How important is administration for small businesses?
Starting a new business venture, or consciously scaling an existing business can be a very exciting time. This is usually a decision that has been carefully thought through and you will have excellent skills for the service or product you offer, you know best how to make your customers happy. However, the rewards of doing this can sometimes feel daunting, and be overshadowed by the extra challenges this can bring.
Studies have shown that many small to medium sized businesses spend as much time as 71 days per year on administrative tasks such as accounting, HR, responding to correspondence and paperwork. The biggest challenge many business owners will face, is finding the balance between dedicating enough time into generating new business whilst still offering a great service to existing clients.
Without the delivery of these crucial administrative tasks, small businesses cannot operate so it is vital that they get it right. The importance of a strong back-office function is often overlooked, but does having a good admin system in place lead the way for a successful business and ultimately stronger business growth?
What is Business Administration?
Business administration can relate to a variety of tasks that all companies need to complete to stay in business. Managing the finances is probably the most time consuming of all the administrative tasks and is fundamental to the success of any business. This might be sending invoices, chasing payments, reconciling receipts and general banking. Accounting in business is about being on top of the money that enters and leaves the company. Many of these accounting tasks are a legal requirement.
Other business admin tasks aren’t quite so mandatory but will allow your business to run efficiently. For example, keeping on top of appointments and correspondence could be the difference between success and failure for your business. How you let your customers know about your business, and keep them informed of what you can offer, needs to be consistent and clear. Marketing can take many forms, and it’s important to consider what works best for you and your business.
With social media being so popular and widespread, your presence on this is often what attracts customers so keeping on top of this is essential for business growth. To some this feels easy but making sure that content is posted regularly, and responses monitored might be a daunting task. A staggering 57.6 million people in the UK use social media, with 56% of people interacting with people by liking and sharing content. This creates a great opportunity to raise awareness of you and your business.
Finding the balance
To grow and develop any business it is important to have a solid foundation to build upon and a vision as to the direction in which you see your business going. You probably didn’t start your business because you have a passion for paperwork. Your skills lie elsewhere, and it is likely you have perfected this before you started your own business. But as well as having this skill, getting your administration in order can have a real impact on profit and growth.
There are many benefits of having a strong back-office business system. Ensuring that your administration processes run smoothly, will enable you to focus on delivering an excellent service to your customers. The business growth will follow if this is the path you’re choosing, but similarly these functions need to work when you aren’t working. Admin processes will help you to know how your business is preforming at any point in time and to build confidence in your own ability. Decision making becomes easier, and the ability to know how your business is functioning, is essential for a successful business. Knowing your figures can also help you identify if you’re getting the best deal from suppliers and associates.
Good data will also allow you to monitor your customers and how they buy your products and services which will let you know where to focus your energy. Clues for how to market better or improve your product can come from this data. Your customers are fundamental to your business receiving an income, so by increasing your customer base or your efficiency at delivering, increases your chances of improving your overall business performance and development.
Admin support for small business
Business administration is certainly essential for every business. For some, the thought of turning on the laptop after a long day’s work or sitting with a pile of receipts fills them with dread. There are some options available to help business owners with these tasks.
Hiring an administrator could be an option, but this can add extra administration, and the need to run a payroll. Understanding your commitments as an employer is something that you should be aware of. You should seek advice prior to recruiting a permanent member of staff and ensure that the position is sustainable.
Another option is to contract a company to carry out these functions on behalf of your business. This is often an option which many small businesses don’t even think about or are aware of. Paying an independent company to act on your behalf to take care of all or some of your admin can be a huge relief to many business owners. Administration service providers can take care of a wide range of tasks such as, call handing, bookkeeping, appointment and diary management, invoicing, social media support, advertising, stock ordering and many more.
If this is something that is of interest to you and your business, get in contact with our business specialist firstname.lastname@example.org