Let’s face the facts: We can only be billable for so many hours in a day. For one, we’re limited by the space-time continuum. On this planet, there are only 24 hours in each and every day, and no one has found a way to change that. A day is a day is a day, and they will all reliably end 86,400 seconds after they begin.
For another, we have to sleep at least a few hours in order to be remotely functional. Better plan on time for eating healthy too.
Most importantly, there is more to life than putting in billable hours. We are renewed and stimulated by spending time doing things we enjoy outside of work. And at the top of that list, for many of us, is spending time with our families. Our careers exist to support our families, not the other way around.
Given that reality check, what options do we really have to get the most revenue possible out of a limited number of hours each day, each week or each year?
Here are 3 ideas worth your consideration:
Stop doing non-billable work
Remember those hours you billed your customer for doing updates to your computers and running backups of your systems? Of course not! Because you wouldn’t bill them for that. Yet these are exactly the kind of tasks that can suck up your time, keeping you from doing the work that you actually get to charge for.
It’s time to outsource your IT efforts and leverage the cloud to gain back your productivity. When you utilize a virtual desktop functionality, you no longer have to spend time managing servers, patching operating systems or updating your applications. Your systems are managed by IT professionals who understand security and up-time. Enterprise class anti-virus, firewalls, even encryption, all taken care of for you. But you don’t have to spend a minute tinkering with it, let alone worrying about it.
By removing the tech support you have to do on a regular basis, you can reclaim numerous hours each week that can now be turned into billable time without biting into family time. On top of that, your productivity will improve when you are working on systems and tools designed for the requirements of bigger and more complex organizations. Their mandates for reliability, security and performance will all be to your advantage. And all without having to increase your staff. You can now access your office – all of your critical applications, all of your data – anywhere, at any time, from any device.
Sell your services wrapped in the cloud
Now that your own productivity is moving faster, make it a regular part of what you offer to your clients – and charge for it. For example, if you’re an accountant, set up your client’s accounting software in a unique cloud instance for both you and them to access. Give THEM the advantages of having access to your work, your reports, everything you do for them, also from anywhere, at any time, from any device.
Don’t just recommend they utilize a virtual desktop, or hope that they do on their own, make it a standard part of your services contract.
You’re not just giving them better service; you’re enhancing your brand.
Sell beyond your typical services
Once you have established your broader value proposition with your clients, you now have a platform, through which, you can offer other applications or additional features. Each of those allow you to charge additional fees. QuickBooks and other account software packages are often enhanced by other solutions (like Webgility, for instance) that you can also offer to your customers to help them work smarter or simply get more out of their systems. Each of those is a potential for additional revenue that doesn’t require additional hours for you to find.
Now think of all the other workers within the walls of your client’s office. Again, if you are an accountant, you may perhaps be working with a bookkeeper or two. Yet they have numerous other departments and staff that could benefit by having their own productivity applications on a similar platform. Why shouldn’t their sales team, or HR staff, or marketing group also benefit by having access to all of their tools from anywhere, at any time, from any device?
You can make that happen for them. And you can make money from it.
Need some help working through any of those ideas? Feel free to talk with one of our Cloud Productivity Experts. We can help you find more billable hours than you thought you had.