Unsolicited plug for YaTimer

I have been using YaTimer ever since Nir Dobovizki first created it and it has been one of the most useful timer utilities I have ever worked with.

Now I have discovered a new use for my YaTimer which has profound implications for improving profitability in some of my business activities.

Basically, I can use YaTimer to improve my cost estimates and to spot areas where I need to automate. This has been an eye-opening experience.

Let’s say you have a multi-step process that goes like this for each order:

1. Customer interaction/sale
2. Completion of design
3. Ordering of materials
4. Creation of parts kits prior to assembly
5-7. Three different machining and assembly steps
8. Packaging

Since I use my laptop for every phase of this process, it is a no-brainer to leave YaTimer running on my desktop and use it to monitor my progress.

With YaTimer, I can set up a separate counter for each task and simply switch from one counter to the next as each task is completed. If I have to redo a task, I restart the counter for the earlier task and it accumulates the additional time required to get the task done correctly.

Switching to a new task counter shuts off the previous counter and this is a one click operation. At the end of the process, I have a complete record of the time spent on each task and I can compare each time to my original cost estimates.

In most cases, my original cost estimates are based on competitive pricing studies. If my time spent is way out of line with what I can reasonably charge for the task, I need to look at alternatives like outsourcing or automation.

Some of you may object to measuring the time spent in customer interaction, because that does not show up on the usual cost estimate. As a self-employed person, you really need to have an idea of how much time you spend with customers figuring out what is to be done as opposed to actually doing the work.

I know small business owners, including myself, who have been unwilling to ask for fees that will enable them to conduct profitable business because they really had no idea how much time was being spent working with customers and getting jobs done completely.

This timer is user-friendly and I recommend it highly to anyone who is charging for their time.

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