What's Your Buck For The Bang?

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “bang for your buck”, and as moms and entrepreneurs paying for everything from groceries and car repairs to websites and production runs, we certainly want the most bang for our buck.

But have you ever thought about your “buck for the bang”? That is, the hourly income you earn from the hourly time you invest in your business? Until recently, I hadn’t given it much thought.

The Big Idea

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been hashing out a new service for mom entrepreneurs that’ll help them get in the media and sell more, a “one-two punch” media and sales campaign. I’ve been talking about it with my friends and colleagues, and soaking up their feedback.

Meet James, hole poker extraordinaire

So of course, I emailed my friend, James Chartrand, and gave her the basics of my idea. Because more than writing, drinking Shiraz or ice skating, James loves talking business strategy, poking holes in plans and playing devil’s advocate, and she’s damn good at it.

James liked my idea, but challenged the execution of it. She wanted to know exactly what would be involved, how much time it’d take me each day and what my pricing would be. She suggested I write down on paper every part of the service I’d be performing, how much time it would take me on a daily & monthly basis, and my anticipated monthly income for this service.

So I did.

Wherein I Calculate My Buck For The Bang

I discovered that, combined with my current obligations, my new idea would add an extra 15 hours of work each week and an extra 60 hours each month. Then, I took the amount I planned to charge for this service and divided it by the number of monthly hours I’d be working on it.

Gulp. That number looked damn near minimum wage.

After calculating my buck for the bang, I realized that I’d have to completely rework my idea, reconsider my pricing and look for things in my schedule to eliminate, automate, streamline or outsource.

Man, was I glad I took James’s advice before launching my big idea…

Knowledge Is Power

So why should you know your buck for the bang? Because if you’re super honest and track everything you’re doing in the name of business, you’ll know if you’re spending your time wisely and pricing your products and services correctly – and if you’re not, you’ll also discover your biggest time sucks (compulsive email checking, anyone?) and opportunities for improvement.

You see, when it comes to productivity for mom entrepreneurs, it’s not just about getting the most stuff done in the workable time you have. It’s about earning the most income from the stuff that you’re doing during those precious hours spent away from your family, raising your “other baby”.

Once you calculate your buck for the bang, you’ll know if you’re on the right track or if, like me, you need to rework, reconsider and rethink how you’re spending your time and running your business.

Come on…try it!

First, download and print this nifty Buck For The Bang Worksheet.

Then, each day for the next week, I want you to track the number of hours you work, and by work, I mean everything you do in the name of business and revenue generation – checking & answering email, selling in person and online, producing products or content, consulting, social media networking, handling customer service, tracking down receivables, attending trade shows, fulfilling orders, networking events, training employees, paying bills, etc – and record them in the “Daily Bang” fields on your Buck For The Bang Worksheet.

Then, add up the total number of hours for the week and record those in the “Weekly Bang” field on your B4B Worksheet.

Next, take your revenue for the week and write it in the “Weekly Buck” field on your B4B Worksheet. Then, divide your Weekly Buck by your Weekly Bang.

Voila, your buck for the bang.

How do you feel about that number? Are you shocked or elated? Are you earning top dollar or minimum wage for your work? Tell us in the comments.


Heather Allard

Heather Allard is a mom of three kids + one big rescue dog. She's a wellness buff, an essential oil educator with dōTERRA, and a self-professed “entrepreneur to the core”.

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  1. Katie

    This is great advice, and something I don’t think people often think through ‘hard enough’. I sew childrens clothing, and would work my time on how long it took me to sew an item. My business mentor recently asked me – what about the time it takes to wash and dry the fabric, draft the patterns, cut out the patterns, cut out the material, package it up to send, email back and forth with the buyer – there are SO many facets to making a garment I had never even considered. I am getting back on track to getting some serious time analysis done, can’t wait to use the Buck4Band worksheet – thanks heaps!!

  2. Brandi Armstrong

    This is oh so timely for us right now. As a 2 woman/man team we are feeling the crunch right now with so much to do and not enough brains and hands to do it. Figuring out what our buck for the bang is could really help us figure out where our time is best spent. When you are running out of hours in the day, it is the things that bring in the customers that need to be focused on first. But which one of those things….? 😛

    • Heather Allard

      Ooooh, keep me posted! Can’t wait to hear if finding out your B4B helps you work smarter. 😀


  3. Mars Dorian

    Oh boy,

    I’m afraid to fill that even out, because the relation between my work and my moola is disproportional.

