How Time Tracking Software Can Help Your Business Grow Mike Kulakov, February 6, 2019 Time tracking software is a tool which helps you track how much time you and your employees are spending on tasks. But there is so much more to it than simply clocking in and clocking out. As these applications become increasingly more sophisticated, business managers are embracing this new technology to save themselves both time and money. Whether you are a sole trader or have started to grow your business with employees, time is a resource, a key commodity. The best versions also offer integration with other business management tools to give your business the support it needs to expand and grow. Sole traders When you start a new business, especially as a sole trader you might feel that there are not enough hours in the day. But the real problem is often not so much lack of time as poor time management. How much time is being spent on low-value projects at the expense of higher value ones? Would it make financial sense to outsource some time-hungry tasks leaving you free to focus on more important issues? These are questions that can be answered only if you have a clear understanding of how your working hours and minutes are being spent. But it doesn’t stop there. The best apps offer seamless integration with other tools to help your business run smoothly. This lets you create a virtual office support network for project management, scheduling your workload and keeping on top of invoicing. All of that lets you to offer better service to your clients because: You have a realistic idea of how long a job takes so there is less chance of going over budget on labor costs; You can price job more effectively to be sure that you are making a profit; You have a clear picture of your availability so won’t let clients down by offering what you can’t deliver; All of this means better client retention, recommendations, and ensures you are working within viable profit margins. Small businesses and startups Much of the above also applies to small business employers. But in addition to making the best possible use of your own time you now have your employees’ time to consider. As well as getting value for money you also want sure your employees to have a sense of achievement. It’s good to know that you have achieved something at the end of the day. Someone may be self-motivated and able to manage their time well, but the other one may need more help. By tracking time they can see where hours and minutes are being lost or wasted. It can also help teams collaborating on bigger projects as everyone can see how it is progressing and support each other. Once you are employing staff you also have to consider payroll and taxation. Fortunately, the best time trackers also allow you to work with other more specialist applications to give you seamless business support for the various roles, you perform. As a sole trader or small business owner, you are the boss. But you might also be a secretary or a project manager, a finance department or a tea maker – although, as yet it seems that the tea making features are still under development. What to look for It’s easy just to ask Google which one is the best, but there is more to it than that. What is better for one business may not be the right choice for another. Before you decide you should figure out which features will be most useful to meet your current and future needs as your business grows. Here are a few points to keep in mind. It should be: Intuitive and easy to use: if the app is overcomplicated you will be less inclined to use it, and it will be harder to get employees on board. Value for money: buying a cheaper product that doesn’t quite do the job is just a waste of money. Buy the best product you can within your budget. It is an investment that will pay off in the longer term. Only pay for what you need: extra features bring extra costs so make sure you pay only for the features you will use. If you are a sole trader don’t end up paying for additional licenses you don’t need. Look for a package that can be customized to meet your needs. Integrations: this is rapidly becoming the key feature on these apps. Look at what else you might use, such as invoicing software or project management apps like Trello or Asana. Then choose the one that works with these to give your business the best virtual support to grow and develop. Cross-Platform applications: do you need desktop or mobile versions? Or maybe both? Decide what you need and make sure it is compatible with all the devices you use. Mike Kulakov IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.