How to manage your contractor workload effectively
Before Christmas, work was picking up for many contractors and we hope that that’s been the case for you, and that this third national lockdown hasn’t caused too much disruption. If you are in one of the sectors (such as IT) that has seen more-or-less continuous work throughout the pandemic then you may well be finding yourself with a workload that you’re having to juggle working from home, lockdown restrictions, and possibly even home schooling, so you’d be forgiven for finding things a touch hectic.
So, how do you go about managing your workload effectively to ensure nothing gets missed and that you aren’t under too much pressure? We have some tips to help you out, particularly around that bane of most contractors’ lives: admin. Admin, of course, often feels as if it gets in the way, preventing you from doing your “proper” work. But without admin, there would be no “proper” work to do, so if you can manage your admin effectively, you can manage your workload.
Keep your diary up to date
Keeping your diary in check is vital to managing your workload. When you get a job request, book it into your diary immediately – even if it’s just pencilling it in until it’s fully confirmed. Firstly, this helps to prevent double bookings and unhappy clients. Secondly, it gives you a clear visibility of your workload so you can plan ahead and organise yourself.
You may well have a preference as to the type of diary or calendar that you use, but we recommend an online calendar that can be synced across your devices so that you have visibility of it no matter where you are. A wall planner can also be handy for an at-a-glance view in your home office.
Send quotes the same day
A quick turnaround on quotes is essential when it comes to taking control of your workload as well as winning contracts. If you get a request for a quote, try to send out the estimate the same day if you can, or at least within 24 hours. If you need to request more information from the client before providing a quote, ask for it straight away if you can to expediate things.
Getting the quote out quickly means you won’t have a client chasing you, which never sets a good impression. For this reason, it can be the difference between winning a contract or not. After all, if you get a quote turned around promptly, it’s likely to impress a client and stand you in good stead.
Don’t let invoices stack up
This works two ways. Firstly, if you have invoices to pay (from suppliers, sub-contractors and so on) then pay them immediately. Don’t let them pile up and don’t force people to chase you. Paying promptly means that you can sit back and forget about it, while the person you’re paying is happy with a quick payment.
If you are the one billing, send out your invoices to clients as soon as they’re ready to go. The sooner you send out your invoices, the sooner they can be paid, reducing the impact of any delays. Again, once they’re sent you can pretty much forget about them until they’re due.
Start the day well
With lockdown under way again, households can be a bit chaotic in the morning, with the adults setting themselves up to start work and any children getting ready to start school remotely. If you have to set your kids up on Google Classroom before you can start for the day, you really want to make sure you’re good to go as soon as possible.
The best way to do this is to prepare the night before, setting up your desk with everything you need to do your job, and lifting out any equipment or paperwork you might need. It’s also a good idea to write out a to do list in order of priority, setting time aside for essential admin tasks so that they don’t get forgotten.
Get your business insurance sorted
One last bit of admin you can do to keep things running smoothly, is to make sure your business insurance is up to date. If it has expired during lockdown, or is coming up for renewal, you should make sure it’s all in order so that you can accept work without hindrance and have complete peace of mind. If you need one, you can visit the Kingsbridge site to get a quote for our business insurance package. Alternatively, you can contact our friendly team on 01242 808 740.
Keeping your contractor admin in order is bound to help you keep on top of your workload and allow you to work in a pressure-free environment, which is good for you clients and even better for you, particularly in the current circumstances – and Kingsbridge is here to help you do just that.