profitability

The Key to Agency Profitability? Good Old-Fashioned Time Sheets

Did you complete your time sheets today? Did your employees? If your answer is “no,” your agency is missing out on a crucial opportunity to increase agency profitability and productivity. There are consultants out there who think agency folks shouldn’t have to do time sheets, but they’re wrong. People are your biggest asset and your biggest resource, but they’re also your biggest expense. Consistent use of time sheets is the only way to know how your employees are spending their time and whether that time is well spent. Without the use of time sheets, you cannot evaluate the performance of your business — both how your assets and resources are being applied and how profitable your clients are with respect to your time investment. More Data, Better Decisions The data you collect through time sheets will make evident what you’re doing well, and it will also demonstrate where there’s room for improvement. Most importantly, it will reveal the profitability of each client by illustrating the time spent on every project. That being said, everyone needs to get on the time sheet train. Yes, that includes you. Every person in your office should be completing a daily time sheet so you can get the best and most accurate picture of your agency. Regardless of whether you’ve never used time sheets or you’ve just gotten lax about completing them, here are a few steps to get the process back on track: 1. Acknowledge It’s Your Fault. This step is the least fun, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Take responsibility for the fact that you’ve allowed the maintenance of time sheets to become sloppy or disappear altogether. It’s now up to you to lead the charge. [...]

Hey agency owner — fire someone today

Yes, you heard me right.  I am talking to you, the agency owner.  And I want you to fire someone today. In doing so, you'll improve employee morale. You're thinking I must be the Scrooge of agency life -- suggesting you fire someone during the holiday season. It will ruin their Thanksgiving and the rest of their year.  No one hires during the holidays. Relax -- I am not talking about one of your employees.  If they're doing a good job -- send them a note this week telling them how grateful you are that they're part of your team. It's great for their morale. If not -- then you're like most agency owners and you'll hang onto them for another six months before they drive you to the brink and you finally fire them. I'm actually talking about firing a client.  Yes...a revenue producing client. Every agency has at least one client that is: Tough on employee morale Demanding without being equally appreciative A bad planner which means their emergencies become yours Drags projects on and on, burning through any hope for profitability Always nitpicking every invoice or project authorization Keeping you from pursuing a better client in the same category or industry You keep them on for cash flow.  Or because they've been a client for a long time or maybe because they're a marquee name and you like the recognition.  Whatever your reason is -- it's not good enough.  Those kinds of clients are wearing.  They beat up your staff, teach them bad habits (like complaining about the clients), will drive your best employees away and are a huge boulder in the path of you getting a bigger, better client. Yes, it's [...]