Category Archives

Technology

  • Jun 10,2019
For smaller professional service firms, balancing the consulting you’re passionate about with the mandatory business management to run your practice can be difficult. While the client is always the priority, it’s like they say about oxygen masks before take-off, you must help yourself before assisting others.

To keep your practice afloat and running profitably, it’s important to keep a constant pulse on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and make adjustments to optimize your work and plan for future projects. Often firms without a PSA (professional services automation) software struggle to see their metrics or spend hours compiling data from different places into one spreadsheet to get a general idea of their performance.

With PSA software, project, staff, and financial data live all in one place giving firms the power to access these KPIs in real time. Stronger measurements lead to better management.

Below are the five KPIs every professional services firm should track that can be uncovered easily through automation software.

Project Margin – What projects are turning the highest profit? Review the revenue earned minus the labor costs associated with a project to find out how successful your revenue model is and which projects, in particular, are the strongest.

Tip for Improvement: The projects that turn a low profit, go a step further into the data to find the weak points that need to be tweaked. For example, fewer hours being budgeted than are actually required causing an increase in non-billable time.

Delivery Margin – How profitable is my current business structure? Similar to your project margin, the delivery margin includes the overhead cost in addition to labor cost. This will give you insight into operational and internal expenses that impact your bottom line.

Tip for Improvement: Take advantage of all the automation solutions available in the PSA software to cut down on time and money spent on internal workflows. Streamline project approvals, set up invoice templates and integrate into your accounting software to cut down on manual data entry.

Billable Utilization – Am I using my team and resources efficiently? Track how much time is billable versus bench time, and then adjust for a higher utilization rate. By look at a combination of historical and forecast data, this stat gives you the power to boost profit from efficiency.

Tip for Improvement: Use a staff allocation tool with your PSA software when planning projects to see which staff is available to take on more work and which staff members have too much on their plate and may affect the projects progress. This will ensure you’re making the best use of all team members time and decrease the amount of time staff spend on the bench.

WIP (Work in Progress) Status – Are my engagements within budget? Instead of only measuring project performance at the end, project managers can play a role by staying on top of current projects with real-time analytics to make sure budgets are on track and deadlines are met.

Tip for Improvement: When a project starts to go off course and you’re able to alert your clients as it’s happening rather than a surprise on their invoice, there may be the opportunity to budget in more hours for the project or use the resource allocation tools again to get all staff hands on deck to make sure another deadline isn’t missed.

After you have your dashboards set up for tracking the KPIs that are valuable to you, reports can be pulled in minutes to share all 5 of these KPIs easily with your leadership team. You can also create custom user rights for staff to view analytics that is valuable to their success without sharing full business performance metrics.

To learn more about BigTime’s PSA solution and reporting capabilities and dashboards, request a free customized demo here.

  • Jun 03,2019
If you want to do better project management, you have to keep a close eye on your projects’ deadlines and budgets, each and every day. That’s not easy to do. The best way to avoid any mistakes is to start using resource allocation to guarantee that your firm has the time and the staff to meet every project’s deadline.

What’s more, resource allocation can save you time and money by keeping your firm’s projects on schedule and within budget. Here are five common problems that businesses can overcome by using software to assist in resource allocation.

1. Planning and Prioritizing Projects Remember that you’re in full control. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re in charge of planning your firm’s projects: there’s a lot of time and money riding on your ability to make accurate plans, and see those plans through to completion. At any point, you could make a mistake in scheduling or budgeting, and ruin the whole project.

When your project planning includes a resource allocation software, you can schedule every step of a project to see when your project will be complete, and you can see how any scheduling changes could affect your deadline. You can even assign a project’s different tasks to different employees, monitoring the project’s progress, and making necessary changes along the way.

In this image, you can see that when Ben Herrol was added to the project Website Updates: Task 1, BigTime’s resource allocation feature responded with Allocated: 61 to show that you’ve allocated too many hours to this project. That’s why resource allocation is valuable. You don’t want to go over budget, or off schedule, do you?



2. Understanding Capacity It’s hard to know who in your firm is available to work on a project. That’s why one of the secrets to good project planning is capacity, which is how many hours a given employee is available to work during a month, on average.

