How To Create More Billable Hours In Your Business

Posted by Erik Thelander, Sales Engineering Director on February 25, 2014

create more billable hours

What would you not do for a just few extra billable hours a month – just a wee, little, tiny one or two extra hours per billable employee? Let’s face it – in the Professional Services industry – two simple KPIs create all of the value – utilisation and average hourly rate. The more hours you bill, and the higher rate you manage to squeeze out per hour – the more money you bring into your company vault. And yes, of course other things are relevant too – boring stuff like cost of operations and similar – but these measures are by far not as important for growth and prosperity as utilisation and average hourly rates are. 

So, how, how, HOW (!) do you squeeze those extra handful of billable hours out of your organisation? Well, isn’t it really all about moving some of the hours you spend on unbillable work to billable work? True you might say, but still – how do I do that?

Turning unbillable hours into billable hours

As I see things – two major thieves exist in every organisation; villains that you need to lock up before you can begin to capitalise on the extra billable hours that are hidden within your business.

The two villains in this story are: Mr Inefficiency and Mr Unpredictability.

Removing Innefficiency

Mr Inefficiency thrives on people not using their time wisely – spending time searching for information, spending time in unnecessary status meetings, focusing on sorting out internal disorder rather than focusing on adding value to the customers. 

To put Mr Inefficiency behind bars – thus leaving a small but important bag of billable hours – you need to get people to work together in a smart digital environment. A smart digital environment allows your team to always find what they’re looking for, always know the present status of projects and always have full and complete information so that they can make better decision. This would surely transform a number of unbilled, inefficient hours to lovely, useful and profitable billable ones!

Removing Unpredictability

Mr Unpredictability thrives on people jumping from one engagement to another, putting out fires, working overtime and getting worn out, while others sit on the bench. Mr Unpredictability dislikes plans and stability and loves hiding knowledge of the future in the dark. 

To put Mr Unpredictability behind bars you need to get transparency and knowledge of what lies ahead. Imagine being able to see the engagements of your entire organisation in just one glance; being able to spot under and over-utilisation; foreseeing what’s currently ongoing and what’s in the pipeline and then ensuring that your team spend time working on what they really should? Would that visibility and control not empower you to add an additional handful of billable hours to your revenue stream?