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25-Oct

6 ways to help cut down on admin work

Running a small business involves lots of admin work – which can sometimes get in the way of actually doing work. Here are a few ways to cut down on the endless admin…

New figures from Tide have revealed that more than 3 in 5 new small business owners spend at least one day a month on admin financial tasks like bank accounts, tax calculations, invoices and expenses.

Business woman sitting at a desk with a computer and a large pile of papers

Here are 6 ways to cut down these tasks without harming your business…

1. Create a to do list
One of the first things you need to do is to find out what exactly needs doing.

Create a list of all the admin tasks you undertake every month. This will help you to not only timetable your hours, but also to prioritise your work.

If items are on the list for more than a couple of weeks, take another look at them and see whether you really need to do it. If so, do it right away. If not, remove it.

2. Use technology
Whether you like it or not, technology is your friend. From your phone’s calendar to more advanced programmes that can help you to keep track of everything from your finances to working hours.

The Tide survey found that working out tax, accounting and expenses were problems from around half of respondents.

Yet there are so many programmes that can help you manage these. They may take a while to get up and running, but once they’re going they’ll help you cut down on your admin work as things become more automated.

3. Get others to do it
You’re not on your own. There are people who can help, and some who should be doing it as part of the service.

For example, the survey discovered 47% felt their banks offered a poor service. If you have set up a business account with your bank, try and get them to help you with some of the admin. Even if it’s just pointing you in the right direction or getting them to flag up when they need certain documents.

And if you can afford it, why not employ an office junior to help with the admin. It might cost you up front, but as it’ll free up your time you’ll also end up saving a bit of money.

4. Make the most of spare time
As a small business owner you probably don’t have much free time. But thanks to mobile working there are certain ‘dead times’ that can be used.

If you’re commuting in to work, you could use the train time to sort this month’s payroll. Or if you’re waiting in reception for a meeting, take advantage of the time to finalise your tax returns.

5. Set a timetable
What many small business owners won’t know is actually how much time they spend on admin.

Try making a timetable for your work, putting in a set amount of time for admin. You might find that you’re spending less time than you think on it. If you’re not, try cutting down the timetabled hours and see what effect it has.

6. Learn from mistakes
Finally, it’s always a good tip in any business to actively learn from your mistakes.

If you find yourself redoing the same admin tasks over again, ask why. If you’re making mistakes, write them down so that when you come to them the following month you’ll know not to make the mistakes again.