Resource allocation can help you make decisions based on what is most important to your firm. When you view a project by staff member, you have the power to make vital capacity-related choices for staffing projects, and to make informed decisions for the future of your project.

In this image, you can see that Jason should work 40 hours per week (see Jason Alexander, 40.00 Hrs.), that he’s been scheduled for 28 hours during the week of December 3rd (see Totals), and that he has been given 113 hours to work the chosen period (see Allocated). Knowing that Jason hasn’t yet met his capacity, you could allocate him another 27 hours, without worrying if he’s over time. That’s really easy, isn’t it?



3. Thinking Long-Term A huge part of resource allocation is thinking ahead to where your project and your staff will be in weeks, months, or even years. Succeeding at project management means being able to guarantee that all your projects will be under budget, and will meet every deadline, so you need a smart way to make reliable decisions about how your projects will happen.

There are a lot of software tools available for project management, so you have to be careful. A good project management tool will prevent you from:

  • Over-allocating tasks to your project staff. Any useful software lets you know your current capacity and future capacity for any project.
  • Becoming under-staffed. A helpful tool will inform you’re understaffed, so you can make hiring decisions at just the right time.
  • Getting swamped at busy times. Every good project management software lets you restructure your project’s staffing, at any time, and shows you the results.
  • Being caught off guard when your project’s deadlines or funding change. A smart tool for project management will allow you to make changes as the situation of your project evolves.
  • Running into conflicts with other projects. Any worthwhile software will let you see all of your projects, at the same time, so you can see all of the projects your firm is working to complete.

  • That’s why, in BigTime, you can check the status of any project, or staff member, or task. As the image below shows, all you have to do is to use the navigation arrows to scroll forward or backward in time.



    4. Rolling with the Punches Nothing ever goes as you’ve planned, and when you’re managing projects, you have to be prepared to change your project planning at a moment’s notice. If at any time you need to modify a project’s staffing, timeline, budget, or scope, then a project management tool will help your firm to easily adapt to change.

    Any high-quality project management software uses dependencies to do resource allocation, which is a way of managing projects where a staffer must complete a certain task before a staffer can begin another task, to avoid wasting money and time. For example, resource allocation in BigTime has a tool called Shift Allocations that lets you move around your resources without re-entering anything, at all. Just move your resources where you need them to be.

    Once everything is in the right place, you can re-assign your staff and their tasks, and keep your project moving. In the image below, you can see what BigTime looks like when you re-assign how your project resources are allocated.



    5. Staying Informed You are the person with your finger on the pulse of every project, so you need to be able to see the progress and status of every employee’s tasks, immediately and easily. A useful project management software will update you on your firm’s projects, in real time, using elegant and informative graphics. Look at all the information you get from a quick glance at software like BigTime:



    In seconds, you can answer questions like:

  • Have I assigned all hours to all available staff members?
  • Which staff member is logging the most hours on a particular project?
  • Is a project on budget, right this second, and will it be on budget next month?
  • What staffing changes would you need to make in order to get back on budget?
  • Who has hours available, tomorrow, to work on a last-minute project?

  • If you need to make a big decision based on the best information you can find, a project management software will create reports using your resource allocation data, showing you everything you need to make smart choices.

    You can even run reports based on resource allocation to do revenue forecasting. Whether you’re forecasting by project, or across staffers, you can learn which months you’ll be cash-flow positive, or which staff members will most likely to make the most revenue during the next quarter. Any top-tier Project management software gives you two ways to predict your firm’s revenue:

  • Hourly Revenue Projection (as rate * budget): do revenue forecasting based on an employee’s hourly rate.
  • Fixed-Fee Revenue Projection (as % of overall budget): forecast revenue using a fixed amount that you set for a client.


  • For example, here is what revenue forecasting looks like in BigTime’s resource allocation tool:



    When you look at everything you have to do to be good at project management, it can feel a little overwhelming, but there are a lot of excellent tools to help you do your best. Even when you’re at the top of your game, a top-rated project management software like BigTime gives you every tool you need for resource allocation, whenever and wherever your firm’s projects demand.

