What to Do with Business Tasks That Need to Be Done but Aren't Billable

There are many tasks that need to be done in a business that you cannot bill out directly to a client. If you are creative and able to divide the tasks into groupings you will soon find that it is easy to ensure that they are done in the best way possible for the least amount of money.

Hiring full-time staff can be a very expensive endeavor, especially when you consider that you will likely need to provide benefits such as sick leave, vacation and time off for statutory holidays. Also, if you are not in the office you might be required to pay staff even though there isn't any income until you return to the office.

What I have found over the years is that by grouping specific tasks into groups, you can hire people on a contract basis to perform the tasks that need to be done but can not be direct billed to clients.

Here are some examples:

1. Most businesses have someone who answers the phone and books clients. Your phone will likely bring not only throughout the day but also into the night and it would be extremely expensive to hire someone to be there for several hours a day. I have set up the telephone answering machine to inform the callers that we do not answer calls but will return all messages by the end of the next business day. That way, I am able to hire a Virtual Assistant for one to two hours a day with a focus on returning the calls and doing the bookings in a condensed period of time. The result is considerable savings and informed clients.

2. Filing - I try to handle a piece of paper only once. That means that having a good filing system in place allows me to drop documents into the proper storage place as I deal with things. I also have a file box for non-client items and pay a filing clerk to come in once a month for a few hours do catch up on the things I don't have time to file.

3. Graphics and marketing materials - Rather than set up each project as it occurs, I have hired one person to work with me for a couple of hours each week. I keep a list of all the things that I would like to have done and prioritize each week. This practice also forces me to do the preliminary planning before the meeting so that I am clear about what I need.

I am sure that if you start thinking about the things that you need and then hire experts by the hour rather than employees by the month, you will soon find that your costs go down and you get the projects done in an efficient manner.

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