Absolute Certainy

How to give your customers exactly what they wants

Put a Stop to Busyness

Many owners and managers of service businesses believe that being busy is the most important factor determining the success of their business.  When you sell time, it is only natural to believe that selling even more time is the key to success. A key focus for you and your team becomes recording as many chargeable hours as possible in your timesheets.

The problem is that charging by the hour leads to “busyness”.

A “busy” business owner or manager will have:

  • Too much to do and not enough time to do it in
  • A backlog of jobs piled up waiting to be started
  • Lots of jobs in progress – all partly completed
  • Slow turnaround
  • Early starts or late nights at work, or a pile of work to take home in the weekend

Does that sound familiar?

To your clients busyness is often experienced as:

  • Sitting in a reception area waiting for an earlier appointment to finish
  • Trades-people not turning up at the agreed time or requiring several visits to complete a job
  • A job taking much longer to be completed than it should have
  • Uncertainty over when their job will be finished

But there is a better way!  First you need to drop your focus on trying to maximise chargeable hours.  Instead focus on improving your turnaround of work. That means getting jobs completed as quickly as possible once they have been started. Quick turnaround of jobs drives both client satisfaction and cashflow.  Like fixing your prices at the start of a job, improving turnaround also gives you an incentive to be more efficient.

To do this you need to:

  1. Plan your work better:
    • Determine the capacity of your business
    • Budget the size of each job
    • Allocate jobs to your team based on their available capacity
  2. Focus on quick turnaround of jobs
    • Recognise and alleviate the bottlenecks that occur in your business
    • Set short job turnaround targets and reward your team for achieving them
    • Restrict the number of jobs being worked on in your business

It may take a bit of effort to achieve all this, but you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts. If you implement these ideas, your business will be more efficient, financial performance will improve, you’ll have more control over your workload and the business generally, and you will definitely improve your relationship with your clients.


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