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Billable Hours

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Bonsai handles the back office

There is a bit of concern regarding billable hours template among those who provide consulting services. A big percentage of these freelancers feel convinced of the fact that billing clients for each work done isn’t a good approach in this industry. Many of them believe the model is obsolete. The reasons they cite for this is its inefficient and punitive nature. That model can work. With the right strategy, anything can work and produce the desired results. For that to happen, though, a few adjustments would be necessary. More importantly, the freelancer would need to embrace a new way of working.

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When does the billable hours template work?

1. Emphasis on Profitability

A freelancer who puts more emphasis on profitability is likely to derive unimaginable pleasure from this template. Who runs a business – freelancing or otherwise – without focusing on profits? Any consultant whose eyes are not on the ball might have to consider shutting up shop soon. Profits drive your business forward. Profits enable growth. They provide the money you need for expansion. Granted, running a business is more than just focusing on profits. Big companies have demonstrated a remarkable ability to thrive without any profit. Small ones struggle. Freelancers mostly run small businesses.

2. Focus on Performance Transparency

How do you know that you’re performing a specific project well? You can only determine that based on the evaluation you conduct. Evaluate each project. The focus should be on impressing and pleasing your clients. They matter more than the profits. If they are happy, they will not hesitate to dash to you for help. The billable hours template should help you to give clients all the attention they require. At no point should it drive you away from clients. Otherwise, your career as a freelancer would soon be on its deathbed. Take care to avoid a situation where clients complain too much.

It would be fine to abandon this model – or tweak it a bit – when complains start piling.

3. Embrace Teamwork

Those who oppose billable hours template do so because of the belief that it interferes with teamwork. That shouldn’t be too much of a concern to you though. Make it a policy to encourage everybody in your freelancing team to welcome and thrive under teamwork. Failure to put more emphasis on this would only convince everybody to take a more individualistic approach. It’s easier for everybody to pay more attention to billable hours while compromising teamwork. Know what it takes to build a thriving team of freelancers.

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4. Stop Higher Turnover

One of the complaints with billable hours template is that it leads to higher turnover. Apart from that, your team of freelancers might complain of low job satisfaction. Your juniors might feel unsatisfied with their performance. Higher turnover interferes with productivity and customer service. It also eats into your profit. More than that, it’s also quite costly. The only time you never have to worry about higher turnover is when you run the freelancing enterprise alone. That would only be applicable in instances where you offer the kind of service that doesn’t need different people to complete properly and professionally.

Therefore, use the billable hours template as a tool. Make it a tool for running your business more efficiently. The focus shouldn’t be on the hours too much. Instead, use it to prove to your clients that you’re dedicated to the work they assign you. Let them know that you’re in offering these services, as you promised. Use it to promote your professionalism. Avoid damaging the relationship you have with your clients. Standardize the operations of your business. Be transparent and open too. Review the template regularly to evaluate your performance. Introduce the billable hours template into your business to take it to the next level.