Monday, June 30, 2008

Muscles of Success: Do Your Billing

Today is the last day of June. Time to do end of month billing.

It is also the fifth Monday in June. Yee-ha.

If you do invoicing every week, do your invoicing today. Do not procrastinate. Do not delay. Do not forget.

There are a handful of habits that can make a real difference in your business. One of them -- which seems to be troublesome for many people -- is getting the billing out on time.

If you do your invoicing on time today, those charges will be in this month, this quarter, this half of the year. If you do the invoicing tomorrow, they'll be in next month, next quarter, and the next half of the year.

I am constantly amazed at the number of people who "forget" to bill their clients. They focus on working very, very hard to please their clients. And then they do one of two things to throw their money away.

1) They don't keep track of their time. "Oh, I think I was out there at least an hour." Or two. Once you start tracking your time religiously, you'll make more money. I promise.

2) They don't bill for their time. If you bill for all your time, it is impossible to imagine that some people don't. It's not important to them. They're too busy. They don't like that side of the business. If you're going to be IN business, billing for your services is the only "side" of business that really matters.

I've talked to many consultants over the years who readily admit that they forget to bill clients.

At one point, we subcontracted with a consultant -- a Microsoft MVP -- who did work for us in another city. He was very sharp, understood the project, completed the work in a timely manner. He came up with some excellent solutions when the network had problems. He was fast. He even drove sixty miles to do the job.

But he never sent us a bill. Ever.

I asked him for an invoice again and again and again.

Eventually, we stopped working with him and called another technician. The other technician was not as smart, not as clever, and not as fast. But he did a good job.

And he billed us for his time. That made him accountable to us and allowed us to be accountable to our client.

- - - - -

I love my job. I like helping people. I like working with people. I like computers. I like solving problems.

I don't like paperwork, but it makes the rest of my enjoyable life possible.

Billing for your work is approximately the highest priority activity in your business. Take it seriously. Schedule it. Do it.

If you're one of those people with notes in your PDA, outlook, scraps of paper, etc., then resolve to stop behaving like an amateur and take a big step toward professionalism. Today.

One of the key reasons that Autotask and ConnectWise are in business is that they help you track your time. Every minute from 8AM to 5PM. If you just billed for all the work you do, you'd see a big jump in your income.

Start today.

So you can finish the quarter on an "up" note and start the next quarter making more money immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Guilty as charged.

    CW will change that for me. Going to weekly from "when I needed it" is going to be huge. I've lost tens of thousands of dollars forgetting to bill stuff. Lame!


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