Admin – we all hate it, but we also know it has to be done. The trouble is, it can take up a significant proportion of our time in a working week, and also takes us away from the things we do best. It’s a big issue that, ultimately, costs you a lot of money. So, if you are tired of spending a day or two a week filling out your paperwork, console yourself with the fact that there is a financial incentive for finding a solution. Let’s take a closer look.
Identifying the admin challenges
Make no mistake about it, the challenges of doing admin for your small business or startup are pretty broad.It’s a necessary evil, but failure to do your paperwork and keep tabs on accounts and contracts will cost you in the long run. What happens if you forget to pay a trusted supplier? What happens when a piece of equipment malfunctions and you need to find your warranty? Who is going to respond to your social media account requests, answer emails or phone customers back? All these admin tasks are critical to your business but ultimately take you away from what you should be doing.
Time-saving and financial sense
Consider the activity that makes you the most money for your business – it might be selling on the phone, or creating fantastic Adwords campaigns, for example. It makes sense that you spend the vast majority of your time doing it, right? What if every time you made a sale your company made $300 – and on an average day you make 5 sales. That’s $1500 a day in revenue. But you can only go out there and do this for three days a week because the other two days are about filling in the paperwork. Not only are you missing out on the opportunity of earning $3000 for your business, but you are, in effect, paying yourself that amount for doing some basic data entry.
With all this in mind, what if you could outsource those filing, database, phone calling or other admin tasks that take up so much of your time? You would be free to earn that extra $3000 for your company, and it would only cost you the daily rate of an admin assistant to do it. That’s a huge profit. And let’s be honest, an administrative professional is also likely to do the job much quicker than you, so you will end up saving even more money. There are other tasks worth outsourcing, too. An accountant, for example, might cost you a monthly retainer – but that expense will be dwarfed by the money they save and the business opportunities they find for your company. A marketing team might charge you a decent amount of money to help you with a new advertising campaign – but your sales could explode. And the primary reason for outsourcing is, of course, because you are hiring people who can do those tasks much better than you can yourself.
Software can help you achieve a lot more regarding productivity, too. In the olden days, office admin would be about filing things away in metal cabinets and storing them in a musty old room. It’s not the case anymore, however, and whether you are using cloud-based file storage or contract administration software, everything is much easier to deal with now. There’s no need to scramble around through piles of paperwork anymore, and if you choose the right tool, you can find and locate the relevant data you need at the click of a button. There’s less likelihood of your files going missing, too, and in the event of a disaster in your office – fire, for example – you won’t have to worry about documents going up in flames if they are kept in a cloud-based storage system.
Have a system
Finally, whether you use any of these ideas or not, the most obvious solution to your admin challenges is actually to have a system in the first place. Many new business owners play things by ear, and never set aside a regular time to do their admin. And that’s exactly when trouble starts to brew. But, by putting a practical system in place, where you have a regular time to do admin duties, and a relevant system to keep documents in – in an ordered fashion, of course – it’s half the battle won already. Ultimately, admin is just one of those things we all have to do – and how you deal with it can count a lot more than you might think.