We don’t need to tell you running a small business is an all-encompassing job, you live it and breathe it and no doubt are sometimes left feeling there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
That said, business ownership is one of the most rewarding jobs out there, and we salute anyone who’s got the drive and passion to take the plunge and build a business from the ground up.
The admin involved can be time-consuming, to say the least, we get it, and in this article, we’ll share ten top tips for speeding up your small business admin to free up some precious time and make your life that bit easier.
We’ll kick things off by covering seven common business tasks and how you can speed them up, and finish with three possible personal tweaks to make that could have knock-on effects on productivity.
We won’t beat around the bush, accounting can be a bit of a drag, right? You wouldn’t be alone in admitting you didn’t get into business because you just can’t get enough number crunching.
Alas, it’s part and parcel of business ownership, in fact, it’s super important, but thankfully there are tools at your disposal to take the onus of you and speed the whole process up.
For example, EPOS systems like our Move and Now options come packed full of accounting software and integrate with the likes of Xero, Quickbooks, and Sage, so you can leave the penny pinching to the experts, in safe hands, and get on with the smooth running of your business.
Top tip: Making use of the tools at your disposal is a surefire way to speed up business admin (in fact, you might start to see a theme emerge throughout this article…)
Training your workforce so they’re on their A-game and up to scratch with all your systems is paramount but can take time.
But did you know that some service providers (spoiler, like us!) will provide comprehensive staff training when you use their products? Reputable businesses want you to succeed, and therefore work hand in hand with you and your staff to ensure you’re all confident and competent in using their tech.
Top tip: Let your service provider save you a job by providing training for you!
When it comes to bringing on someone new, inevitably, it’s going to require time and effort to acclimatise them to your business and how you do things, there’s no avoiding it.
But making the time to do it properly upfront will save you heaps of time down the line as your new hire will be armed with all the information and skills they need to get the job done, and right.
For businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors having a firm grasp on stock is business 101. Have too little and you’ll lose sales and potentially customers. Have too much and your cashflow could creep into the red.
That said, knowing exactly what you’ve got is no mean feat, trips back and forth to the stock room are time-consuming, and finding the time to contact your suppliers to plead for more pronto isn’t always easy.
You can save yourself all the aforementioned headaches not to mention bags of time with a top-notch inventory management system. It’ll give you accurate and real-time information on your stock and even allow you to set up automatic purchase orders when you’re running low - goodbye manually ringing the stockist!
Picture the scene, it’s been a manic day, you’ve barely had five minutes to sit down, your last customer has just left, and you want to crawl home and get to bed… but you need to complete your end-of-day reports. Cue movie-style meltdown.
Totting up at the end of a shift is one thing, but if the numbers don’t add up the situation can go from bad to worse pretty quickly. Now, what if we told you there are tools at your disposal to make end-of-day reporting swift and pain-free?
Yup, once more EPOS is the hero of the hour thanks to integrated payments and reporting.
Being your own boss might sound fun (and let’s be honest, it is fun) but it comes with the responsibility of managing a workforce. Whether it’s organising the rota, monitoring performance, the aforementioned training, or paying them, staff management takes up time.
While having employees takes jobs off your plate, on the one hand, it comes with extra admin on the other, but this admin can be minimal if you use the right tool.
For example, if you use EPOS, employees can clock in and out using the system, so you’ll have super accurate info on who was working and when, when it comes to payday. You can also set individual permissions, see how they’re performing, their sales, and even what they’re selling.
Is there anything more infuriating than waiting to get paid for work you’ve already carried out? It’s painful, but unfortunately, it happens, particularly with paper invoices, and can equal unnecessary and time-consuming admin for business owners.
Modern-day invoicing solutions like our beepaid app allow you to create, send, and chase invoices at the push of a button using your smartphone, you’ll even get buzzed to let you know when payment has been made.
On the subject of payments, consumer method of choice, contactless, is super speedy and efficient, so if you’ve not yet made the move to a contactless-enabled payment system, there’s no time like the present - it’ll boost customer satisfaction and save you plenty of time!
Marketing your small business is what spreads the word about how great you are and brings in new business, aka, it’s mission-critical.
There are so many options in this day and age when it comes to how to market, and if you go hell for leather and explore all your avenues then it’s going to take a chunk out of your schedule.
To save time, first and foremost, do your research and work out which marketing routes are the right ones for your business. Focusing in on a few key avenues will not only save you time but boost your chances of success on a select few.
Top tip: Check out our guide to deciding which social media platform is best for your business to get the ball rolling.
Once you’ve found your sweet spot, turn to online scheduling tools to ease your load - the likes of Hootsuite and others allow you to create your online content ahead of time and arrange for it to be posted at a later date.
Getting flustered about the number of plates you’re spinning and the amount of time you have is a) easy to do, but b) counterproductive.
Make a list of all the jobs that need doing and when they need to be done by, create a schedule leaving yourself enough time to do them all, and do your best to stick to it. It’s sensible to leave time for any unexpected tasks that will inevitably crop up, and don’t beat yourself up if things go awry from time to time.
The more rigorous you are in your time management, the more time you’ll find yourself with. It might sound counterintuitive, but trust us, it’s true!
As part of your schedule, give yourself some alone time. You’ll work much more efficiently if you’re alone, ideally in a quiet place, where no one can interrupt you. You might even be surprised to see how quickly you can get some jobs done in peace.
Your business is your baby, we get it, and it can be difficult to let things go and accept help. But you’ve got to, for your own sanity!
If you do really struggle to let go, try writing down a list of jobs to be done and ranking them by importance and difficulty. The tasks that are easy to do can be given to someone else and you’ll free up time to get on with the higher priority items yourself.
Last but not least, give yourself time to rest. Work yourself into the ground and you risk burning out, a very real phenomenon the occurrence of which is higher than average in business owners.
Someone who’s stretched too thinly isn’t giving their best to all the tasks they’re trying to carry out, someone who’s emotionally exhausted is more likely to make mistakes. Every so often, have some time to yourself and indulge in a little self-care.
When you return to work you’ll be rejuvenated, energised, and more productive than ever.
To find out more about our game-changing EPOS systems, contactless payments, or the beepaid app, reach out to our experts today, or for more resources designed to help small businesses thrive, check out our dedicated blog.