    See what project management software looks like by requesting a demo of BigTime.

    prioritizing tech spend bigtime

    • May 30,2019
    Spending money to make money is a fine line for any company to walk. Add in the stress of a growing business where investments can feel like they’ll make or break your success and it can be like walking a tightrope.

    For smaller firms in fast-growth years, investing in new technology is not an easy choice but necessary to reach their full potential. Professional services firms see an average of 11% increase year-over-year, and according to Spiceworks’ State of IT Report, 57% of smaller companies surveyed cited their reason for purchasing new technology to business growth.

    Certain aspects of businesses could always benefit from the latest technology/software, but there may be cost-effective alternatives to get the job done in a relatively efficient manner. Other processes are more prone to struggling to keep up with growth due to an increase in manual roadblocks.

    According to Capterra, “SMBs are allocating budget to four business technologies: finance and accounting, cloud computing, data security, and digital marketing.”

    Of the surveyed respondents, 54% believe software that assists with the financial aspect of their business is their top priority, followed by 40% choosing project management solutions. Capterra’s report also sites that poor accounting practices that cause cash flow problems are the primary reason small businesses’ fail.

    Following this status quo of prioritizing financial tools, after purchasing a strong accounting software like Quickbooks, investing in a PSA (Professional Services Automation) solution will add an extra layer of security to your business strategy. PSA software improves the efficiency of internal workflows and increases accuracy in the data pushed to your accounting software for quick ROI. Many PSA tools also come with key project management features to keep teams accountable for project deadlines, budgets and use of time.

    Much like building a house, once a strong foundation is in place with an accounting and PSA software to ensure your business is prepared for any storm, other “finishings” can be prioritized to create the strongest tech stack for your firm.

    Here are our three quick tips for prioritizing your tech spend after the basics:

    Think long term – When evaluating software, it’s important to look for a tool that will grow well with your company. Purchasing something up front that offers more sophisticated solutions in the hopes of one day needing all of them may end up dragging you down from ever getting there, with too many clunky features and a high price point. Look for software that offers different package levels that are appropriate for what features/spend fit your firm today and where they can grow into tomorrow. Additionally, resorting to quick band-aids or solutions that fit only one project/problem are probably not worth your money in the beginning.

    Listen to your employees – Some pain points are obvious at every level of the company, but others might be hidden behind the hard manual work of your employees/coworkers. Just because certain work is getting done by the deadline, doesn’t always mean it’s the smartest way to do it. Investing in a technology that streamlines those processes to eliminate the hours of manual work will open up time for other projects and opportunities.

    Take your time searching – Time is valuable, but making a decision too soon without thoroughly evaluating your options can lead to problems. For most software, the primary investment is made up front when paying for support or training hours in addition to your subscription or service. Save yourself the headache of flip-flopping to a different software after the initial spend by receiving demos for the whole team and asking about free trial options to ensure its the right fit.

    To learn more about how BigTime’s PSA solution can reduce your firms growing pains for tracking, managing and invoicing time and expenses, request your personalized demo here.

    • May 07,2019
    For small-to-medium sized businesses, it’s common for the leadership staff to not only manage the business but also still be executors heavily involved in day-to-day client projects. This leaves little time for managing the overhead of the business and adds stress to the pressures of running a successful company. Most likely, you’re also then the person tasked with finding a solution, but where to start?

    PSA (Professional Services Automation) and PM (Project Management) software are often confused because at their core they offer the same key values of getting your business more organized and increasing productivity. Where they differ is in the way they get this done and the resulting benefits.

    In this blog post, we break down the difference between the two software, and how to evaluate your existing needs to see which solution is the best fit for your SMB.

    What is PM Software?

    Project Management software helps your individual employees work smarter. Primary features include project task management to set deadlines and to assign team members responsibilities, as well as file sharing, and communications tools.

    As a result of improved internal project workflows, you can expect to meet deadlines more efficiently and increase your clients’ happiness with your work. This, in turn, may lead to higher profits if your team is more productive and producing better client relationships.

    Any company can be a fit for the PM tool, regardless of industry, target market or project types, since the technology is built with employees in mind, rather than servicing a client. Because of this, most software has a one-size-fits-all model that your company will then have to tweak and customize to your exact use case.

