When you run your own business, time is one of your greatest resources and expenses, and tracking time is both important, and a pain in the neck.
Ultimately, most businesses aim to do more with less when it comes to time management – this is amplified when you manage a team, as they are your conduit of sales and the wellbeing of your business.
So How Should you be Tracking Time?
Timesheets are one of the best ways to keep tracking time to measure your business’s productivity and how you and your team are spending your day. With a lot of tracking methods it can sometimes feel like the benefits of collecting information can be outweighed by the extra time it takes. However, timesheets can be an important part of understanding your operations, identifying issues and can ultimately save you money.
When done right collecting and understanding timesheets is far from a waste of time. We have identified the top six benefits of timesheets to highlight why they are important and even necessary to your business.
Keeping Everyone On Task
Timesheets for employees give you and your team a clear idea of what your days are focused on. It can help your team to understand where they are spending most of their working day and help them to identify areas for improvement.
Not only that, but with more visibility for your employees, timesheets can ultimately provide a source of accountability and reduce the time you or your management team need to spend explaining to employees what they should be doing, as everyone knows to stay on task. It reduces the randomness of the workplace and gives you a clear view of your team’s productivity.
If you bill your clients hour-for-hour, calculating billable time can be a real pain. Utilising timesheets can allow you to see exactly how many hours you and/or your team have spent on a particular project and easily translate that into a bill for your client.
No more guessing and trying to calculate, just keep that timesheet and come payday, you’ll be able to deliver an accurate bill to your clients. This allows you to bill with confidence and also ensures that you get revenue for the time your team actually spent, reducing the chances of unprofitable projects.
Manage Your Resources Better
In any business managing your resources is key. Far too often you’ll under- or over-guesstimate how many hours or how many people it takes to get a job done and not be operating at peak efficiency. Keeping a timesheet will allow you to clearly measure the actual time spent on a project and understand how much time your team is using.
Are five of your employees working on a project that only takes two people? Did the project you predict would take four hours actually take ten across your team? Either way ,the way you resourcing your business could be adding unaccounted for costs and expenses, but you wouldn’t necessarily have known that were it not for the timesheet.
Managing Your Costs of Production
Calculating your cost of production can be a very daunting and difficult task, particularly with large and complex projects. When there are materials’, supplier fees, employee wages and a seemingless endless list of other costs to consider it can feel almost impossible to take it all into account. While there are a myriad different ways to calculate your costs,a timesheet is a vital tool in doing so!
Timesheets will allow you to see exactly how much time you spent ordering materials, paying your suppliers and how many hours were spent on the project in total. If you can get ahead of the game by taking into account all of these specifically calculated costs at the start of a project, you provide yourself a benchmarking tool that is custom to your business. You’ll be able to see where your costs are high and how you could adapt to bring those costs down.
Keeping Your Employees Happy
Two things make up a successful business: happy customers and happy employees. Staff with high morale and job satisfaction are more likely to work harder and produce better results, which means a better product for you to sell to clients. One way to help staff feel happier at work is by rewarding and acknowledging hard work.
If an employee takes some extra time after their shift to finalise an important job, or finds a way to reduce the time it takes to complete a task then this should be acknowledged. However, if you can’t see it, you can’t reward it. This is where effective timesheets come in handy.