How to STOP Losing Money on your Agency Projects

By Jason Swenk on July 10, 2014

Get your agency to the next level by actually making a profit.

If you want to actually make a profit, start tracking your time.

Yeah, it sucks.

Yeah, it’s hard to do. But if you want to ensure you’re turning a profit, you need to implement a system for you and your team to track the hours they’re spending on projects.

Before I started tracking time, I was losing money on 60% of the projects we were doing. In some cases, I was losing around $20,000. Learn from my mistake!

Does this sound familiar? You’re going along, thinking you’re making money on a project but once you start really looking at how much time you spent, you find that you actually lost money. Or you’ve been selling like crazy all year, only to look at what you made and discover that you made a lot less than you thought?

Raise your rates!

[ctt title=”The number one sign that it’s time to raise your rates is that you’re too busy. If you’re too busy it’s because you’re not charging enough.” tweet=”If you’re too busy, it’s because your agency is not charging enough. via @jswenk #agencygrowth” coverup=”P8hJO”]

How do you know how much to raise your rates?

Surprise – it starts with tracking your time! We would use the time we tracked previously to figure out what to charge on similar projects. We would know from the previous records how much time it took for each phase of a project. This gave us an accurate judgement of how many hours it would take to complete the work.

But setting your rate doesn’t stop there. You also need to add to it for profitability and unknowns. For example:

100 hour project + 25% for profitability + 25% for unknowns

So essentially, that 100 hour project is charged as a 150 hour project. Whatever you end up charging, at the very least, you need to make sure  you know how long it takes you to do the project.

Use tracking software.

I’ve used a great software called My Intervals, but there are lots of awesome ones out there. These tools make it super easy for you and your team to track time. If your team is resistant, incentivize them! After all, if you’re tracking your time you’ll be able to pay bonuses!

Still don’t think you can do it?

I’d love to hear your excuses for why you don’t think you can track time. Or what happened when you tried to track time and it didn’t work out. Post your comments below and let’s talk about it.

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