    What is PSA Software?

    Professional Services Automation software helps build a smarter business strategy. Going a step further than just tracking the success of a project, PSA software is built to ultimately track and manage the success of your business.

    Features include some of the PM basics like project/task management and resource allocations, layered with time/expense tracking, budgeting, and invoicing. Custom reporting can then be built off of the data captured within the tool to measure the KPIs that are important for evaluating the success and growth of your business. Examples of this include: if your budgets are on track, where to allocate your team, what projects are turning the highest profit, and what gaps need to be filled to avoid a low revenue period.

    If used every step of the way, PSA tools will benefit not only your employees’ internal workflow struggles, and give you company insights, but also improve your client relationships. Invoices will be more likely to be generated on time, with accuracy, and in a customized format.

    Designed with professional services firms in mind, PSA tools are best suited for firms that are looking for an all-in-one solution from time tracking to invoicing. Companies that need only part of the feature set, like clock in-and-out time tracking or just project management, are better suited for a more simplified product.

    The benefit is, if you are a professional services firm that meets the needs set for a PSA tool, the product will already be tailored to your use case with minimal time spent customizing.

    To learn more about BigTime Softwares PSA solution, and to see if it’s the right fit for your firm, contact our team today.



    Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

    • Nov 29,2018
    The internet of things (IoT) is reshaping the way we work and live, but it’s also bound to impact how project managers manage projects. Simply put, the IoT is a network of devices that use the internet to exchange information. Consider Amazon’s Dash Buttons as a small-scale example. Push your Tide Dash Button, a small device that connects to Wi-Fi, to re-order a new bottle of detergent. More broadly, the IoT is being applied to cities—collecting data to better infrastructure, monitor traffic, and improve waste management—and many other facets of life from cars to homes. The IoT certainly has a “cool factor” going for it right now. But the IoT also offers practical benefits, as we as new demands, for project managers. What’s in store for you?

    Increase Collaboration

    If you think collaboration in an IoT world means messaging staffers on Slack, think again. Interconnectivity is at the heart of the IoT, explains author Maciej Kranz in a Harvard Business Review article. He’s right: nearly 31 billion devices expected to be connected to the internet by 2020. But “interconnectivity” is not just about devices, Kranz says. It’s also about “the connections between customers, partners, and suppliers.” The “IoT is driving a shift in business structures from a one-company-does-it-all model to a let’s-work-together approach,” Kranz points out. Put another way, the IoT enables you to easily work with people across companies and industries. Consider this example: “With data analytics provided by Microsoft Azure and an informational infrastructure developed collaboratively by Industrial Scientific and Cisco,” Kranz writes, “operators now have a dashboard to remotely monitor the people, equipment, and air quality in the mine in real time.” Approach project management with the same mentality: an interconnective one that goes beyond your company walls.

    Build New Skills

    Don’t get too comfortable with your current skills. The influx of IoT breathes new life to the buzzword “lifelong learner.” The “IoT requires new technical skills, ranging from data science and systems architecture to cybersecurity,” argues Kranz, as well as the “people” skills needed for collaborative work. Understanding technical topics can help you better use and understand the tools and data at your disposal. At the same time, you may find yourself partnering more with people who already have a technical background, such as data analysts, who can help as you navigate your projects.

    Increase Productivity

    Get the data you want when you want it. That’s one benefit of the IoT. You’ll have access to more real-time and historical data, more easily. That’s useful when you’re trying to spot trends and plan for future projects. But, of course, there’s a flip slide: dealing with a deluge of data. You’ll need to become efficient at filtering information: knowing what data you’re after and stopping once you get it. Just because an endless amount of data is accessible, doesn’t mean you need to sort through it all. The IoT has already brought exciting changes, and project management isn’t exempt. Don’t fear the IoT, but rather embrace how it will enhance the way your work.

    • May 01,2018
    Have a BigTime expert show you how to access and use BigTime features when it’s convenient for you. If it sounds too good to be true, think again. We’ve put together short knowledge base (KB) video tutorials and recorded webinars to help you get up and running with BigTime faster.

