I think we can all agree that running a business comes with its fair [sometimes unfair] share of challenges! The common pain point for many entrepreneurs is the overwhelm of admin. The betrayal of not knowing there would be SO MUCH admin that came with doing what you love! The never-ending to-do list and, ultimately, the struggle to find support with the right level of business acumen, that fits the budget, who can create, implement and maintain processes and procedures, make it difficult to keep up with the workload [of the work you actually love] and maximise workflow efficiency.
In this article, I’ve outlined some practical strategies to help streamline your business operations and regain control.
Book out a planning day in your diary: go somewhere you can think clearly. I recommend getting away from your usual surroundings, it really ignites the creativity and gives you the breathing room without the day-to-day distractions.
Assess Your Current Administrative Workflow: write out the lifeline of your clients [on a white board or wall helps] then flesh out everything you need to do at each step, like registering information with an industry body, lead time for specific milestones or check in emails to your client.
Step back and really analyse the gaps and inefficiencies you can see, these are your areas for improvement.
While we all want to magically implement time-saving tools and technologies to maximise automations for repetitive tasks, this is often a bigger job than anticipated. Sometimes you kiss a lot of frogs before you find the right solution, it can be time consuming. So, make sure you write down your wish list of solutions before you go down the rabbit hole searching for cloud-based apps to adopt. You might be looking for easy collaboration and access to information, ways to utilise project management software for task tracking and team coordination. Then you need to weigh up the cost of the subscriptions against the time it’s going to save you. Spend some time measuring how long tasks are taking you, there are great time keeping apps like Toggl that make this easy. You might be surprised to see the time it takes to do some tasks, tasks you really don’t like might not take as long as you think, or you might lose an extra hour putting together that big proposal.
Develop standard operating procedures: an easy way to get started is to go through the client lifeline you documented earlier and follow it as a test run, updating it as you go to maintain currency. Once you are happy with this document, highlight all the tasks you can outsource. You will be surprised how much faster an admin specialist can get through the list!
We recommend taking a proactive approach to streamlining your business operations, it’s an easy way to alleviate admin overwhelm and create a more efficient and productive work environment to support your business growth. The strategies outlined in this article will help you regain control, free up valuable [read, billable] time, and focus on the core aspects of growing your business.
If you need support optimising your administrative processes, don’t hesitate to reach out for a coffee or phone call. We’re here to help you succeed.