Businesses waste an awful lot of time. In fact, one study reckons that more than 620,000 hours a week are wasted on ‘non-critical’ tasks among the UK’s five million-plus SMEs.
It’s easy to drown in a seat of red tape and admin if you’re not careful, losing sight of the things you need to do to make your business into a money-making success story.
So, how do you avoid wasting valuable time in your business? You need a few admin hacks and productivity tips. Here are some key things to explore:
Drive and thrive
Sending emails backward and forward between colleagues can create confusion – with multiple versions of files pinging around inboxes. Not only that but modern workforces might well require multiple colleagues working on the same document at the same time – sometimes in different offices or at home thanks to the rise of flexible working. That’s where Google Drive can come in extremely handy, offering you a central portal that’s easy to access at any time, in any place and with any device. It’s free, easy to use and speeds up communication, feedback and amends when it comes to written documents, spreadsheets and presentations for your business.
Similarly, getting important paperwork signed can be a drag on your time. Having to wait for items to be posted and returned can cause unnecessary delays to starting a contract – whether that’s a new employee joining the books or a new project for a client. Speed up that process by using electronic signatures – these offer a safe and secure way to put a digital signature on such documents and ensure they can be sent, signed and filed in a matter of minutes rather than months.
Automated financial reporting
Creating and maintaining an accurate record of your finances can also be a drag on your time. You have to do this – clearly – but there’s no reason why it has to become an administrative pain. With accounting software you can make it easier to log payments, get an accurate at-a-glance view of the current state of your finances and automate some of the charts and reports that you need to prepare to be able to assess the health of your business in line with your key targets.
Clear sense of priority
When is a priority not a priority? When there’s an even bigger priority?! It can be difficult to know how to order your work effectively so that you’re doing the most important tasks at the most important times. There’s nothing worse than starting one task and having to pause half way through because you realise something else has suddenly become urgent. You can overcome this by developing a red amber and green (RAG) system, grading your priorities so that everyone knows exactly where their focus should be and you avoid a small issue bubbling up into a full blown crisis.
This is far from an exhaustive list, but each of these four factors can ease a common ‘pain point’ for a business, lessen the admin burden and streamline your operation so that your focus is on making money, not more paperwork.