    Video Tutorials

    Our video tutorials cover a range of topics, from creating an expense entry to posting invoices to QuickBooks, and they’re only a few minutes long. Below are a few videos to get you started: For more videos, go to the KB and type “video tutorial” in the search box and a list will populate.
    time billing software knowledgebase

    Webinars

    Maybe you’re new to BigTime or need a refresher on how to use a feature. Either way, it’s also worth checking out our recorded webinars, where a BigTime expert gives detailed explanations on important software features. Here’s what you’ll learn about in our three recorded webinars:
    • Project management: find out about BigTime’s workflow, so you can manage your staff’s workload.
    • Invoicing: discover how to use each of our invoicing calculators: manual, time and materials, and fixed fee. You’ll also learn how to set up bill rates, print or email invoices to clients, and post invoices to QuickBooks, among other topics.
    • Reporting: put your data to good use by using our pre-built and custom reports.
    We also post “how-to” videos on YouTube, so you’re bound to find what you need!

    • Feb 22,2018

    Image credit: Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

    Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will have a transformative impact on the future of work. By 2030, McKinsey estimates between 400 and 800 million people could be “displaced by automation.” We commonly hear that people with manufacturing and transportation jobs are at risk. But professional, knowledge-based workers—like consultants—should also take note. AI can learn fast, analyze mounds of data, and find patterns, which can be problematic for data-driven occupations, like consulting. It’s an argument that Harvard Business Review (HBR) takes up in a recent article. “The processing power of four smart consultants with excel spreadsheets is miniscule in comparison to a single smart computer using AI running for an hour, based on continuous, non-stop machine learning.” AI undoubtedly has certain advantages over humans. However, there are limitations. A computer beats a human at a game of Go because it’s “analyzing data for patterns,” a recent MIT article points out. But the computer doesn’t know whether it’s playing Go or golf, the article adds, and it wouldn’t know what to do “if more than half of a Go board was pushed beyond the edge of a table.” So it makes sense that humans pick up where computers fall short. As it relates to consulting, humans can use the data AI generates to create customized, innovative solutions for clients. Put another way, AI doesn’t mean the end of human consultants. But their role is being redefined as some consulting companies use AI as a tool to help them in their work. Accenture, a Boston-based business management consultancy, uses AI to help their clients in multiple ways. It’s helping pharmaceutical companies “automate drug safety analysis” by using natural language processing and machine learning and rules. It’s also using AI to detect fraud in large sets of data; then humans investigate. Kortical offers a different twist. Their consultation service helps businesses determine what sectors can benefit from AI. The human-machine partnership is already proving fruitful in other industries. Watson is making a name for itself in the medical field, including its ability to assist medical professionals with diagnosing cancer. In fact, in 2016 Watson made a leukemia diagnosis that doctors had missed several months prior. AI is opening up new, and arguably more interesting, opportunities. And that’s why consultants should think of AI as a tool, not a threat. Indeed, the human-machine partnership is a reciprocal relationship: algorithms can’t do much without human help, but a growing number of industries, including consulting, are relying on them to improve the way business is done. We’re only at the tip of what’s possible when humans and AI work together. Let AI help with the data part of the job. Then, use this information to present relevant, detailed solutions to clients.

    • Jun 27,2017

    At a recent American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) meeting, the talk at our table was about the value gap. Clients and municipalities are cost-conscious, and rightly so. They are mandated to get the best possible price for a project.

    Engineering firms, on the other hand, must provide competitive pricing in order to compete in the marketplace. But the lowest price doesn’t accommodate the cost of value. That’s the value gap.

    The Cost Value Gap

    As described at the ACEC lunch, the cost of value is the work that a firm does to ensure that a project is successful. Work that is often invisible to the client and frequently unbilled. For example, firms manage vast amounts of project data. They carry the cost of hosting the data, keeping it secure, and tagging it so it’s easily retrieved. Project data management is a valuable service. Yet firms rarely bill for it because clients don’t associate the cost of this service with the value it provides.