    It’s hard to separate what you need to do from your work, especially when you are self-employed. The number I would get from your calculation would only show that I’m putting a lot of hours in, with enjoying a grrreat ROI.

    But it’s more a productivity problem that attacks me once in a while 😉

    • Heather Allard

      Yep, I understand, Mars. This is a tough one to fill out. No one exactly wants to know what their Buck for the Bang is – but I bet it would help them tighten things up if they DID. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by! Loved your comments on Dave Navarro’s post today!


  4. Melody

    Heather, I’ve downloaded the worksheet and will use it this week! AND in the future.

    I am working on a 9 month home organizing “marathon” type service and am at the point of pricing it. This is going to be extremely useful for me!!!!

    Perfect timing. Thanks so much for sharing it!


    • Heather Allard

      Oh, YAY! I’m so glad it’ll help, Melody! I was so thankful to James for opening my eyes to my “buck for the bang” and now I’m sooo happy to pass on the “education”. 😀

      Can’t wait to see your new service! Sounds awesome!

  5. Shannon Whealy

    You’ve knocked it out of the park once again, Heather!!

    I’ve already been making adjustments to my business to increase my “buck for the bang”, but having a worksheet to prove my changes are necessary will be awesome. I’m sure will it reveal more than I want to know – but exactly what I NEED TO KNOW. 🙂

    Thank you so much!!

    • Heather Allard

      Why thank you, my dear!

      I think you’re right – I think having everything on paper makes it crystal clear why you (we/I) need to change and where your (our/my) biggest opportunities for change lie.

      I cannot wait to see everyone’s buck for the bang! Like most things worth doing, it’s scary but life changing.


  6. Julie

    Great post! I run two businesses, but have never calculated my buck for the bang. Off to print off that form and start tomorrow.

    • Heather Allard

      Hey Julie!
      Can’t wait to see what your buck for the bang is! 😀


  7. Kate

    I don’t wanna do it! Please don’t make me. I’m an artist and I show my work at a local farmers market twice a week. When art wasn’t really selling I painted a few t-shirts. They sold. I got more. It happened again, but now it’s slowing down and at present, I’ve got maybe 18 shirts that I wonder will sell, even though the art work on them is beautiful, and sadly I’m at a point where I’m wondering if they will sell. I can’t really knock the price down because the price is fairly low anyway – a one-of-a-kind original painting for $20?! And it seems every week people love my work but they’d like it in a different color, size, etc. I have taken special orders and I’ve got four (partially paid for) not picked up this week. Am I whining? Maybe I am. I don’t know how long to try to hold on to the creative effort…. and then even if I don’t WHEREARETHEJOBS? I’m paralyzed. I’ve never been in the position where I haven’t made an income. I’m going back to painting on paper, or wood or anything else to see if I can generate an income. But hours I spend on it? Maybe 18+ hours a day working, looking, reading about websites, trying to find something that won’t cost me anything until I can afford it.

    Kate at DreamrKate@yahoo.com

    • Heather Allard

      Eeeeek – 18+ hours per day?

      I think you need to reassess how you’re doing business – clearly, you’re creative and people like your work – you just need some new, time effective ways to market your work. And as for the custom work, you might try charging MORE (not less!) and promoting the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind piece.

      Do you read http://scoutiegirl.com? If not, I suggest you start there – the owner, Tara, offers so much support for handmade/artists.

      Hope this helps, even a little…

  8. Carley Knobloch

    This is that forehead-smacking so-obvious-and-yet-nobody-does-it advice that I love getting from Heather, cause it’s right on the money (pun intended), and keeps us ALL in check (there I go again!). If you’ve ever wanted to roll up in the fetal position and leave your phone off the hook, you’re probably a working mom who is NOT getting a lot of buck for the bang. I’m a sucker for a good print-out— can’t wait to fill out the form and see where I end up!

    • Heather Allard

      Total smack in the forehead, DOH! moment. 😀 But you’re right – nobody ever really stops to think about their hourly income and as mom entrepreneurs, we really SHOULD. We have so few hours to “work” and it’s important to use those hours productively and profitably.

      I can’t wait to see where you – and everyone – ends up. I’m hoping this is a mass “ah ha” moment. 🙂



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