Your business should not be without certain software applications that boost consultant productivity. It's important to automate as many tasks as possible, so that you can spend more time consulting. You can streamline the consulting process itself with the aid of software. Whether you're just starting out, or have been consulting for years, consider purchasing one or more of these software applications for your consulting business:
To better organize your work with clients, you should have all of your projects, time sheets and billing in one place. SoloManage is designed to boost consultant productivity by combining all of these functions in one software. It's designed specifically for consultants, to help them manage projects more effectively. You create a client portfolio, enter in project information, track projects and bill clients at the end or along the way. You have a choice of downloading the software and using it on your computer, or subscribing to the hosted version on www.solomanage.com.
If the idea of managing your client's work using software doesn't appeal to you, there is software that you can use to handle just keeping track of your time. ClickTime is a timesheet software that's available to use online. Your time sheets are hosted on www.clicktime.com, so you don't have to download anything or worry about updating software. It can boost consultant productivity by making the process of entering time easy. It's not a difficult interface to use like some time tracking software applications, and you can generate any report you need to catch a birds eye view of where projects stand.
Effective billing is key to boost consultant productivity. Typing individual invoices on free templates, and manually figuring out what each client owes you, takes too much time. That time should be spent marketing or consulting. Using Quickbooks as your accounting software will make you more productive by automating your billing and accounting tasks. The only drawback is that you do have to take time in the beginning to learn how to use it, because it's not a straightforward program. Newer editions of Quickbooks include video tutorials for you to watch and learn how to use the software. It's also great to use Quickbooks for business financial planning, because it includes budgeting tools and business reports.
Professional Services Automation by OpenAir is one software solution that can boost consultant productivity in the area of project management. It's an alternative to SoloManage, and you may want to compare the two to see which one best fits your business model. If you plan on growing a consulting team, then you should start with Professional Services Automation, for these benefits:
- Project management
- Time and expense tracking
- Multi-currency and multi-language capabilities
It also includes resource management capabilities, which will be helpful if you put a team in place.
Don't avoid purchasing one or two of these software applications that can boost consultant productivity. You have to spend money on the right things, to make more money.