How To Stop Time & Money From Slipping Through Your Fingers

Posted by Louis Almeida on May 12, 2015

Stop time and money slipping through your fingers by considering these 5 important points

Your clients time is valuable and so is yours. Learn how to proactively manage profit-eating over-servicing and scope creep before it happens. 

Delivering projects on time and on budget is of course the aim of all businesses , and marketing agencies are no different.

Below are a few things to take into consideration to help ensure that you are maximising profitability in your Agency by working smarter, not harder.

1 - Visibility of resources & utilisation

The inability to view and understand future resource requirements is a huge contributing factor to loss of revenue in the creative sector. Without being able to fully recognise where there are peaks and troughs in your teams availability, you don’t have the ability to be pro-active with resourcing and planning decisions. Inevitably, this may lead to a last minute decision that requires you to get freelancers to cover the shortfall which will eat into your profit margins.

To rub salt into the wounds, the perceived need for freelancers may turn out to be false when you discover that you actually had full time staff under-utilised and available to deliver the work.  This leaves you with expensive freelancers in the studio twiddling their thumbs.

2- Effective job planning & management

Effective job planning and management is the foundation of any successful and profitable project. Ensuring timelines are met, making sure resources are delivering work on time and within budget, minimising over-servicing, managing scope creep and understanding where every part of the project  is at any given time is a necessity. It’s a lot to do isn’t it?

What can make the role even more challenging is the inability to have project information easily to hand.  This makes identifying and mitigating problems a huge challenge. Access to timely and accurate project data when needed is a key factor in ensuring profitability.

3- Working together

Although typically handled by a project lead, the successful management of a project is in reality the responsibility of the entire team. From the resource manager planning the bookings, the resources delivering the end product, and the finance team invoicing promptly - being flexible and pulling together as a team are all important in making the business as profitable as possible

4- Accurate time data on your jobs

Completing timesheets on time and accurately is without doubt one of the easiest ways to ensure money doesn’t slip through your fingers.

Without being able to confirm every projects progress in real time and at any given time, you could be leaving money on the table and working in the dark.   Being behind the curve and working against a budget sheet that is not current will not provide you with the valid data needed to keep the margins you anticipated.

5- Billing on time

It sounds obvious but it does happen – it happens a lot. Billing runs can be missed for a number of reasons, but one of the most frequent is because you haven't got the info to back up queries when invoicing projects.

Having access to this information is a key factor in ensuring invoices are sent out promptly so that you can get paid quicker.

Another area where agencies see money walking out the door is with unbilled expenses or purchase orders. The odd expense here or the odd purchase there doesn’t seem like it will make a difference.  However, take a moment to add up each of those and before you know it there’s the money for that extra developer or artworker your agency needs.