One of the hardest parts of owning your own business, is the admin side. It takes SO long, and it seems a waste of time when you could be using that time doing what you love…. Doing the things you love inside your business!
Whether that’s coaching and mentoring, cake-making, seeing your patients in clinic, or something in between…
Below are some top tips for getting the admin stuff done:
1. CARVE OUT YOUR TIME!
Set some time aside every week to establish what needs to be done on the admin side of your business. Maybe first thing on a Monday morning, to help you keep control of these tasks and stop them becoming overwhelming. Once you have an organised plan for your admin, you will feel much better, and have clear objectives for what you need to do.
2. GET REEEALLL – GET YOURSELF A LIST!
One of the greatest motivators is a to-do list. Ticking things off can seem like a major achievement and encourage you to blitz your way through your admin tasks. As part of your admin routine on a Monday, why not draw up a to-do list. And make sure you tick EVERYTHING off before the end of the week, or they will build up and spill into other weeks.
Another idea is to make a list of ‘Quick Wins’ – tasks that can be done in 5 minutes or less, put them on a list and whizz through them. Suddenly, your to do list is visibly reduced!
3. CHEW IT UP – LET’S GO BITE-SIZE
Breaking overwhelming jobs down into bite size pieces can really help you to manage them. A large admin job can seem daunting at first, but if you break it down into smaller tasks, you can do one job at a time, and soon enough the whole task is done!
Lucky for you – I’ve written a WHOLE blog on this exact step. Check it out here: The Pomodoro Technique
4. LET YOUR CALENDAR HELP
Most people have a calendar, but the key to an efficient calendar is the detail. Make sure you block out the important administrative jobs as well as meetings. And unless there is a major emergency, make sure you stick to it! It can be very easy to think less important tasks can wait until the next day, but this is a slippery slope and can mean tasks can get put off indefinitely.
5. DON’T LET EMAILS LEAD YOU ASTRAY!
Emails can be one of the biggest distractions for a small business owner. Set aside a certain time to clear your emails. Maybe first thing in the morning, after lunch and then last thing. By switching your email notifications off, you will not be distracted from the task in hand and can really focus.
While we’re at it – lets put all those jazzy social media notifications on mute too.. I see you going into Instagram to check that message that someone sent – and 30 minutes later you look up from the reels black hole you’ve just fallen into!
6. DING DING – ALERTS ARE YOUR FRIEND
Alerts can be HUGELY beneficial if you are a person who struggles to remember all the tasks they need to complete in a day. It can be easy to think you will do a task later if you are in the middle of something, and then for it to completely escape your mind. Or if you have meetings you need to remember, an online calendar can be super helpful at alerting you to an upcoming event.
7. BACK IT UP BABY!
Nothing can be more counter-productive, or frustrating, than losing all your work and having to begin from scratch. Most people learn this the hard way! By performing a back up weekly, you can eliminate this risk, and rest easy knowing all your data is safe. It can also be worthwhile storing this back up off site, in the case of a fire, this advice could be the difference between keeping all your data or losing it.
After being burrrnnneeed in the past – I now have a mix of cloud-based back-ups and my external hard-drive.
8. BOOKKEEPING – WE’VE ALL GOTTA DO IT!
One of the most common reasons a business struggles is poor record keeping. Well-organised files can make your life much easier. It will make your tax return a breeze and keep HMRC off your back. Up to date records can mean you make better financial decisions by relying on accurate forecasting. It’s not the amount of business coming in that can cripple a small business, it’s cash flow. Know what’s occurring and you’ll be smooth sailing!
Pick a time when your business is quieter during the month and set aside a full day for bookkeeping. Although in the short term, this doesn’t seem like a time saving method, in the long run, it will save you endless amounts of time. It will also provide you with peace of mind, that all your records are up to date.
9. KEEP TO YOUR BOUNDARIES
Whether you’re up late working, or up before the sparrows, both approaches attempting to catch up – and whichever end you’re burning the candle, you’re feeling cross and frustrated with yourself and chuntering under your breath – it’s not helpful!
You may well feel like whoop! You’ve managed to clear your inbox before 6am! That’s a great start to the day… but by 1pm you’re already flagging because your working day hasn’t just shifted, you’ve elongated it.. I see you! That’s sneaky… and whilst it’s definitely a quick win, it’s not a sustainable approach to organising your business. It’s a plaster, a temporary aid to get ahead.
But soon your body will tell you you need to get to bed, or you just need that extra hour in the morning.. and you’ve got to take it! Exhaustion is the quick and straight road to burn-out.. then you’re up that river without a paddle..
Which leads me quite nicely onto tip 10:
10. DELEGATE! OUTSOURCE! GET IN TOUCH!
If you feel like your admin is really getting on top of you, why not consider outsourcing it to someone else? Virtual assistants LOVE spreadsheets and organizing, and Online Business Managers LOVE to get everything ship-shape for you, and delegate the organisation of the tasks being completed.
This means all these necessary, yet time consuming tasks are out of your hands, off your plate, and out of your head. It’s one less thing (or many less things, depending on your load…) for you to worry about! It may seem counter productive to explain the task to someone else when you could do it yourself, but it is a short-term loss for a long-term gain.
I say this from experience!
I’ve been helping small business owners for nearly ten years, and there’s ALWAYS the time that follows the hand-over stage, where I feel their sigh of relief, and they can finally enjoy their business again.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my 10 top tips – I’d LOVE to know which you’ll take onboard and implement in your business, and daily working schedule.
This blog is also published on the Mama Hen Media website; you can see it here.