It is almost impossible to determine exactly how long it will take to perform an onsite computer service task. Often computers won’t behave as expected (especially when you are in a hurry!) and clients will often think of additional tasks that they won’t mention until during the visit. “Oh, by the way, could you just...?”
Travel time between appointments is another important factor. Traffic jams and public transport delays can result in journeys taking longer than predicted.
Estimating the Time Needed for Appointments
The last thing you want to do when working onsite is leave yourself short of time because you need to rush off to your next appointment.
Not only can this leave you flustered and sacrifice attention to detail, it can also cause you to miss out on billable time because you simply cannot remain on site any longer.
Always allocate an amount of time that covers you for a “worst case scenario.” Ideally, add a little time on top of that as well. While sometimes this may leave you with excess time between appointments, this is likely to balance out with days when you bill more hours than you had hoped.
Setting Onsite Computer Service Appointments
One way to make your day less stressful is to set appointments for a time window instead of a specific slot.
Saying “between 1pm and 3pm” gives you far more flexibility than setting a job for 1pm and then annoying a customer if you are late. It is easy to explain to a customer why this is necessary.
Finally, don’t forget to build in windows in your day to keep up with emails and other tasks, and, most importantly, to stay fed and refreshed. If you don’t eat properly throughout the day, your concentration will suffer and no one will benefit!
How do you manage your time when carrying out onsite computer service? Share your tactics in the comments below.
And to follow-through on the time management tips introduced in this short post, be sure to download your free copy of How to Start a Computer Consulting Business: 6 Proven Ways to Build Your Initial Client Base.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Jamiesrabbits