Most entrepreneurs’ days are out of control. You’re juggling ten client projects, responding to emails, answering to IMs…all while keeping the kids quiet and out from underneath your desk. In the great words of Saturday Night Lives, Rosanna Dana, “If it isn’t one, thing it’s another.” This is particularly true for those in the professional service industry where time is money.
You can—and must—take back your day. And, here’s how:
1. Determine the number of billable hours your business needs.
As a solopreneur, you only need to be concerned with your billable hours. Unfortunately, billable hours aren’t the only activity you’re responsible for. However, to calculate the billable hours needed to pay your overhead, contribute to growth, turn a profit, and compensate yourself, use The Formula to Overcome Underpricing Yourself & Your Business.
2. Schedule the billable hours into your calendar.
Once you know the number of billable hours you need to attain each week, it is much easier to create structure for your business, and put yourself in the drivers seat of your day.
If calculations reveal your business requires 30 billable hours weekly, earmark the time in your calendar in advance. Select your best hours to meet with clients, work on client projects—implement any work for which you would bill your client.
3. Stay in your billable hour lane.
If you decide your best billable hours are 9 am – 12 noon and 2 – 5 pm, set those hours aside for billable work…and billable time only! Don’t offer meetings or schedule billable work outside the designated time…no matter how tempting.
4. Calendar billable hour activities.
In addition to client meeting, there may be activities to implement related to, and requested by, the client. Do you scratch it out on a sticky note? Scribble it on the back of the gas bill? Or, if your business is digitalized, is it added to your to-do app?
Although those options are at your fingertips, their ability to influence your day is limited.
Better yet, estimate the amount of billable time needed for the project, open your calendar, and immediately calendar your billable project time. That’s right! Make an appointment with yourself and your client project.
Voila! You’re immediately aware of your capacity for the day, week, and month. You can return to making smart decisions about your time. You will know, in a moment, what you can say “yes” to this week or what needs to be scheduled for a later time.
The bottom line? No more overwhelming days or over commitments. No more burning the midnight oil because of oversights of your availability.
Just a pleasant, peaceful, day—one in which you’re in control.
Have you tried something similar that you found helpful? Please share it with us. Entrepreneurial chaos is rampant. If you have a fix, we would to know!