Balancing your daily administrative tasks and more strategic activities is critical to growing your small business, not just running it. Here are some helpful tips for how to spend more time on the things that matter.
Do you ever feel like you spend so much time working in your business that you don’t get a chance to work on it? If so, you’re not alone. A global survey of small business owners found that 68% of their time was spent on day-to-day tasks, such as answering emails and other administrative work, and only 32% of their time was spent on strategic activities, such as creating new opportunities or growing revenue.
With all the other challenges you face trying to grow your business — from managing cash flow, to keeping up with changes in consumer behaviour, to accessing capital at affordable rates — preventing yourself from getting bogged down in emails and admin can be an easy fix. But gaining more time to work on your business isn’t simply about better time management (though it can’t hurt). It’s also about adopting the right mindset and tools that will help you work more efficiently.
Crowdsource solutions from like-minded business owners
When you run a small business, you often become the de facto expert in everything from marketing to financial management. Even if you employ staff to handle specific roles, if you’re the one who has trained them, they’ll often defer to you on important decisions, such as choosing an email marketing or payroll platform. In fact, 41% of small business owners said they could be more productive if they were able to prevent employees from ‘upward delegating’ tasks to them.
But who else is going to research the features and costs of various platforms if you don’t do it? That’s where your small business support network comes in. Rather than seeing other small businesses in your sector as your competition, think of them as your brains trust. Ask them about the technology solutions they use, why they chose those solutions, and how happy they are with the results. You should still confirm their opinions with your own research, but you’ll save yourself some time by crowdsourcing first.
Level up your financial admin
Financial administration is a necessary part of running a small business, but it takes up a huge amount of time. According to a recent survey, Australian business owners spend an average of 6 hours and 19 minutes per week on financial administration, or the equivalent of 40.3 working days per year. The tasks that take the longest are tax preparation, checking and reconciling transactions and sending invoices, which together take almost 4 hours in total per week. In New Zealand, an estimated 1 in 5 small businesses spends more than 6 hours a month on invoicing.
Unsurprisingly, completing these financial administration tasks is business owners’ least favourite part of the job because of the amount of time it takes, and yet, only 53% of Australian business owners currently use an accounting program like Xero, MYOB, or Quickbooks to help manage their finances, citing price, complexity and the steep learning curve involved. More than a third (35%) of New Zealand small businesses are not confident in their knowledge of how e-invoicing works, and 37% haven’t heard of it.
But while the initial investment might be high, these programs can pay off in the long run, thanks to digital technology and in some cases automation that drastically speeds up the process of paying bills, doing payroll and entering receipts, giving you time to research new revenue streams.
In the area of cash flow management, hummpro makes it quick and easy to access finance and schedule repayments according to your current financial situation – all done directly on your mobile device. Rather than spending time chasing late payments from your business customers and figuring out which bills to defer each month, you can buy now and pay later with hummpro.
If you haven’t leveled up your financial administration yet, now’s the time.
Adopting financial management tools like hummpro is a smart way to reduce your admin burden and focus on growing your small business.