Business administration is important but can be extremely time consuming. More hours spent on basic admin is less time available for income producing activities to move the business on, so simplifying admin can both make and save money.
Tech to the rescue
Nowadays it’s possible to let tech take the strain and make admin much easier and less time consuming. There’s likely a software package or an app available to help make certain admin tasks both quicker and more efficient including accounting, project management and social media scheduling.
Accounting and stock control
Modern accounting software can take the place of time consuming ‘pen and paper’ financial admin, and order processing and fulfillment has been revolutionized by modern inventory management systems using barcode tech to rapidly process orders and record stock movements.
Investing in such tech can boost productivity considerably.
Paper forms and documents can soon clutter an office and prove awkward to share, so where possible look to digitize standard forms and admin paperwork.
Using online storage facilities such as Dropbox or Google Docs means documents can be shared across multiple people and restricted to those who require access.
Ask yourself if more of your admin can be automated? For example, if someone in your business is manually adding to your social media feeds, why not consider automated tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite?
Linked to the above, using the cloud for backups and storage if you don’t already makes for simple, quick and efficient data backups as opposed to backing up to physical storage such as hard drives.
That said, one physical storage backup is worthwhile, but consider deploying the cloud to attend to routine and more frequent backups.
Updating software and equipment
Using outdated software or a package that’s no longer meeting your needs can add to the admin burden, so review what you use and whether it’s still helping speed up admin.
For example, accounting software comes in various versions ranging from something basic for very small businesses to more advanced packages for larger concerns. If you’ve outgrown your accounting package maybe it’s time to replace it, or perhaps it’s possible to switch to a more fully featured version.
As with other software, most financial packages are often provided via the cloud so making it easy to upgrade compared to completely changing dedicated software loaded onto specific computers.
Even an upgrade to your internet service might be in order; perhaps your demands have crept up recently so a faster speed may improve efficiency.
Workflows and project management
Platforms such as Trello make general communication and sharing information very easy – especially when co-workers aren’t in the same locations.
A digital noticeboard with everyone able to view content and add theirs can replace inter-office email and phone calls to great effect. Trello and other platforms like it can significantly help reduce admin time and boost productivity.
Certain admin tasks can easily be outsourced. You may find the cost in doing so is more than made up in freeing you or members of your staff up to spend more time on business building tasks such as increasing income or strategic planning.
If you’re a smaller concern then perhaps a virtual assistant is worth considering? They can take a lot of admin off your hands that might otherwise bog you down minus the overhead of hiring a full or even part time admin assistant.
Other tasks can be outsourced such as payroll and some routine marketing activities including social media management.
Keep reviewing the situation
It’s easy for admin to become bloated as your business grows; a situation exacerbated by existing systems and tech becoming inadequate for your requirements.
It’s worth regularly assessing your admin activities and taking advantage of new tech and trends – such as outsourcing – to streamline it and boost efficiency.