Contract work can often occupy an awkward space when it comes time to bill. Having an accurate contractor time tracker is important in order to ensure there is no dispute over work completed or how the contractor’s bill is broken down. Being able to ‘show’ how you are spending the time your client is paying for is a great way of ensuring there are no disputes over the bottom line. You can also provide transparency around how long any given task is taking you to complete – your client will appreciate your open-book approach to the relationship you share. All in all, contractor time tracking provides a useful tool for a variety of problems.
Time Tracking Helps with Efficiency as An Independent Contractor
Time tracking is about more than just managing the client relationship– it also helps with productivity! Time tracking will allow you to identify areas where you are being inefficient with your time, as well as letting you race yourself against the clock to get your work done in a timely manner. You will be able to make more accurate estimates of how much time a given project will need, letting you organise and plan your workload with greater efficiency. Your clients will quickly come to appreciate the productivity boost which is indirectly caused through use of project time tracking.
Work efficiency is a thing to be coveted especially by contractors – you will win out over competitors if you can build a reputation for efficient work and back that reputation up with your time records. Use powerful reporting insights that time tracking can provide to push yourself to be the very best you can be in your industry.
Time Tracking Will Help You Figure Out Which Contracts Are Profitable
Some jobs take longer than others, sometimes you might be charging clients at different rates for different tasks, or charging a fixed price on tasks that might take up differing amounts your time resources. Accurate time tracking will let you figure out which jobs are more profitable than others by allowing you to compare your time spent against the value of the work that time is used for. You’ll quickly be able to establish an accurate model to help you ascertain which jobs will be most profitable for you before you start them – knowing how much time you will be spending in advance allows you to calculate the total value of your work, or to evaluate the time to money value of a fixed price project.
Time tracking isn't only beneficial for independent contractors, but also for those managing freelancers, or even a mix of both contracted employees and freelancers. No matter what the set-up is, understanding the ins and outs of time tracking for independent contractors is extremely important.
Your estimates are only useful if they are accurate – the more you use time tracking, the more you will refine your knowledge and accuracy around making time estimates and maximising the profitability of your work.
Time Tracking Allows You to Keep an Eye on Non-Billable Work
Not every part of your workday, or your project, is time which you can bill to clients. But keeping track of these non-billable hours is just as important as keeping track of your other work. Not only is it often useful to keep your clients happy by showing them parts of the job which you are doing for free, but it’s also important for you to know how much of your time you are investing in work which is not directly earning you money.
You will further your understanding of which contracts are most profitable – if you are spending a lot of time on non-billable work when your contract is operating on an hourly rate then that contracts overall profitability will be lower.
You may be surprised to find out how much time you are spending on work which is not billed – perhaps you will identify aspects of your work which you should be billing but are currently not.