Running your own business can be exhausting and the volume of niggly, admin tasks never-ending. There are some simple ways that you can streamline your systems to free up some valuable time to do more of the work that you love and increase turnover.
1 If you do your own day to day bookkeeping use the repeat transaction facility. The accounts software packages such as xero and Quick Books Online allow you to set up repeat transactions for regular or repeat transactions such as monthly subscriptions or regular payments. This can be for a set period of time or indefinitely and you can always edit the transaction if the price changes. Once the payment has been made you just reconcile it through your bank feed as usual.
2 Smartphones allow you to photograph or scan business receipts which you can then send to your accounts software via, for example, Receipt Bank, or to a file sharing site such as dropbox so you have a record to keep your accountant and/or HMRC happy. So when you next buy a train ticket or a coffee on the go take a photo of the receipt and you don’t need to try to find it at month’s or (even worse) year end or worry if you spill your coffee all over it!
3 Automate and have procedures in place. Use templates which you can and top and tail if needed to respond to common queries or to confirm for example your business meeting. If you find yourself sending the same response more than a few times create a template, which will save you valuable time going forward and will also ensure you cover everything fully. It also means that you can delegate certain tasks safe in the knowledge that a system is in place.
4 If you run into difficulties talk to other small business owners in the same field. A problem shared is indeed a problem halved and if you come up against an issue you won’t be the first (or the last). Someone else’s perspective is invariably useful and an objective take really helps. Often I find trying to explain an issue out loud to some one leads to me finding the solution. There are loads of online forums too which are usually packed full of information and tips.
5 My final tip is consider outsourcing certain tasks perhaps to a virtual PA. No business owner is excellent at everything! We all have some tasks we hate and the pressure of trying to remember to do everything takes up valuable headspace. Most business owners worry about the cost of this but it actually means that you can increase turnover. Let’s say you can delegate 10 hrs of admin to me per month at a cost of £280 pm. This frees you up by 10 hrs pm at £100 per hour to earn your business an extra £720 pm net (£1,000 less the £280 you pay me).
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