I’ve been in business for almost 11 years now. A lot of smarter people than me have always said, “you’re a consultant, track your time”.
So you can charge accordingly. Every business owner grapples with the age-old question, “How much should I charge?”. Hopefully, you have carefully mapped out how much time you spend on your services and/or packages that you sell to your clients. But if you don’t track your time, how will you really know?
Confession: I hate tracking time. I find it to be a burden. A long time ago, the best way was to log your time on a (ack) piece of paper or in an excel spreadsheet.
Screw that. So I rarely (almost never) did it. I estimated.
I’ve tried a few apps and have never stuck with them. Some were so complicated that it took more time to initiate the tracking. Until now.
I present to you: Toggl
If I would cheat on Apple and Google, it would be an online affair with Toggl, a super simple way to track your time! Here are the highlights:
- It’s free (one of my favorite four-letter words). However, if you have a big team, there is a very inexpensive pro version.
- It’s on my iPhone and Computer.
- You can list all your clients and then sub categories after that. So for instance, our team does it like this:
- Client Name
- Account Management
- Event Day
- Planning Meeting
- Vendor Management
- Client Name
- You can add tags. So if I click to track Account Management as a project, then I can add specific tags to that project so I can later run reports.
- If you charge by the hour and want to invoice your clients, you can do that with Toggl.
- If you forget to turn off the timer, it will send you an email the next morning to remind you. Holla!
- You can easily add time “after” the fact. And you know this will happen. Like, all the time.
- The interface is pleasant with nice font. That makes me happy and want to come back.
- If you have a question, a real human will get back with you, pronto!
- It integrates with Chrome and Basecamp, and will REMIND you to time track.
- If you tweet about them, they will send you awesome gifts, or maybe it was just me.
It’s been an eye opening experience to see how much time it really takes per event. Recently we landed a corporate gig and realized (after the fact) that we internally spent too much time in one area. Next time when a similar client/event presents itself, I will be outsourcing instead of wasting our team’s time. Clients will still get the same level of service and we won’t be spinning our wheels.
Transparency: I am no endorsing this product because of their bitchin’ bag/gifts, but because I really do think it’s the bomb. Try it out and please, let me know how you like it.