The real value of time….

Back to work after yet another holiday weekend. Actually what am I saying? There is no back to work about it as I had to do some work over the holiday weekend. Well that’s what happens when you have your own business and you don’t get paid holidays. You have to make the most of the days that the rest of the country is working to get your billable days in.

April has been a month where maximising income has had to be squeezed into the reduced number of working days within the month. Admin, marketing, business development, CPD etc. has had to be done outside of these days. Such is my life, although please don’t shed any tears for me, as this is what I have chosen to do in order to be able to provide the best value service to clients and the best lifestyle for my family.

It is an ongoing challenge for all time based businesses to maximise income and yet still allow time for the work that needs to be done on the business. Many do have to use “spare time” to catch up. If you are an owner or a partner this effectively means your own time, or more frequently you family’s time.

It can be argued that maximising income does sometimes come at a personal cost. However professional services organisations often fall into the trap of seeing cost in their own terms and not their client’s. They are sometimes so focussed on maximising billings that they forget that this is a cost to their clients, a cost for which the client expects to receive value.

It is therefore important to put yourself in your client’s shoes. How does the work you have been doing look in their eyes? Yes you may have done the time but have you created the value? It is an approach that has served me well and keeps me on my toes when carrying out assignments.

Of course the logical extension of this is employees, especially senior executives, should also start to think in terms of the value that they add rather than the salary and benefits they receive. So many executives negotiate high packages because they believe they are worth it. They are very rarely called to account in the same way external consultants can be over the value they create.

The value mindset is critical for a successful professional, particularly in these challenging times. Regardless of how many hours are worked or billed clients have to be happy with the end result. Something to keep in mind when the next bank holiday comes around perhaps?

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