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Prep Time Eats Profit Time

It takes me 15 minutes to reach my parents’s house on foot using the shortcuts, but only 4 minutes by car. Clearly, taking the car is the sensible choice for the time-starved modern lifestyle.

Except, taking the car means finding the keys, walking to the parking spot, getting into the traffic, then out of it, finding a parking spot in the city center, and then walking to the destination. Which, on average, takes at least an additional 10 minutes altogether.

Instead of being 3x faster, I’m actually paying for gas and parking to shave off a minute, at best. On average.

And people
I’ve seen people charge for “time spent on work” that completely omits any consideration of the setup and cleanup time that that work also entails.

Many tasks require very little time, once you
1) Got the years of experience
2) Purchased and learned to use all of the tools
3) Spent enough time quietly mulling it over

I’m not saying you should charge for setup and cleanup at the same rate as delivery. I’m not even saying any of that should officially show up on a bill.**

But just like in the example of the “sensible” car ride – we mostly spend more resources on work than we ever take credit for. That’s why plans crash, and why yearly profitability plans&resolutions rarely live through the spring.**

Please do yourself a favor, track what a job really entails for a month, and then start charging for all of it.

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