    Another Example of the Cost Value Gap

    Firms end up owning relationships with entities hired by the client. Think public utilities or construction companies. The firm takes on the responsibility of collaborating with the entities they had no hand in hiring. To ensure that the project succeeds, the firm keeps the client informed about, well, everything: work order changes, potential cost overruns, delays and so on. This level of collaboration and communication consumes firm resources but clients don’t equate the cost of this service with the value they receive. As the conversation died down, firm owners and project managers shrugged their shoulders, agreeing that they just couldn’t be competitive if they included the cost of value in a Request for Information (RFI). They’d be out of the running. And that’s bad for business.

    Close the Cost Value Gap With Information

    In his seminal book “Managing the Professional Service Firm,” David H. Maister devotes an entire chapter to How Clients Choose [a firm]. It’s entirely relevant to closing the cost-value gap. Maister writes, “From the buyer’s perspective, the two stages [of selecting a firm] are experienced as qualification and selection.” Master goes on to say that qualification is a rational, logical process based on the evaluation of a firm’s competency. Firm selection, on the other hand, is much more personal and intuitive. It is largely based on the firm’s ability to be helpful to the client. As Maister puts it, “Give me some new information.” Information that I [the client] will find useful, that will help solve my problems. And it has to be the kind of information that I can believe in, that’s documented and demonstrable.

    How to Get the Data That Demonstrates Value

    Consider running your firm in the cloud. If you’re trying to manage people, projects, and billing with spreadsheets and disconnected applications, it’s a time-consuming hassle to collect accurate data. This applies equally to your firm management and your ability to document costs and demonstrate value to your client. In their paper, “The Industry Software Revolution,” authors Brian Feinstein and Trevor Oelschig write, “The value of running your firm in the cloud is its ability to connect people on a job site or anywhere in the world with shared data in a collaborative environment.” Think about connecting your project delivery workflow with an online app. In order to sell your value to a client, you have to know what it costs you to deliver services. An online time and billing application can capture data at every point in your project workflow, as shown in this diagram. Get Clients Table 2 Many service professionals, regardless of industry, are experts in their particular field but they don’t start out as experts in managing a firm. An online time and billing application is kind of like an MBA in a box. Except there’s no box because it’s in the cloud. Regardless, this type of application provides real-time visibility into what’s going on with a client’s project. Exactly the kind of data that you need to communicate your firm’s value.

    7 Ways You Can Use Data to Communicate Value

    Calling upon Maister one last time, here are 7 ways you can use your command of data to help you communicate your firm’s value.
    1. Tell the client something they don’t know.
    Give your client context. Without disclosing proprietary information, draw parallels between similar kinds of projects. Let your client know how their project compares to another in terms of budget vs actual, staffing allocation usage, even project data file size. Tell the client something they don’t know. 2. Tell the client something they need to know. Give your client a heads up. If a project budget is at risk for an overrun that’s something your client needs to know. But when you alert the client before there’s a budget overrun and you have ideas about how to prevent it, that’s more than something they need to know. That’s valuable. 3.  Bring useful information to meetings. Use your command of data to inform and advise during meetings, even those that come up at the last minute. You can open up a dashboard to confirm a project budget Not-to-Exceed (NTE) amount. Or show your client that the hours actually worked on a project task are getting close to the hours allocated. Then deliver even more value and help your client arrive at a solution. 4.  Show what you’re doing and why it matters to the client. Set up a regular cadence of communication with your client. It doesn’t matter how easily you can access project information if you don’t form the habit of communicating it to your client. It’s important to share project status updates and discuss options to avert potential problems like a cost overrun. It’s just as important to listen to your client. Be there. Fully present. And listen. That’s invaluable. 5.  Involve the client in major project milestones. Give your client something to celebrate. Create a shared sense of accomplishment. Review the project information with your client—things like project stages, due dates, staffer assignments, budgets, and percent complete. Nothing communicates value like success. 6. Inform the client about consequences of a change in scope. Be constant, steady, and reliable in your client’s changing landscape. Use the data you’ve captured across many client projects to accurately forecast the cost of a change in scope. You’ll be of value to your client and you’ll be confident that your firm can afford to take on the work if offered.
    1. Be helpful beyond the specifics of the project scope.
    This excerpt from“Manage Your Manager,” a training by Dr. Todd Dewett says everything that needs to be said on the subject. “Being a helpful person is not only the right thing to do in a professional context, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that long term, the people you’re helping will be willing to help you.” Learn more about using data to communicate your value. We’re here to help. Because if you succeed, we do too.

