… said no business owner, ever. It’s annoying, it’s complicated by bureaucracy, and with the changing IT landscape the thing actually evolves.
BUT there are many reasons why you need to get on top of the dreaded admin for your business as I recently discovered when chatting to Linda Eagleton from Creative Surrounds on Triple H 100.1FM. Linda shares my passion and together we explained to our small business listeners when it’s best to tackle it, why it’s important, the what it involves and how to get on top of it.
EOFY is perfect. You’ve finalised your books and have started budgeting for the future based on what those accounts have told you. Plus you can reflect on your gains and losses, checking for highs and lows in your business cycle. This can form a great indication as to when to start these process documents.
Actually diarise a meeting with yourself to get this Admin actioned. For those of you who are not word-processing geniuses, just jot down some bullet points and engage with an Admin expert to put these into a working document.
When you hire an employee it’s crucial for due diligence that certain documentation is in place such as payroll and super, as well as engagement agreements and WHS policies. You might want to consider a staff manual. When handing over to contractors it’s important they understand how your business works overall as well as the procedural perspective. Then you can get the most out of their expertise.
Admin actually adds value to your business. If you think long term and have a succession or exit strategy, you would have considered ‘handing over’ your business. It’s about getting all that knowledge out of your head and down onto a usable document that can be understood by others. These documents also provide the basis for training staff and makes you ready for new opportunities instead of having a reactive approach. Imagine having a step-by-step process to follow for each new client!
Having appropriate documentation which is not generic but rather tailored for your business actually makes your it more desirable to buyers, and the bank!
Be organized. It makes you look efficient to clients as well as suppliers and even employees. Remember staff turnover is one of the highest costs to small businesses, so being ready for new staff, training them properly and making them feel valued on paper goes a long way to staff retention.
Every business should have in place a basic set of admin documents: operational and staff manuals, estimates and proposals, template emails, induction procedures, new staff forms, client and supplier lists, and a customer relationship process document (or software). Make sure they can be located when you’re very busy, in a well structured soft copy filing system.
Most of all remember all of these are a work in progress, so should be updated regularly such as when you learn something new or implement a new system.
Admin does evolve but you, as the business owner, should control that evolution. Be patient with yourself; this will take time but in the end it will free up more time so you can grow your business.