Top 4 time-wasting tasks YOU should not be doing
The early years of any business are a labor of love, where every detail must be meticulously controlled and monitored to ensure your idea gets off the ground. This also means all business tasks should be given your undivided attention…initially. But as your business takes flight, you might find yourself stuck carrying out those menial jobs that eat up your precious time. Yes, they’re important – often the business won’t be a success or even possible without them – but this does not mean you should spend countless hours on these time-wasting tasks instead of exploring ways to grow your business.
You may not be ready for a new hire. Don’t panic – it doesn’t have to lead to that. There are now many tools and systems in place to help small business owners work effectively, people just need to be made aware of them. Let’s take a look at the top four suspects potentially draining productivity in your business, and the tools that will give you those precious hours to grow your business back.
Dealing with office admin
You know these tasks. They are the ones that appear to be simple and incredibly quick to complete; answering the phone, organizing calendars, data entry. However, combine them all and you soon find that half of your day can be spent fielding off sales calls or updating spreadsheets. While you may not be ready for a PA or Office Manager, you should definitely look at new ways to manage the admin process.
If you feel inclined to centralize all these tasks, there are numerous virtual PAs who can help. It’s also definitely worth investigating the range of call answering services, central database management systems and data entry services available for businesses – all of these will add value and time to your working day.
Managing social media
There’s no avoiding the power of social media in the business world. No longer just a tool for distracting employees, it can now drive your company forward by bringing your brand to the right customers and influencers. Yet, in order to fully benefit from what social media can offer you have to put in the hours. Tweeting once a week isn’t enough, but who has the time to continuously switch between networks, thinking of new and engaging content?
Until you are able to hire someone able to manage this time-wasting task, you should seriously consider a social media management tool. There are so many on offer all letting you schedule your posts weeks in advance, so that your company is always being heard.
If you’ve moved on from a one-man-band operation, then you will need to think about putting a formal HR system in operation. There are lots of holiday and absence management systems, and many of these can also track salaries, appraisals and recruitment. Using a combination of these concurrently means you can accurately review the performance of either one individual, or one aspect of the HR system. Not only that, but eliminating spreadsheets will significantly reduce the chance of any errors as data can be accurately checked and amended.
Invoices, expenses and accounting
Mention the words invoicing, expenses and accounting to small business owners and the groans are inevitable and universal. Yes, it’s a time-wasting task, and the continuous process of data entry and reporting is often such a logistical nightmare that many neglect it until the last possible moment and can fall foul of regulators, risking some hefty fines that they simply cannot afford. Don’t fall victim to this – it’s vital that you know the state of your finances to make important future growth decisions.
You may want to think about moving the accounting process to the cloud so that the data is available anywhere, at any time, and to anyone you share it with – for example your accountant. There are also many tools that can aid with the tasks that small businesses are still left to handle, such as managing the processing of receipts, invoices and expenses. Our co-founders dreaded the task so much it led them to found Receipt Bank, so we feel your pain and assure you it can be easily solved.
Any of these sound all too familiar? In a world of cloud-based productivity tools and third-party services designed specifically to save your time, why not take a minute to discover what’s on offer? It’ll save you an awful lot of time in the long run, and leave you free to make important business decisions that will drive your company forward.