I've never tracked my unbilled hours. I love a lot of different things about being an independent contractor, so I read books, or go online for information on contracting, construction, financial management, sales, marketing, or what-ever. Lately I've spent a lot of time with estimating software for sales sheets, and marketing & sales.
If I have 5 hours installing, I'll usually spend another 5 reading, or doing something else that's work related. If I'm working 50 hours a week, I don't do it at all.
The unbilled time I'd like to be paid for is travel, shopping, phone, bidding, etc., which are in overhead. If I get the work it's paid for, if I don't it's not.
for the bidding the easiest way to get those into the billed column is to charge for all and any estimates. shopping for job related material should be charged at an hourly rate because you are working for that customer
I just did a little job. The installation took 2.75 hours and in the past with T&M that's what I would have been paid for. I bid the job and received pay for a little over 3 hours at my new rate, or almost 4 hours at my old rate. With travel and bid time it added up to 4.5 hours. Better than the past, but all the hours aren't covered yet.
For service call work we figure 6 hours of production in an 8 hr day in the labor rate because or run a round. I do like the HVAC labor rate calculator that was listed in a different toppic.
For my time in the office, material pick up, estomates, and other run around I just figure for a salery. Like some management positions hours are not tracked. You just get this much and work until the job is done.
The only problem is now not much is happening so no $$ in bank to pay management.