Do Business Owners Grasp the Problem of Managing Admin Tasks?
While the thought of being your own boss can sound really quite glamorous with the promise of a life of freedom from the chains of your current employment, telling your boss where he can go with his job, and not having to obey the alarm clock every morning, there is still a very hefty down-side.
Being your own boss can mean there are lots of time-consuming and somewhat boring tasks that need to be completed in order to achieve your entrepreneurial dream. But for some who are already on the path, the big concern each day is that more and more admin tasks are actually taking over their working lives and this can mean they don’t achieve what they want – affecting their overall productivity and that of the company.
Heavy toll of admin
In fact, according to research carried out by Sage, small businesses in the UK can spend an average of 120 days per year working on essential admin tasks such as recruitment and invoicing. This means for the small business owner or single entrepreneur that nearly 6% of their working time is tied up in back office admin tasks. There are some crucial admin tasks that the company cannot operate successfully without, but often more time than this is wasted because the company doesn’t have proper admin processes in place, or what they do have aren’t the most efficient.
OK, while this figure of 6% might not sound like a massive figure at first glance, if productivity could be increased by that figure for every small business, it would add another £33 billion to the GDP of the country in a single year. So this shows that managing those pesky yet essential admin tasks in a good way is something that business leaders need to deal with effectively.
According to Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, productivity ‘isn’t everything but in the long run, it is almost everything’ and this shows how low productivity is hampering the entire economy. The drag of time-consuming admin tasks is at the heart of the problem.
For much bigger businesses, there can be room for the creation of a dedicated team to handle these necessary admin tasks who’s entire working life is about conquering them, finding the best systems to put in place and ensure these matters are dealt with in the most efficient way. This could mean setting up a control centre for accounts and bookings, specialist departments for HR and recruitment and for dedicated customer service, all of which add up to a smooth operation and a great customer experience.
But not all businesses have the luxury of extra finances, resources or the physical capacity to do this. Small businesses, sole-traders and solo entrepreneurs in particular, can’t afford to waste 120 days a year on necessary admin tasks, but at the same time don’t have the ability or the spare money to employ someone to handle it for them in-house. So instead, small businesses have to focus on boosting productivity in other, more creative ways.
Outsourcing as a way forward
Sage MD Alan Laing has suggested in light of their current research that the government could do more to help small firms to access digital ways of working. This means financial backing to help to invest in better technology for new start-ups as well as helping with the decision-making process to find the best ways to achieve their necessary tasks.
The outsourcing of admin tasks is another option that can be a really big help for small business owners. Outsourcing to virtual services providers such as Your Virtual Office can help handle those essential admin tasks without incurring the large costs associated with employing someone in-house on a full or part-time basis. Hiring a call-handling service can help to capture all those calls that you miss while you are in a meeting with another client, or are out and about travelling and not in a position to professionally answer your incoming business calls.
Portraying a Professional Image
Where your business set-up doesn’t necessarily need to run a permanent office, you can still create the right impression to impress both customers and business associates by using a complete virtual office package. When you want to win the trust of new clients and convey a professional image, having a virtual office can be a really positive step. Take our own virtual office package for example. With it you get a highly sought after central London business mail forwarding address along with a professional and experienced virtual PA telephone answering service.
Outsourcing in this way allows you to access very experienced and dedicated people who posses top knowledge and skills to handle every aspect of your admin tasks, while you spend your newly freed up time focussing on growing your business. The best thing about doing this is that it will cost you just a fraction of what you would be spending out on setting up your own permanent office and staff wages.
More time for Networking
Small businesses should also be spending time networking to find the right people to work with and to get the best business referrals. If you work in the B2B sector, then knowing that your every day admin tasks are being taken care of in a professional and efficient manner can let you relax and fully immerse yourself into your networking efforts without worrying about building up a backlog of paperwork to tackle. Your new business networking contacts will sure to be impressed when they follow up with a call to your number and have it answered in a polite, friendly and professional manner.
As your business grows, you will need to dedicate more time towards admin tasks. On top of this, with such essential tasks as bookkeeping and accounting now taking up to 20% of your working time, don’t you think it is time to find a new solution to help your boost your productivity and make the most of your time? Contact us today to find out how we can help manage your admin tasks.