Some days you might think you need a crystal ball to forecast your agency’s future. What lies ahead? How many people will I need on new accounts? How much money will we need to make in order to meet our bottom line?
We’re here to tell you what you actually need is better resource management.
You don’t need to wave a magic wand to tap into resource management either. Resource management is a way to plan and manage how your resources (i.e. money, people, and time) will be used in projects and forecast how many resources will be required for upcoming tasks.
When you’re in the business of delivering client work to multiple clients all at once, the way you organize your resources has to be strategic and well thought out in order to give your projects a better chance of being successful, and most importantly, profitable.
If you’re looking to unlock profitability, here are three reasons why better resource management is key!
#1: Know exactly what resources you’re working with
Imagine a world where you exclusively kick it old school and ask team members what their workloads are like and how accounts are doing, hoping they’re giving you the honest truth. Now, imagine a world where you leave all that chasing and information gathering behind with resource management i.e. resource management tools!
No more overworked employees on overloaded accounts
Your team members are your most important resource, yet they can often be the most mismanaged (hello, The Great Resignation!). With remote work in full swing, it can be even harder to know your team’s capacity and ensure they aren’t overloaded.
Needless to say, you need more than a verbal confirmation. You need to be able to see everyone’s capacity from a project and task level day by day. Teamwork’s Workload Planner for instance, allows you to track and manage resources and easily see who on the team is working on what and available to take on tasks.
If your team is consistently not meeting deadlines, is struggling with bandwidth, and accounts don’t feel properly staffed they can’t operate efficiently–they’re just trying to survive. You need a tool that allows you to track your team’s work in real-time, see capacity, reassign tasks, and set accurate delivery deadlines so you can focus on driving efficiency, and lower costs too!
Know which accounts are on-track and under budget
Having your team track hours is one way to ensure you know what you’re working with profitability-wise. What you need even more if you’re looking to grow and scale is to take it up a notch. You need to know (in real-time) the return on investment of your projects and the individual team workers staffing those projects.
A tool like Teamwork’s Profitability Report allows you to see which projects are bringing in the most profit and exactly how much the people on your team are contributing to the bottom line. With this at-a-glance view, you can better understand your profitability over time and ensure peak profitability across the board.
#2: Optimize your resources
You’re busy running a business, and while you may have made a mental note of the resources you need for each project, making sure it actually gets done, fast is best left to better resource management. With the right resource management tool in place, save time, and get more done while optimizing the resources you never even knew you had!
No more guessing deliverables and timelines for projects
When you’re in a time crunch, the last thing you want to do is spend precious minutes trying to figure out client deliverables for the week and due dates—time is money after all! Instead, you should be focusing on taking the “guess” out of “guesswork.” With the right resource management tool in place, you can put an end to wasting billable minutes chasing down information; easily outline deliverables and timelines for multiple projects, and even give more accurate project estimates.
The best part is accountability. With a resource management platform in play, it holds teams more accountable to due dates and priorities. Besides, the platform provides clear guidelines and deliverables, not you!
Say goodbye to manual, repetitive work to deliver projects
“Don’t reinvent the wheel.” We’re sure you’ve heard it before folks, but likely need to hear it again. When your team has more efficient processes in place, they’ll actually have the time to allocate to billable client hours and get more done. As you may have learned at our virtual agency summit, Bandwidth, one of the biggest profitability pitfalls for agencies is inefficiencies. The worst offender? Spending too much time on manual work.
When you automate and systemize processes, they become repeatable and even scaleable down the road. Teamwork can get you started with resource management templates that save time and improve processes, so you and your team can slay more stuff!
#3: Adapt to change more easily
When you can “see into the future” with the help of better resource management you’re ready for whatever comes your way! No matter what changes pop up to play, you know you have the information readily available to make the best, most profitable decision.
Know precisely which people you have available
Did a deadline for a big client project move up? And maybe you’re onboarding an important new client at the same time too? You could call a team meeting to ask the team how they can pivot to help and who can jump in to save the day, or you could leave it to a resource management tool. The last thing you want to do is put a tried and true (profitable) client account on hold for a new client, and vice versa.
Teamwork’s Resource Scheduler for instance can tell you exactly which resources are still at your disposal, so you can assign the right people to the right project and keep all projects on track and profitable too.
Know exactly what funds are available
If your budget questions for each client can’t be answered all in one place, you’re doing it wrong! With constant shifts in agency work for instance–maybe you lose a client, perhaps a team member leaves, etc–you need to make a quick data-backed decision about your next move to ensure your profitability doesn’t take a hit too.
With anything, but especially your company finances, when you have more knowledge, you have more power and agility to shift. Teamwork recommends working with a project management platform that has finance planning for every client (like our Finance Tab). This allows you to more easily access client budgets so you can stay on top of what’s working and what’s not so you can course correct, while still maintaining your bottom line.
Leave better resource management to the right tech
It’s time to upgrade that spreadsheet folks! And if you don’t even have a spreadsheet, it's really time to upgrade your resource management and leave it to the right tool (like Teamwork) to get you there, too.
While you might think. “We’re doing just fine” profitability-wise, if you don’t know exactly where your resources are going and when, how do you really know if you’ve reached peak profitability or if there’s room to grow?
There’s only one way to know for sure. Let a resource management tool light the way and be the one source of truth your agency needs to achieve peak profitability and know exactly how to maintain it as you grow too.