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The SME Owner’s Answer To Working Smarter, Not Harder

When you first start out, being a “one-man band” isn’t just a money saving strategy, it’s a necessity. The key is to recognise at what point this approach is stopping your business from growing, because your lack of time or knowledge is holding it back.

Everybody starts the day with the same amount of time, but we’re often guilty of being cheerfully efficient at doing the wrong things. It’s easy to give yourself a pat on the back doing the sort of tasks that anyone could be doing, when you should instead be working on things only you can do.

It’s true, you could save money by doing absolutely everything yourself, but getting bogged down in admin work can easily take your eye off important decisions and targets.

68% of business owners spend time operating their business, and just 32% on the pursuit of growing it.
The statistic above suggests leaders spend just a third of their time trying to move their businesses forward. In the same survey by the Alternative Board, the majority work at least 50 hours a week yet most of their time was spent answering emails, dealing with client problems and managing employee issues. No surprises that only 34% thought they dealt with stuff that was truly important!

The solution is pretty simple: work on what you’re best at, and delegate the rest! Whatever your area of expertise, it isn’t the 15 other things you’re trying to manage every day.

We come to a serious cross-road here – committing to taking on more staff to take care of the headaches can be a daunting decision. Can you afford it? Will you have enough work for them? Will it work out? If you have aspirations to grow your business, something needs to be done to free up your time.

Fortunately, there is an answer that has become incredibly popular over the last few years – the use of ‘virtual’ assistants. These pay-as-you-go personal assistants are usually available on an hourly basis to help take care of your admin woes, without the overheads of employing someone full time.

Clare Runham from Miss MPS gave an example of how virtual assistants like hers are helping small business owners strike more from their To-Do lists,

“We recently did a supplier review for a client and managed to save them thousands, and it only cost them a few hours work with us. Many small businesses get a bit too friendly with suppliers, so it can be awkward for them switch. With us in the middle, there’s no embarrassment for our client and we stick to what’s important – getting the best deal.”

In other words small business owners, your excuses are no longer accepted! There’s nothing stopping you calling those clients you’ve not paid enough attention too, nothing stopping you from arranging those meetings with your latest prospect, and there’s nothing getting in the way of you drawing up your business plan for 2019!