As a Business Development professional, your schedule is tight. You’re always putting out fires and making sure your business is set up for success. The best use of your time is when you’re delivering high-level, actionable strategy. The worst use of your time is when you get bogged down with a laundry list of administrative tasks.
But how can you reduce the time you spend on admin and focus more on the consulting process?
Know Your Flaws
Do you get distracted with your inbox or your social media? Are you constantly switching between your project management tools, your accounting tools, and your email accounts? If so, you’re killing a lot of time.
Little tasks are sneaky and deadly. In isolation, none of them seem to take up too much time. But when compounded, it’s difficult to recover from the loss.
A report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), says small business owners are spending more than 33 hours a month handling internal admin tasks. 55% say this is causing a lag in business growth. As you might expect, accounting tops the list of major time wasters with up to 14 of the 33 hours. Business banking takes 9 hours, taxes 6 hours, and HR and employee care take 5 hours.
Here’s how you can cut down on that wasted time:
1. Schedule Better
To ensure your business is successful and stays profitable, you have to ensure you have enough staff at all times to meet the customer demands. But there has to be a balance: You also need to make sure your staff is working enough hours to keep them productive without overwhelming them.
Do you still use spreadsheets (or worse yet, a pen and paper) to schedule? In case the schedule changes or someone gets sick, you always have to adjust it manually.
This is a huge amount of work––and it’s unnecessary. It doesn’t have to be like that.
You can create a robust scheduling solution that ensures you and your staff are working on projects they enjoy instead of wasting time on admin tasks. One way to achieve this is through an enterprise scheduling app. Look for an app that suits your business in terms of size and needs.
2. Get More Admin Support
You may be wondering if the amount of work you have justifies hiring additional staff. However, hiring more admin support could be a great decision. An admin assistant can help improve the efficiency of your whole business by taking care of the menial tasks that are consuming everybody’s time.
To make sure the hiring is justified, how do you know you need more admin help?
- You spend several hours every week scheduling meetings and calls, entering data, or other tasks that can be handled by someone who doesn’t have your industry expertise.
- There are multiple tasks that you can’t automate but you can outsource. These include handling email, answering the phone, and greeting clients.
- Hiring more admin help will free up more of your time and allow you to focus on more important business matters (or even just improve your quality of life).
If you can relate, then you need more admin help.
Along with obsoleting the term “secretary” the last decade has brought to life a range of job titles which have slight differences but all related to admin. These include Administrative Assistant, Virtual Assistant, Office Manager, Receptionist, and Executive Assistant. Know the differences to ensure you get what you expect.
Basic HR and payroll tasks can easily be automated with an effective time-keeping system. By automating time/labor, absence, and scheduling, you can appreciate:
- Fewer data and clerical errors with a self-service time capture and reporting systems.
- Easier tracking and monitoring alterations in the schedule. This gives managers the ability to measure productivity lapses in real-time.
- Automated calculations (such as gross pay) can be based on preset rules.
- More “self-service” employees. Employees can easily submit leave requests to managers, record performance-related data, and approve time cards themselves.
4. Make Use of Mobile Apps
People are always talking about how mobile apps can save your business time and money. But is there any real value behind all the bells and whistles? You need to invest in a mobile app that will definitively yield you a positive ROI.
Mobile apps come with a range of powerful tools to help with organization, collaboration, and communication with your team. Whether it’s project management, collaborative to-do lists, cloud storage, group messaging, or video conferencing, there’s an app out there. Some are free while others charge a premium fee on various plans. Tread carefully, but don’t be afraid to explore. Some of these can be true game-changers.
Suppose you took those 14 hours you spend doing accounting and put them towards growing your business. How much more would you make? Now add 9 more hours to that. Now add 5 more to that.
The point is, you have a finite amount of time and you need to optimize it. If you can get your scheduling right and outsource and automate certain services, you can start maximizing your time today.