Do you want to spend less time on business admin and have more time for creation? You are not alone. A lighting designer with a team of three recently asked me which time-saving tools she could use for business administration and organization. I will show you four of my favorite time-saving tools you can use for time tracking, client organization, and prioritization.
Time-saving tool 1: Easily track your time per project
As a designer, you provide a service, and the services are based on your workload. So it’s important to track exactly the time you spent on each project. The app ‘Toggl‘ is an easy to use an intuitive app that helps you to track time and understand how many hours you used per project. You can tag and classify your projects and at the end, you can see an exact split with different details.
Time-saving tool 2: Define clear mutual expectations
Also, it’s important to understand your value creation. So therefore, at the beginning of a project, discuss with your client how you can measure your results. That could be a monetary result, for instance, increased sales, but it could also be brand awareness or customer satisfaction.
Time-saving tool 3: Get a visual client overview
For client management I suggest using ‘Pipedrive‘. It’s a very easy app and desktop application that you can use and it will create a visual overview about the different phases you are in a sales process. So it could be first contact, negotiation, quotation. With one view you see exactly at which stage each of your clients are. It’s very simple and intuitive to use.
In case you do not want to spend money in Pipedrive, I suggest using Trello because on Trello you can also make different boards and have different stages of your clients, include follow ups with your clients, you can also set reminders in your calendar and in the app to not forget that because that would be lost business.
Time-saving tool 4: Start with urgent and important tasks
Do you start today with the most interesting or with the most relevant task? Start with tasks that generate profit! In order to do that, you could use the urgent important matrix. Basically, a matrix with – important – unimportant – urgent – not important – to figure out which tasks belong to each area. Usually in the morning, we are more productive to start with their urgent and important tasks, for instance, for two hours, then take a break and then work on the important tasks. For instance, again for two hours, a break, and then the urgent tasks. And at the end of the day, you do all the other tasks that you probably have less energy. Organize your day wisely and what works very well if you put your own meetings in your agenda. So you could for instance, put from 9 to 11am, urgent and important tasks. Make it a repeating event so that every day you get reminded by your calendar to concentrate on important and urgent projects.
How do you administer your design business?
Which time-saving tools have you been using already? And what are you planning to use? Please post in the comments below. And especially if you have a follow up question, I’m very happy to share my tips and tricks with you.
As specialized business coach, I help designers win new clients and get bigger budgets. Unlike do-it-yourself courses, I offer a customized fast track with proven tools based on visualization and co creation. The result is increased profit and satisfaction as well as more time for creation.