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As the old saying goes, time is money. Just as we lose money when we don't track the flow, we also lose time when we don't take the initiative to watch how we spend it. The rhythm of this century makes time management even more critical. With a global economy that is growing at a crazy rate, there is the need to observe how, as consultants, we spend our time while working for our clients.

Time management is a crucial skill that any business person or consultant must have. However, even for the best consultant needs a little help to track time and improve productivity. Thankfully, there are numerous consultant time tracking tools you can use to track your time.

‍Image Credits: vertex42.com

Benefits of time tracking

As a freelance consultant, it's possible to be overly confident in your ability to manage time effectively without using any tools. This is often far from the truth. Consultancy involves more than just focusing on the client. You also need to focus on other tasks that keep the business running – including managing other people you hire to help maintain the company. There are numerous benefits of time tracking, and this article lists a few crucial ones.

1. You can track time spent on projects

Time tracking allows you to track the time spent on individual projects. Thus, you will be able to estimate the potential value of the project by observing how much time it takes versus the returns you gain at the end. This insight allows you to know which projects to focus more on in the future, and which ones you can afford to delegate to reclaim those precious hours and spend them elsewhere.

2. Tracking project costs

Time spent on projects has a definite cost. You can determine this cost by monitoring the overheads that the project consumes. Costs like technology, hiring qualified personnel and raw materials help you estimate the hidden costs that come with the project. By tracking your time, you can evaluate the performance and determine under-performing projects and the costs that go with it.

3. Accurate billing

Consultant time tracking tools help you create accurate invoices. Time tracking tools allow you to know the exact amount of time spent on a particular project. If the compensation is based on hours worked, then you will have the accurate number of hours worked within reach. You will not estimate the hours, and your clients will appreciate the efficiency, thus boosting your image as a consultant.

4. Increased productivity

As your practice grows and clients increase, you may find yourself stretched thin, putting more focus on specific projects over others. Consultancy time tracking tools allow you to plan your time effectively. You cannot manage what you can't define, and thus, time tracking tools will enable you to determine precisely how much time you spend on projects. This gives you the insight you need to manage the time accurately. This move will do wonders for your productivity and effectiveness, allowing you even to have time to do what you love.

5. Transparency towards your client

Consultant time tracking tools enable you to generate accurate invoices on hours worked. Your clients will also appreciate your initiative once they ascertain that you take the effort to track the time for which you bill them... Thus, your business relationship is enhanced due to this transparent move.

Image Credits: stdtime.com

Why others opt not to track time

Despite the numerous benefits of time tracking offers, many consultants don't monitor their work hours. The reasons could include:

1. Awkward methods

Most people find Enterprise Resource Planning software packages somewhat awkward to use. Thus, they often opt not to try out these packages.

2. Lack of awareness

Most consultants aren't aware of the benefits of the consultant time tracking tools for their practice. They don't measure the impact time mismanagement has on their practice.

3. Perceived control

Freelance consultants are used to managing themselves. Thus, time tracking tools come with a level of perceived control, especially if they also have employees or freelancers working under them.

To Conclude

Consultant time tracking is more than a tool to track time. It is a useful tool to increase productivity as well as a tool to boost your revenue stream. As a consultant, it is a must-have tool if you want your practice to take off effectively.

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