In his book, True Professionalism, author Alan Weiss writes: “The typical professional is working incredibly hard, often at a significant sacrifice to personal life. However, nearly half that effort is spent without producing concrete results.” Weiss strongly advocates that professionals plan how to use their time, in order to avoid the self-defeating impact of urgent matters overtaking those which have long term importance to one’s business.
How many of the following questions can you answer “yes” to? Place a check mark next to those items.
- I know how and where I am spending the time in my practice.
- I have business and marketing plans which inform my decisions and actions.
- I maintain a calendar or other tracking system for holding myself accountable for
- my business and marketing plans and actions.
- My practice operations systems are streamlined for maximum client responsiveness
- and administrative efficiency.
- My time is properly allocated for practice development, service delivery and practice
- My practice is a “waste less zone”, in which every action I take is value adding in
- one or more of the three practice management areas.
What did you discover from taking the quiz above?
Where are your opportunities for improved practice management?
1. Write down on a separate piece of paper the number of hours you expect to work over the coming year in your business on a weekly basis.
2. Multiply that number by the number of weeks you expect to work (considering vacations, holidays, and personal days, this number will typically be less than 52 weeks). This number will be the number of hours in the year you will work in your business.
3. Now, write down the number of billable hours you expect to have in a typical week. You can also trend forward your actual experience for the past six to twelve months.
4. Multiply this number by the number of weeks you will work during the year. This number represents the total practice delivery hours you will have in the year.
5. Next, write down the number of hours you expect to handle routine administrative work in a typical week; e.g. billing, maintenance of client files, correspondence, organizing the office, etc.
6. Multiply this number by the number of weeks you will work during the year. This number represents the total practice operations hours you will have in the year.
7. Now, add your practice delivery hours and your practice management hours together, and subtract that total from the total number of hours you expect to work during the year.
8. The number you get represents the total number of hours during the year available for practice development - developing new business for your practice.
Do your math below:
What did you discover as a result of doing this exercise?
What are the opportunities to enhance your management of the three practice arenas by being more planful about your time?
What gets in the way of your being planful, or executing your plans?
What commitment is required to ensure that you do not sacrifice one or more practice arenas?