When you've been running your business on the same largely successful model for years, it's troubling to find money still leaking through the cracks. Where do these cracks even come from, anyway? We've got a few years of experience in the trade industry under our toolbelts, so we want to float a suggestion that might surprise you. Did you ever consider that those cracks might be carved of mismanaged time?
The remedy for mismanaged time is to start developing an understanding of why time tracking is important. You might be reluctant to begin tracking your employees' time because you're wary of micromanaging, of not appearing untrusting, or you're reluctant to onboard new technology. These are myths that we're here to debunk.
Time tracking technology is actually one of the most beneficial things you can incorporate into your business model to get the most out of every day. You won't stifle your employees, and it does not show a lack of trust. So let's take a closer look at why time tracking is important for your business.
What Is Time Tracking Software?
As the world progresses and new technology is constantly being developed, businesses are favouring apps and computer software over paper. Time tracking software is a welcome alternative to the traditional paper timesheet. Depending on which software app or platform you choose, your employees can use tracking software on the go to log in and out of jobs, which makes job costing, quoting, and payroll simple.
Why Use Time Tracking Software?
There are other reasons why time tracking is important. The software can be used as a stand-alone program or can be integrated with other computer software such as accounting applications, customer support software, and project management programs to simplify your business model and bring together all your information in one place. Easy!
Eliminate Paper Methods
Keeping track of paper timesheets and trying to decipher messy handwriting come pay day is a bookkeeper's nightmare. This problem is easily solved by time tracking software. Apps can be downloaded to phones, tablets, and most mobile platforms so that users can record information wherever they are.
Simplifies Pay Day
Aside from being used to record the time your employees are on the clock, time tracking software can also be linked to other platforms, such as your accounting software, to simplify pay day. By eliminating paper time sheets, there's far less confusion due to lost or missing sheets or payment errors caused by illegible handwriting.
Identify Time Wasters
Nobody likes to think they've hired a time waster, but you can't always be certain your employees are working as efficiently as you'd like them to. This is why time tracking is important; you can draw data for individual employees to compare against the rest of the team. It's an especially useful tool come performance review time so that you can help your employees identify their own shortfalls and come up with strategies to help them improve their own performance.
Benefits Of Time Tracking For Trade Businesses
So much of the mental workload you put into your business could be taken care of with some simple time tracking software. Here are just a few.
More Accurate Quoting
When your records show how long certain jobs take, it's much easier to write out quick quotes on the go. Guestimating how long a job will take simply isn't sustainable since those extra hours, even just a few here and there, will need to be paid for, and likely it will have to come out of your profits. Time tracking software will allow you to look at a range of jobs over the course of time to see exactly how long certain tasks take to complete. When you have that data, you can then quote with confidence.
More Accurate Finances
By having visibility over precisely how long your team spends on jobs, you can get a real sense of where your business is making or losing money. It'll also give you a view of which areas of business are profitable and where you're losing money on jobs that simply aren't worthwhile. The only way you can gain these insights is to track the time and then analyse it.
Allocate Resources More Effectively
Most time tracking software packages come with a calendar or milestone function to help you with scheduling. It's an easy way to reallocate hours or jobs when deadlines and priorities shift. That way, your team can easily see the estimated hours for each project stage and exactly where that project is at. It's visibility and accountability in one tidy system.
Tips For Why Time Tracking Is Important For Your Business
Not all time tracking software is created equal. But more to the point, not all time tracking software has the same capabilities. To determine which one will suit the needs of your business, you need to think about what those needs are. We've included some helpful tips below, but for the full scope of how to choose the right tracking software, click here.
Determine The Needs Of Your Business
Time tracking software provides businesses with so many advantages beyond just time tracking - in fact, you'll find it tricky to find one that JUST tracks time. So, to get your money's worth, have a think about what else your business could benefit from. Would a payroll integration help? Do you need geolocation tracking for your team and your tools? When you start looking into time tracking software, take a good look at its other capabilities.
Compare Your Options
Finding the right time tracking software in the ocean of options is no mean feat - there are plenty of companies out there who can offer amazing software to help you run your business. Likely, they all look fantastic. So it pays to dig a little deeper. Have a look at:
- Customer reviews
- Capabilities vs ongoing cost
- Cost per user
- How helpful the company is if errors occur
- Ease of use
Your budget is obviously going to play a huge part in your selection, but make sure that you're getting your money's worth. It could end up costing less in the long run to invest in something more costly now.
Try Before You Buy
We believe you should feel confident in your investment into time tracking software, which is why we think any company who can confidently back their product will let you try before you buy. Try and sign up for free trials of all the time tracking software you're interested in.
But remember that, like all software, not all free trials are created equal. Some trial periods will offer premium capabilities, which aren't included in your ongoing cost unless you upgrade, and some will provide you with limited access to its features until after your trial period. Because there is no uniform way to try before you buy, it can be tricky to gauge which program is the best for you. Once you've trialled your top contending apps for tradies, you'll have a better idea of what's out there and which will offer the most benefit to your business in the long run.
Get back to Business
Finding the right time tracking software tool for your business is a long and tricky journey. Hopefully, at the end of the road, you'll find something to help you ease your mental workload.
And just some final food for thought; tradies running their own business only spend about 66% of their working hours contributing to the "on-the-tools" work that actually brings money into the business. The other 33% is spent on unpaid time tracking and administrative tasks. Imagine how much more you could earn by removing the laborious administration from your workload.
And just FYI, we offer free trials on our time tracking software. Want to book a trial?