How much of your day do you spend responding to emails, generating invoices and organising files? ‘Too long’ is probably your answer. These tasks can be tiring and take up a large chunk of your working day – in fact Sage’s study of 3,000 businesses across 11 countries revealed that SMEs spend an astonishing 120 days a year completing admin tasks.

If you manage to reduce the amount of time you spend on admin, there’ll be room for idea development, marketing and business growth. Here are some tips and tricks on how to manage admin, and cut down the time you spend on it.

Organise and allocate

If you feel like your to-do list is drowning you, dedicate time to get it under control – unsubscribe from spam emails, put files into the correct folders, tidy your computer storage and make everything a bit easier for yourself. Once organised, take a step back and assess how effective your current admin routine is – who does what, is everyone efficient, and are you using your time effectively?

If you’re going through a stage of recruiting new employees, organising an event or bringing in a new service/product, allocate the job of dealing with admin for those areas to one person – even if that means hiring someone new to do that. This will take some stress off you and ensure your input is only when needed.

Automated or template emails are a great way to handle recruitment for example, to ensure everyone gets a response and little editing is needed to communicate, saving time. While these may not feel as personal, a response to an unsuccessful candidate is better than no response, which the candidate will appreciate, not lowering their perception of your company.

Allocate a set time to respond to emails; don’t constantly interrupt tasks every time a new email comes through throughout your day. Many employees pick a time of the day – say, 2pm – to check through emails, and don’t check them again until the same time the next day.

Keep everyone in-the-know

Much of the time wasted on admin could be due to disorganisation of what needs doing.  Consider creating an online spread-sheet or organisation tool which is accessible to all relevant employees. Having this in place means everyone is aware of what needs doing and who’s completing what task, resulting in less time wasted from confusion.

Alternatively, if space allows, incorporate design into the organisation technique by using a whiteboard, or better, white-board paint to make a helpful visual. Having a wall where employees can go to gain understanding could boost collaboration and bring the potential for better work relationships and teamwork. Alongside being functional to productivity, whiteboard walls also look contemporary and fun.

Bring others in

To allow you to spend your work-day entirely on non-admin work, there’s always the option to hire others to do them for you. Admin workers, personal assistants, accountants and outsourced companies will assist you, and mean that the only admin work you do is communicating ideas to them, which they can run with to complete admin successfully and save you heaps of time.

Digital marketing and social media are crucial parts of growing your business but can be time consuming, so hiring others in that area of expertise will save you a lot of time. Owner of QuoteGoat Michael Foote says that doing this saves him at least 30 minutes a day;

“We've appointed a social media marketing company to manage our presence on Facebook. It runs our paid advertising campaigns and updates our Facebook page with interesting content," he comments.

 While administrative tasks can be boring, there’s no way to cut them out all together as they are extremely necessary to keep your business afloat. With these tips, you can spend more time on more exciting tasks which could grow your business. 

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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