You're an IT support consultant, right? Then you need this time tracking app. (video below) Here's why:
Tracking customer support time
Every time you meet with a client, you should track the hours. You're going to learn a bunch of new information. You'll find out which customer needs the most support. And you'll naturally compare that with the revenue you recieve to find out if they justify the cost.
You'll find out which kinds of support are the most expensive, and the most inexpensive to you. You probably have a good idea already, but this nails it right down. It could even surprise you to learn which is which.
"One of our customers is really lucrative!"
You'll know your exact costs, regardless of the customer. That includes telephone and on-site support, which includes travel.
And finally, you can use those hours to invoice each client. Clients like to know you have exact records of the time you spend with them.
Selling blocks of IT support
Selling blocks of support time is another good reason to track customer time. You sell a block of hours, and then track how many hours you spend. When the block is nearly complete, you sell another block. This continues indefinitely. Here's a video explaining how to track time for blocks of support time.
"Most of our business is now blocks of support time"
Each support block gets a new PO number and invoice. Project tasks represent each block of time, so they show up in the timesheet, the Quick Task window, and down on the Android and iOS devices. You can start and stop the timer with a single tap.
"tap, tap, bill"
Invoice by milestones
Invoices for support blocks are usually sent on a milestone basis. Meaning that the customer usually pays a portion up front, and a portion at the end. If the block is small, customers usually don't object to paying the entire bill up front. But if you bill portions of the block by milestones, you can schedule those to occur and create invoices for each milestone.
"We put the PO in each milestone"
"It shows up on invoices"
Tracking mileage and vehicles
Don't forget to track mileage for tax purposes. Each mile is multiplied by a mileage rate, and included with other expenses. Those expense and mileage records are included in client invoices. When you're done, you'll have mileage associated with each vehicle. That means you can report on miles per vehicle to find out which is most frequently used or driven the most miles.
Expand your areas of interest and passion
This may seem obvious, but tracking time makes it even easier to expand your business to include more of your interests and passions. Once you can measure the kinds of business you are doing now, you can use that information to expand into areas you enjoy more, and reduce those you have less interest in.
"We cut out most of the drugery"
You provide tech support for your clients, right? How about on-site support?
In any case… are you tracking those hours in Standard Time®? Here are some good reasons to:
1. You’ll know which clients require the most support
2. And which kinds of support are the most time intensive
3. And you’ll see exact support costs without any guessing
With all that information, you can adjust priorities to match reality.