11 growth strategies to increase billable hours
What is one strategy to increase billable hours and enable growth at a service-based business?
To help small business owners boost their billable hours and improve their digital content marketing strategy, we asked consultants and business leaders this question for their best insights. From ensuring you’re adding value to integrating your systems, there are several tactics that may help you expand billable hours to grow business.
Here are 11 growth strategies to maximize billable hours:
- Ensure You’re Adding Value
- Exceed Expectations
- Monetize an Existing Step
- Structure Horizontal Integration
- Charge Less Per Billable Hour
- Utilize AI to Save Time
- Complement Your Existing Services
- Integrate Your Systems
- Ask Your Customer Base
- Use Time-Tracking Software
- Focus on Relationships First
Ensure You’re Adding Value
The only ways to increase billable hours are by: (1) adding additional value to the client, (2) maintaining a relationship with the client and their business, and (3) showing them you actually care about their business and not about billable hours.
Amanda Russo, Cornerstone Paradigm Consulting, LLC
Good sales funnels, shoddy marketing techniques, and hard-nosed salespeople do one thing extremely well. They make a service sound so good that you’d be an idiot not to buy it. These tactics will result in quick sales but ultimately lead to cognitive dissonance, angry customers, and bad reviews, which will hurt your top line in the long run because nobody will want to work with you.
A better approach to increase billable hours as a service-based business is to focus on the outcome for your clients and actually do what you said you would do for them. Better yet, if you want to create a die-hard fan that will spend more money with you, do just a little more than what you said you would do for them as an added surprise.
We have adopted this methodology since day one, and it has helped us exponentially grow our business year after year.
Rani Sweis, AtticSalt
Monetize an Existing Step
Service-based businesses sometimes do things that they don’t charge clients for. These “complimentary” steps in a process are opportunities to enable growth and increase revenue.
Existing clients may be open to paying for this service. But also, sometimes, an existing step can be spun off into a standalone service to bring in new clients.
For example, as a digital marketing company, we do content strategies for clients as a standard step in our process. We spun content strategies off into a separate service and were able to increase revenue as a result. Identify a valuable step in your process, spin it off or put a price tag on it, and grow your business.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Structure Horizontal Integration
Most of the time, clients are looking for a range of services that they procure from different businesses. At the same time, many of them are related and reveal synergies when delivered by a single provider.
Discovering which services may come together with an additional benefit to the customer can be a great way to increase the number of hours billed without inflating the price.
Michael Sena, SENACEA
Charge Less Per Billable Hour
In order to increase billable hours and grow your service-based business, you should charge less money per hour and bill more hours. Don’t charge as much.
Build a foundation of people that will pay less. Build a base of people at that rate. Since everyone else is billing more, you’ll grow your clientele.
Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging
Utilize AI to Save Time
One of the things that you could do is employ the services of a software engineering firm to develop in-house bespoke software that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities for tasks that take up a large chunk of your key resources, namely time.
This tends to work very well when the task is part of your core business. In this way, you can enable growth via a two-pronged approach without needing to charge more for your services: (1) Tasks can be done quicker, hence reducing overheads and improving the margins, and (2) you can take on more work at the same margin in the same amount of time, increasing profits and enabling growth via an increase in the project pipeline.
Mogale Modisane, ToolsGaloreHQ.com
Complement Your Existing Services
When we looked to increase billable hours a few years ago, we decided to complement our mold remediation services by offering to reinstall the drywall that we have to remove. This immediately increased our margins on every project and boosted our growth. Any other service-based business may look to add another complimentary service to their existing offerings and achieve the same result.
Charles Leduc, Mold Busters
Integrate Your Systems
Create interconnected systems that can scale consumer interactions as your company expands. As an entrepreneur, I believe that seamless connectivity between your front-end and back-end technologies will enable all customer-facing workers to resolve issues promptly and maintain strong connections.
Veronica Miller, VPNOverview
Ask Your Customer Base
Survey your loyal customers and ask them what would help to make their lives easier as it relates to your service offering. If you hear the same thing from multiple customers, it’s likely something you should seriously consider building into your suite of services.
Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO
Use Time-Tracking Software
Tracking productivity and deliverables with archaic tools and outdated software can cause you to miss out on a lot of data, and ultimately money too. For absolute precision, you’ll need to ensure that you’re investing in the best time-tracking software for your employees, which can ideally be automated. This will save precious time that can otherwise be utilized on high-priority tasks that are more valuable to your success.
Krista Haws, Dripped Coffee
Focus on Relationships First
You’ll introduce yourself to new clients and re-introduce yourself to existing customers when you take your business online. Make sure you have a system in place to organize your client information so that each interaction is linked to your customer’s profile when you start using this new channel for your business.
If you do it right from the start, you’ll have a plethora of data to assist you better in understanding your best clients and promote more effectively in the future (saving time and money).
Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel