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Tips for increasing your chargeable hours

Time is money, or so the saying goes, and it’s never more true than in the world of professional service providers. Whether you are a solicitor, accountant or consultant, the chances are you charge by the hour – but there are only so many hours in the day, so your turnover is always going to be limited by time. Of course, you could put your rates up to increase profits, but a more palatable approach, especially for you current and future clients, is to find some extra hours in the day. This is where technology plays a huge part. By utilising the relevant tools in the right way you can claw back many of those hours that are wasted through meetings and travel. Here are some tips on how to choose the right technology to suit your business, and increase your chargeable hours in the process.

Use SharePoint for document management
If you regularly work from documents with your clients it might be worth setting up SharePoint. Using this Microsoft software you and your clients will be able to access and work on your library of documents at any time, and every party will see the latest version so there is no room for error.

Offer training and consultancy over video
Perhaps the biggest time suck for most businesses is travel time to and from meetings. Face to face communication will never be completely obsolete but the introduction of video conferencing – and, better still, video conferencing for all budgets – has reduced the necessity of physical meetings in every circumstance. If you offer consultancy, counselling or training you can communicate remotely with your clients over a variety of video conferencing platforms, from free or low cost cloud-based solutions such as Skype and LifeSize ClearSea to managed video conferencing and dedicated, high definition systems.

Use SMART Boards to hold effective remote meetings
Even if you utilise video conferencing for some of your meetings, there may be other occasions when a physical meeting just seems unavoidable, perhaps because you need to demonstrate products or collaborate on projects and ideas. Using a SMART Board gives you access to a whole range of remote collaboration tools, such as the ability to share data in real time, let participants annotate documents simultaneously and then save and share the meeting later. There is no requirement for all the participants to have access to a full size SMART Board either, as you could deploy the same features via the Bridgit app for smartphones and tablets, or via clients’ own computers. You can even combine SMART technology with video conferencing to create a rich interactive meeting experience that is almost as good as the real thing. You can also use SMART Boards with SharePoint documents to ensure you document library is always up to date.

The best way to increase revenue as a service provider is to find more hours that you can spend with clients and therefore charge for. By integrating technology such as video conferencing and SMART Boards into your practice you’ll be able to reduce the amount of travel you do and still work effectively with clients.

For more information on SMART technologies or the wide range of video conferencing solutions available, call one of our experts on 0118 336 0010 and ask for a free demonstration.

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