difficult to do the required 4 hours – quite a bit of time is spent preparing quotes for prospective clients, which we can’t charge for, and then there’s the necessary admin tasks and keeping on top of emails. Still, I’m not giving up on the 4-hour target, I think we need to work on our efficiency and make sure that we actively aim for that every day. Hopefully this will have a knock-on effect to how quickly we get things finished and our general project management (yep, back to the project management again!).
Let’s see if we can make a breakthrough!