Fri 12 / 06 / 20
How businesses can recover valuable time
By Juliet Cooper of SmartPA - Juliet Cooper
Are you a business owner feeling overwhelmed with your workload? Are you struggling to keep on top of your admin? Are you spending too much time on these tasks when you should be focussing on what you do best, looking after customers and growing your business?
Admin is a necessary activity which is essential for the day to day running of a small business. However it is probably the last thing you want to do, undoubtedly not what you enjoy doing and definitely not the best use of your time, so it is generally most efficient to delegate these regular tasks to relieve yourself of these admin headaches and free up your time to help you achieve more.
Many business owners are worried about outsourcing admin because it means having to relinquish some control, which is an alarming prospect for some! This is a common concern that I have come across with several clients; however, once I have allayed their fears and they have taken the plunge, they realise that, not only can they focus on what they do best, but also achieve a better work/life balance without constantly worrying about an ever-increasing pile of work.
Another challenge business owners face is identifying tasks to outsource. Many know that they need help but have no idea what that looks like and are so busy that they cannot see the wood for the trees. In my experience, a good way to solve this is to ask the client to write down every task they do over a few days, creating a traffic light system; see an example from one of my clients below. Predictably, he initially protested that he didn’t have enough time to do this…he then agreed and immediately saw the value in the exercise, realising the green tasks were no brainers for him to outsource, immediately saving him huge amounts of valuable time.
It is slightly alarming how much time businesses spend on admin, as the following stats demonstrate:
120 working days per year is the amount of time business builders spend on administrative tasks, accounting for around 5% of an SMEs’ people power. (Source: Sage report, 2017)
44% of wasted time is due to inefficient processes, followed by paperwork overload at 43% and meetings at 41%. (Reference: Loudhouse research company ft in Mynewsdesk)
Efficient systems are also essential to running a business effectively. Many business owners simply don’t have the time to implement these, let alone keep them updated, which could be detrimental to the business.
Planning for the future
The current Covid-19 situation we are experiencing is putting businesses under a huge amount of pressure. Some industries are busier than ever and struggling to cope with demand, whilst others are fighting to survive. Equally, whilst all businesses have had to adapt their working practices, many are planning for the future and the new normal, where remote working will be much more commonplace.
Whilst most are now getting used to this style of working, some worry about how possible it is to forge a strong working relationship remotely. Rapport can quickly be established through regular check-ins, conference calls or even in-person meetings (if local). Communication methods and frequency can easily be tailored to suit the individual.
We are lucky enough to have a wonderful local business community here in Brighton & Hove and we are all here to help each other. If you think I can support your business in any way please do get in touch as I would be delighted to have a chat about the numerous benefits of hiring a Virtual Assistant.
Get in touch with Juliet on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to contribute to the Chamber blog, contact us on email@example.com