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Bill Every Minute of Time You Work

Bill Every Minute of Time You Work What is RogueTime?

Contrary to public opinion, lawyers and therapists frequently get the short end of the stick when it comes to getting paid for all their work. This is especially true for sole practitioners and small firms without the resources available to catch every billable minute and compile the billable time, sort it by client and add it onto the client bill. Estimates range that up to 25% of professional time may not be billed. One of the worst culprits is the mobile phone; calls made and received – while driving, while waiting for meetings and judges – are easily forgotten in a busy day.

The solution for this is RogueTime, created by Advantura Technology Group, Inc. (advanturagroup.com). Developed for the iPhone, RogueTime is compatible with both AT&T and Verizon. Priced at a very reasonable $6.99, RogueTime pays for itself many times over, right from the start.

About Us:

Victoria Girdziunas (I) recently sold a software company; Andrea Davies owned a management-consulting firm. Along came the economy and it was clear that we both needed to regroup if we were going to survive. As we saw it, it was time to start a business together where we could join forces and buck the bad economy – that’s when we formed Advantura Technology Group, Inc. Since both of us have been Information Technology Project Managers, IT consultants, and have owned IT companies, we naturally gravitated to doing something in the software realm. We saw a lot of future growth in the mobile app space, plus we liked it. We started tossing around ideas for possible apps – teen shopping apps, games, event planning apps and others – but nothing stuck.

The “eureka” moment came when I went into an attorney’s office and saw an admin highlighting a phone bill. That was the only way the attorney could capture the time spent on mobile calls to her clients. This meant that the admin had to print the bill (or wait until it got there by snail mail) and find all the phone numbers for the attorney’s clients. Then the mind numbing, time consuming process required the admin to go through the mobile bill, call by call, match the phone numbers on the bill to her list and highlight the phone number and the number of minutes for each call, using different colors for each client. Finally, she totaled the minutes for each client, multiplying by the attorney’s rate or the rate for each client, and added this to the bill. Obviously, it would be easy to miss calls using this approach. Besides, this process left the door wide open for clients to dispute the billing. Not to mention, the added overhead of paying someone to track and bill for calls in this manner.
That’s when we came up with the idea of RogueTime.

Bill Every Minute of Time You Work RogueTime Features:

When the user gets into RogueTime, four paths are possible. The “Client” button is used to import clients from the iPhone lists or create a new entry and to establish a bill rate for each client. Press the “Settings” button, and RogueTime allows the user to define the date range, a default bill rate, and whether the call logs should be downloaded for client calls only or for all calls. The entry screen for the “Call Log” button is where the user enters the login and password for his or her carrier’s account and then logs in and retrieves the calls. Select the “Report” button and RogueTime lets the user enter dates and clients for the report. The total billable amount for that client and date range is displayed and RogueTime can email the report details if desired.

Value Proposition:

Let’s say an attorney, therapist or consultant bills $250 an hour and assume that just 4 five-minute mobile calls a workday are “lost”. Given 21 workdays in a month, then 420 minutes or 7 hours can be missed. Translation: $1750 of monthly revenue is lost. Besides, sole practitioners (or those working in a small office) do not have the budget for a lot of clerical help. They waste valuable time finding and calculating such charges – time that could be spent on billable hours. For a small or one-person business, the $6.99 price tag yields huge returns.

Our Story:

The start was challenging. On our shoestring capital contributions, we had to accomplish quite a bit. First, we had to compose, in detail, the requirements for the decision making process required to choose a development partner. Amazing how many mobile app consulting firms told us “it can’t be done”.

Second, given our limited budget we could not develop for iPhone, Droid and BlackBerry all at once. There were reasons for and against each platform as our first choice. We finally settled on the iPhone as our first platform, mainly because of iPhone’s market share in the professional market and the ability to market directly through the Apple Store.

Third, we had to develop detailed requirements for the app itself – and keep adjusting them every time we ran into an iOS or a telecom restriction.

Fourth, we had to navigate the world of mobile carriers, two goliaths of the telecom industry, who were either non-responsive or were unable answer our questions.

Fifth – there was the Apple review process, which involves a lot of “hurry up and wait”. Finally, our app was published and we entered the world of support, adding new features and marketing.

Our Competition:

There are several “time tracking” and “time catching” iPhone apps – Quick Timer, Timewerks, Get Paid, Time Master, TDF Tracker. All require data entry by a busy professional – data entry to start tracking time while on a call, to stop tracking time, and to enter the client information. Some require a steep learning curve. None of these products automatically sort iPhone calls by client and date, and provide a report that can be emailed to the admin or the client as backup to the invoice. RogueTime is unique in this respect.

How We Reach Our Target Market:

Our main reason for developing on the iOS platform was the use of the Apple Store for marketing purposes. In addition, we used SEO, had a review published by TechnoLawyer and iappReviews, and continue to post news on our Facebook page (facebook.com/RogueTimeApp) as well as participate in legal and consulting discussion groups on LinkedIn.

Bill Every Minute of Time You Work Future Plans:

In addition to providing support and constantly marketing, we are currently developing enhancements to RogueTime as well as creating additional apps. The next enhancement to RogueTime (planned for release in July, 2011) will allow users to see client calls and amounts to be billed in “real time”. TueenTime is our new app (currently in testing). It gives parents the ability to view, track, and flag their kid’s incoming and outgoing mobile calls.

We are also working on a series of handy “how to” books on a variety of IT topics geared for small businesses. We plan to publish the first one in Q3 of this year on the topic of bringing your app to market. With the flood of new apps going to market, we thought it would be helpful to share our experiences for the benefit of other small businesses and provide some guidelines and things to consider when making the decision to create and market an app.

Currently, our company consists of just the two of us; we rely on our development partner, Agmis, to be our “go to” solution provider for our apps. We have secured additional capital from an investor and look forward to continued growth and providing our current and future customers with “best in class” apps and services.

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