Cracking The Billable Hours Ceiling

How many of you made as much money as you wanted to last year? Don't be shy; raise your hands. Hmm, I don't see too many hands out there. What would you say is the cause of this gap between your goals and your earnings?

While you could certainly name the economy or inadequate marketing as the culprit, I'd like to suggest a third alternative. It may be the constraints of the billable hours model that keep you from your financial goals.

Let's face it, there are only so many hours you can actually bill to clients. For example, the national average for consultants is 22 billable hours per week. You can only raise your rates so high and still find enough customers. And if you spend more time on marketing, that's less time you have available to bill.

But there's a way out of this trap. No matter what type of business you're in, you can use intellectual property to crack the billable hours ceiling. Here are just some of the ways to start tapping into this resource today:

  • Package your process. What if every time you began work with a new client, they paid an up-front fee before you spent even one hour with them? If you sell a process rather than your time, clients will pay for access to your previously developed materials. Examples are workbooks, forms, assessments, surveys, games, self-paced programs, and train-the-trainer packages.

  • Give a class. When you assemble a group of people to learn together, you can earn more per hour than working with them separately. Classes can be given at your office, at a rented (or borrowed) facility, on the phone, or on the web. Your market for classes is not just your clients -- think about what you could teach your colleagues as well.

  • Record a tape, CD, or video. The simplest way to make recordings is to capture your live classes or speaking engagements on audio or video. Make your unedited recordings available immediately on the web or by phone. More polished recordings can be made with the help of a local studio or editor, or you can learn to do this yourself with the right equipment.

  • Write a white paper, workbook, or booklet. Short publications like these are easily within your reach, even if you don't consider yourself a writer. A simple 20-page booklet might have as few as 4000 words in it. If you've written four articles to promote your business, you've probably already written this much. These are perfect formats for e-books, which cost you nothing to print.

  • Author a book. This might seem an impossible task, but if you write one page a day, five days a week, at the end of a year you'll have a full-length book. If writing isn't your strong point, find an editor, ghost writer, or even a co-author who has the skills you lack. You don't have to wait until your book is finished to start selling excerpts as articles and white papers.

  • Market other people's products. If you don't yet have your own product, don't let it stop you. You can begin earning passive income by selling other people's books and tapes, becoming a re-seller for software or assessment tools, licensing someone else's process, or joining affiliate programs. Any of these products can be marketed in conversations with prospects and clients, in your standard marketing kit, in mailings or newsletters, on your outgoing voice mail message, and on your web site.

    If you've been counting on hourly fees for your entire income, you may be surprised at the impact developing your intellectual property will have. It will add not only to your revenue, but also your professional credibility. And in poor economic times, you will find that prospects who hesitate to pay for personal service will still purchase classes and information products.

    About The Author

    C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients NOW! Since 1992, C.J. has been teaching business owners and salespeople to make more money with less effort. She is a Master Certified Coach and leads workshops internationally. Read more of her articles at http://www.getclientsnow.com

    In The News:

    Sleep Number stock slides 10% after sales slide  Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
    Fast-food restaurant sales return to normal  Restaurant Business Online
    New Home Sales Expected to Surge  Mortgage News Daily
    Auto sales boost in Q3  The Star Online

  • Packaging Maketh the Person

    The multi million pound cosmetics industry is acutely aware of... Read More

    Can You Use Hynotic Like Statements To Sell More Products?

    As I become more successful with my internet business I... Read More

    Smooth Sailing (Selling) In The Second Half of The Year

    You can make a difference in the second half! You... Read More

    The Problem With Technology At The Point Of Sale In Financial Services

    BackgroundThere's a conundrum that currently exists between the customer and... Read More

    The Anatomy of a Sales Letter

    When Dr. Frankenstein exclaimed "it's alive... it's alive," he thought... Read More

    The Benefits of Buying Used Store Fixtures

    The difference between antique or vintage store fixtures and used... Read More

    Going the Extra Mile and Getting Referrals

    Successful salespeople have the ability to turn the customers they... Read More

    8 Part Strategy For Constructing Your Advertising Message

    Strategies to help produce your brochure, advertisment or direct mail.... Read More

    Who Takes Your Money

    Your business is making profits, but where is the cash?... Read More

    Stuff We Make Up About Our Prospects

    ? Go through the "no's" to get to "yes." ?... Read More

    A Stupid Question, but it has to be asked

    This is a stupid question but it has to be... Read More

    Ten Top Tips for Terminating Telephone Terror

    1. Make telephone callsFew things are more terrifying than the... Read More

    Why Should I Buy From You?

    Virtually every business you contact has this question in their... Read More

    A Look at Mannequin Heads

    A mannequin head is a life-size head that includes all... Read More

    Revenue Growth Through Alliances

    Any company in today's global economy must eventually face the... Read More

    Reviving Dead Clients

    Most consultants I've talked to don't spend any time trying... Read More

    Six Simple Steps for Getting More Applications

    When I first started out as a loan officer, one... Read More

    An Ideal Selling Situation

    The largest sale that I ever closed was negotiated over... Read More

    YOUR Future Profits -- Protect Source With CARE

    At 21 years, just out of Business College, I went... Read More

    Persuading Learners to Buy: 7 Groups

    There are seven major reasons why adults continue their pursuit... Read More

    How to Leverage Your Influence

    Why do we get into sales? Typically it is two... Read More

    Selling: an art of a skill?

    Selling is as much an art as it is a... Read More

    Five Things More Important to Buyers than WHAT Youre Selling - I

    Article I of a two-part series.No matter what customers say... Read More

    Two Mistakes That Will Cost You Money

    You've met a new prospect, accurately assessed their needs and... Read More

    Sell More: How to Get Motivated Buyers To Call You First

    How many sales opportunities have you lost to competitors who... Read More