The time-sav­ing tips that will stream­line your of­fice ad­min

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Small Business Connect - By Tele­graph Small Busi­ness Con­nect is a spe­cial­ist com­mu­nity ded­i­cated to help­ing small busi­ness own­ers and di­rec­tors – find out more at sme­con­nect

Ha­jra Rahim re­cent study of 3,000 firms across 11 coun­tries, by Sage, claimed that small and medium sized-en­ter­prises (SMEs) are spend­ing an av­er­age of 120 days a year on ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks such as ac­count­ing and gen­er­at­ing in­voices.

And as any busy busi­ness owner will tell you, if most of the work­ing day is spent bogged down re­spond­ing to emails and typ­ing num­bers into spread­sheets, that’s less time to de­vote to de­vel­op­ing new prod­ucts or crack­ing that new mar­ket­ing plan. Ev­ery lit­tle helps, so here are some tips on how to spend less time on ad­min, and more on grow­ing the busi­ness.

AThe av­er­age small firm loses 120 days to pa­per­work each year. Is it time for a change? we pick up the phone to each other; sec­ond, we use [dig­i­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion tool] Slack to share the out­comes of th­ese dis­cus­sions with the wider team; and then re­sort to email only for doc­u­ment shar­ing,” says Mr Mil­ton.

Not only has this re­duced the dreaded back­log at the end of each day, but it has also strength­ened re­la­tion­ships in a team that of­ten works in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, he adds. “It runs our paid ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns and up­dates our Face­book page with in­ter­est­ing con­tent.”

He es­ti­mates that this has saved him at least 30 min­utes ev­ery day. If you’re not sure about what as­pects of your busi­ness can be sped up or stream­lined, ask around.

“Ev­ery fort­night, we have a team meet­ing, where we look at what parts of our work­ing day can be au­to­mated,” ex­plains Mr Mil­ton of StreetDots. One so­lu­tion that came out of this was a sim­ple one – us­ing Google’s “canned re­sponse” fea­ture (an email plug-in through which users can in­sert pre-writ­ten and for­mat­ted replies at the click of a but­ton), which saves time when field­ing lots of the same kind of in­quiries.

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