Administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, arranging appointments, managing email enquiries and signing legal paperwork are essential to the running of a successful business. However, as essential as they may be, they can also be soul-destroying.
Many business owners spend more time handling admin than getting on with core tasks. This can gradually cause many people to lose the passion they once had for their business. And when the passion dies, the business often goes with it.
To avoid death by admin, there are three main measures that you can take. Each measure can help to reduce the amount of time personally handling admin tasks, allowing you to get on with more rewarding duties. Here are the three main ways of avoiding death by admin.
It’s possible to use software to automate many forms of admin.
Accounting is the most popular task that business owners automate. Manually calculating taxes and expenses is tedious and repetitive – accounting software can do this all automatically for you.
There are many other admin tasks that can be automated with software. You can use software to bill customers, send appointment reminders, build rotas and order stock. Small Biz Trends lists some of the tasks that can be automated.
Not all admin tasks can or should be automated. Tasks like managing social media accounts, replying to emails and answering the phone require a human touch. Automation should be used sparingly in these cases such as using an automated attendant to direct callers to the right department (and not using automated attendants to manage entire calls).
Another way to take the pain out of admin tasks is to outsource them to another company.
Many businesses use specialist companies such as Employer Advantage to handle tasks such as the employee payroll. It’s also possible to outsource general accounting, social media management and even answering the phone.
Outsourcing can be cheaper than hiring in-house talent to fill these roles and you can benefit their expertise and resources. It may not be appropriate when dealing with sensitive information, which some companies may prefer to delegate to in-house staff.
Delegating your admin to a new or existing staff member could be another option.
Many business owners hire a personal assistant to carry out all the major admin for them. Relying on one in-house employee instead of outsourcing multiple specialist companies has it’s pros and cons – you can closely monitor their work and easily keep track of what’s going on, but you may not always get the same quality of work as you may do outsourcing tasks.
Spreading out admin tasks among a team may be another option. This could include getting one employee to handle social media management and another to handle bookkeeping alongside their other duties. You may not have to hire any new talent by doing this, but you’ll be upping all your employees workloads, plus some of them may feel it’s not part of their job description to take on such tasks.
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