Many business owners are frustrated by the amount of time they have to spend on business admin. According to a survey by Sage, small businesses spend on average 71 hours a year on this in order to keep up with paperwork, accounting and recruitment. This time could be better spent focusing on the more valuable work of making your business vision reality.
40% of the people surveyed said that they found it hard to make cost savings on their administrative workload. What’s more, only 39% of businesses said they were currently looking into reducing their admin costs through technology.
So, what’s the solution? How do you reduce your business admin time so you can focus on developing your business? The good news is that there are effective answers out there for businesses of all sizes. Sage outlines some valuable tips for the uptake of two solutions – outsourcing and cloud computing.
Outsourcing your business admin
Whether it is an accountancy firm or a freelancer, subcontracting someone to do the work is the quickest way of cutting down your business admin time. This is the basic principle behind outsourcing. Many people still equate the concept of outsourcing with specific jobs, such as IT, but in truth, pretty much any task can be outsourced.
How to make outsourcing easier
Identify which tasks you need help with
Take the time to work out which tasks need to be outsourced, and how much of each task needs to be covered. For example, a growing business might benefit from outsourcing the management of its human resources process, while staying in charge of running the payroll. Similarly, accounting can be resourced to an accountant or bookkeeper while a business retains control of sales expenditure accounting.
Preparation is key
You’ll need to share data with the person or company that you’re outsourcing to, so it’s a good idea to schedule in some time to prepare this. For example, if outsourcing bookkeeping, you’ll need to tidy up and prepare your accounts for third party access. You’ll also need to put some extra time aside for taking your new accountant through these.
Do your homework
Asking for recommendations from your peers is the most effective way to find professionals to outsource to. You can also ask the firm or freelancer to share their references. In addition, sites like Trustpilot can be useful as they offer reviews of a wide range of businesses and their services.
Embracing cloud computing
Moving all your information into a digital format – also known as digitisation – can go a long way in helping to reduce your admin. There are lots of different cloud accountancy providers to help you go digital. If you’re not already online, it’s worth taking the time to research your options.
Take your time
Although cloud-based apps and services are designed to be easy and intuitive to use, you still need to put in some time and effort to learn how to get the most from them. It is also important to incorporate them into your daily routine.
Collaboration is important
Cloud apps and services are built to encourage and benefit from collaboration and sharing. For example, you might want to give your accountant access to your data by connecting their cloud software to your accounting solution.
Embrace new technology
We live in a world where you no longer need to use a desktop computer to run a business.. You can do so on the go or from home using a laptop, tablet and/or mobile. Most businesses find that using cloud services in conjunction with new technologies tends to make life easier in the workplace.
If you are looking to invest in digital technology to advance your business processes, you may be eligible for a grant under the Digital Advantage Scheme.