    Let's Talk Value

      Subscribe to our blog for firm management advice, tech trends, and our service industry research. BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for more than 2,000 professional firms, tracking over $2 billion (USD) worth of billable time each year.  

    • Jun 22,2017
    As a time and billing software company, we’re always on the lookout for articles about time management. You see, we help thousands of service firms run more successful businesses with online time tracking, project management, and reporting. And all of those things are related to time: tracking it, connecting it with firm workflows, and capturing the data associated with it. We really like quick tips on how to make the most of the time we have at work. We enjoyed reading “10 Tips on Time Management Within the Workplace” so we’re sharing it with you. The approximate reading time is 5 minutes.

    Forming Good Time Management Habits

    Habits, at least the good ones, help us streamline our routines in positive and productive ways. We don’t have to think about flossing. It’s just something we do. (We’re all flossing, right?)

    Counter-Intuitive Time Management Habits

    But good time management habits sometimes go against the norm. For icon_work_2instance, free software trials are an industry standard. We’re delighted when someone wants to independently explore our product. But the truth is, most people don’t have the time to find their way around a new software application. That’s why we think free software trials are a waste of time for most people.

    Why Free Trials Aren’t Good Time Management Hand_Clock_Icon

    We have hundreds of free trial sign-ups every month. These folks have the best of intentions. But a lot of the time people don’t use the free trial because software evaluation isn’t their job. It sounds like a good idea. But it’s not a good use of their time.

    A Time Management Tip

    Here’s our time management tip. Skip the free trial. Focus on running your Jamdsjale_Iconbusiness. And outsource your software evaluation to the people who do that for a living. Our sales team has educated thousands of service firms about our product. But it’s not about us. It’s about you. And how you can run a smarter and more profitable firm with our time billing software. If you’re looking for a better way to manage both your time and your firm, Skip the free trial. Let’s talk.

    Let's Talk! Subscribe to our blog for firm management advice, tech trends, and our industry research. BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing and project management for more than 2,000 professional firms, tracking over $2 billion (USD) worth of billable time each year.

    • Jun 01,2017
    A recent article from the Wall Street Journal revealed that U.S. companies increased spending on consulting by 7.1 percent in 2016 as more businesses sought advice on cybersecurity, according to a report by Source Global Research. Spending on management-consulting reached $58.7 billion last year. The pace of hiring outside advice rose fastest in the pharmaceutical industry, though financial services companies maintained their dominance over the market, with cybersecurity advice as the fastest-growing segment. According to new research from American Express and Dun & Bradstreet, business services are the fastest growing segment in the middle market.

    Companies Push for a Return on Investment from Consulting Work

    Fiona Czerniawska, director of Source Global Research said about the demand for cybersecurity advice, “I can’t see how it stops.” She also cautioned that consulting firms are often seen as able at optimizing back-office tasks, but are not seen as the people you need to grow your business.

    Time Billing Software to Position Your Firm as a Strategic Advisor

    img-feature-title-mobile
    BigTime iPhone and Android app for time tracking and expense reporting.
      We can see the raised eyebrows. But look at it this way. A strategic advisor is a value-add role. Your expertise is the price of admission. Your breakout ideas will get attention. But your value is associated with your insight. And your insight is based on data – the data you’ve captured with time billing software, starting with online timesheets and expense reporting.

    The Value of a Connected Project Management workflow

    The time and data you enter are associated with a client project. More than that, time and data are associated with, well, even more data: the project budget, tasks, even sub-tasks and its budgets, billing and invoicing, and finally, real-time reporting.

    The Value Added Advisor

    img-qb-integration-3-small

    Suddenly you’re the go-to person for valued insight based on real-time data that’s easy to access. When your clients ask, “How’re we doing?” you can do more than answer the question. You can tell your clients how they can grow their business.

    Read the WSJ article

      To keep up with BigTime’s firm management tips, tech trends, and time and billing research studies, subscribe to our blog BigTime Software delivers real-time, metrics-driven time and billing software for more than 2,000 professional firms, tracking over $2 billion (USD) worth of billable time each year.