It can be difficult to know what your time is worth as a small business owner, but it is essential to know this information if you are to get your pricing right for future projects. We share valuable insights and easy-to-implement tips about how to track time and income!
Track your hours
The best way to find out how much time you spend on a project is to get a timer! Start it when you sit down, and keep a note of how long you spend each day or week on a project until it is complete.
This is like time tracking, but easier! Simply limit the time you spend working on a project to an hour, or two hours. That way you can easily see how much time has been used, and know what is left of the allocation. If it looks like there isn’t enough time to meet the budget, then you can do something about it.
Find your real hourly wage
At the end of the project, add up the total time-spend on the project. This can be rounded up or down to the nearest hour, or you can multiply the hours by 60 and add remaining minutes for a true time value. Next divide the money earned by the number of hours worked, et voila. You might just find that you weren’t on the hourly rate you hoped you were!
Apply your findings
Now you know how long a job really takes, and know what you want, need, or should be earning, you are better placed to produce costings for future projects. If you found out that project A took 2 hours longer than expected (typical once you factor in emails, phone calls, chasing for payments etc), you know to add 2 hours extra to your quote when project B comes along.
Change your process
You may find that you need to seek higher paying work from existing clients, or you could find you need to streamline your processes to make certain projects worthwhile. Evaluating your time management can help.
Stick to your findings
Don’t be tempted to lower your price just because you think you should, unless there are non-monetary benefits that will make taking on the project at a lower rate worthwhile. For example, working with a certain client might bring in more leads, or boost your visibility in the industry.
Just because you have done it once doesn’t mean your time vs. income will stay the same, you need to keep tracking your time across a range of projects. Monitoring is the only way to know exactly how much you’re making per hour at any given time.
Never underestimate your time, the quality of work, or your confidence in doing it well.