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Turn business admin time into strategy time

With any growing business, there comes a time to delegate business admin in order to claw back strategy time, yet founders are not often keen to do so.
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It’s understandable that when you’ve built something from nothing, relinquishing control over certain areas of a business can be difficult, but in order to push a business to reach its full potential a business owner needs strategy time.

It goes without saying that you can’t juggle everything indefinitely – the more a business scales up, the more help is needed to keep all the balls in the air.

The more time that goes wasted on basic business processes, the less time there is to focus on new markets, research and development, increasing sales and exploring exporting options.

We asked some small business owners what technology they have taken on board to improve efficiency, and create more time for strategy planning.

Get the basics right

Tim Oldman, CEO of Leesman, explained: “Think about the technologies that are central to your role. Our research consistently shows it’s about getting the basics right. But across our global sample of more than 300,000+ employees, those ‘basics’ will differ depending on what employees are doing.

“For those who rely on technology to do their jobs, many are not satisfied with their workplace’s current offering. There is a general level of discontent with audio-conferencing equipment (31 per cent are not satisfied) and video-conferencing facilities (40 per cent are not satisfied). So, as it stands, the technical infrastructures out there are struggling to enabling employees to collaborate and communicate effectively in virtual environments.”

Establish best practice for communication

Andrew Mawson, founder, Advanced Workplace Associates said:

“Within a productivity improvement strategy, collaboration software can help organisations become more efficient. Managers must create a social work environment that encourages a shared team liking so people will be more comfortable sharing their ideas and knowledge.

“This is tough enough when everyone’s in the office but when everyone’s dispersed, working in different locations and /or time zones, there are some new challenges which these tools can help to overcome.

“Using video narrows the physical gap between people and far exceeds the information content of conference calls. The opportunity to build and maintain trusting relationships is much higher, particularly when participants are from different cultures – the likelihood of misunderstandings are reduced because people can see facial expressions and hear tone of voice.”

Invest in software

Harry Molyneux, CEO, BuildUpp: “I use a whole host of different software. What’s interesting about the tech industry, is that they seem to have solved all tech and admin issues.

“If you’re looking for someone to collaborate with – there’s networks that you can use online that can help you find events, locations and even people. Then you’ve got the actual tech software that basically manages the relationship between code and domain, that’s all I know about it – and I know that I need it for my business.”

Scaling up looks different for different businesses, but one thing is certain – if you’re wasting all your time ploughing through business admin, you’re never going to have time for strategy.

Look at ways you can save time in your business – whether that means delegating to other people or investing in efficient software and technology – and give your business room to grow.

Want more help with your company’s admin systems? Learn more about how Sage could help with its suite of services.

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About Author

Letitia Booty

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Real Business. She has a BA in english literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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