Admin is crucial to businesses and has to be done with 100% accuracy. It can often be difficult for these businesses to find the time to ensure admin tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping and document production are done correctly. Entrepreneurs, in particular, may leave their admin to the last minute and will often find themselves completing these time-consuming tasks at the weekend.
Streamlining your admin processes will ensure that you never waste time doing time-consuming, crucial tasks and will allow you to get back to ensuring the success and growth of the business.
Why streamline your admin process?
- Improved efficiency
- Decrease the time spent on admin tasks
- Eliminate ‘bottlenecks’ in completing tasks
- Greater accuracy and up-to-date information
- Ensure you and your team's time is spent on the success and growth of the business
- Comply with legislation
Should you outsource your admin?
Outsourcing your admin can be a cost and time-effective solution that can be implemented same-day. By outsourcing your admin, you will benefit from:
- You only pay for productive working time
- Time-for-completion is recorded to the exact minute
- Access to a wide range of skills through one point of contact
- Outsource companies have extensive experience with admin processes
- Confidence in consistency and accuracy
- Proactive reporting
Outsourcing your admin to virtual assistant companies such as SmartPA, allows you to have your own dedicated admin assistant supporting your business from only a monthly package. There is no sign-up fees and you can scale your package up or down throughout the year depending on busy periods. Find out more about our outsourced admin services.
How to improve your administrative processes
Ensuring consistency and time-efficiency with your administrative processes is fundamental. While many businesses opt to have an in-house administrative assistant, the option to outsource your admin tasks has proven to be the most time and cost-effective solution.
You can improve your in-house administrative processes by:
1. Delegate tasks
Who is responsible for completing the task? Communication is key and ensuring that everyone involved knows what tasks are being handled by who will speed up your admin process.
Many admin tasks are time-consuming and spreading them out amongst your team evenly will ensure that deadlines are met. Your team may also have suggestions on what can be improved and by giving them the headspace and time, they will be able to implement these suggestions into your process.
2. Introduce a dependency management model
The project management model called ‘dependency management’ is a good strategy to use in your admin process.
A dependency is where a task, milestone or activity is dependent upon another task or milestone being completed before it can start or be completed and this is very much the case with most admin tasks. Who/what milestone is dependent on the task being completed and what ‘milestone(s)’ does it affect if it’s not completed within timescale or at all?
A simple example of this could be a customer contract. If a contract is not submitted on time then this could have an impact on the start date. Another example would be invoicing, many businesses spend a lot of time reconciling payments which can be automated and leads us nicely on to the next step...
3. Use modern technology
Modern technology and outsourcing opportunities offer many solutions for businesses. What tech systems are currently used? Could this task be outsourced? Could you streamline this with an automated system or a virtual assistant? You can easily integrate outsourcing into your in-house administrative process.
Outsourcing your admin tasks to virtual assistants is a modern and cost-effective approach to the common admin assistant role.
4. Allocate time per task
How often is this task completed versus how often it should be completed? How long does this task take to complete from start to finish?
Always take into consideration approval time. This information is important if you are considering outsourcing or replacing the task with technology as it allows you to compare costs and calculate the potential saving.
5. Ask your team
What are the key improvements you are aiming for? It could be less time, a simplified approval process, more consistency or better use of advanced technology. Be honest, you may have certain tasks under control or you may want a complete administration overhaul!
It is important to identify the areas that need to be improved urgently and to manage any change smoothly. Ensure you gain buy-in from those involved or affected by this change. Communication is key, involve the right people from the start, collate their ideas and listen to any concerns.
6. Focus on quick wins
Once you have mapped out the above you are likely to come across inefficient processes and obvious areas of improvement. Consult the responsible owner of the task and implement some ‘quick wins’. Sometimes a few simple changes will make the process faster and more efficient.
Set deadlines on the quick wins. It’s important you monitor any improvement so no additional time is wasted.
To keep your team engaged appoint subject matter experts to share their knowledge.
Remember… wearing several hats isn’t always sustainable, particularly as your business grows. Using automated software or outsourcing to a skilled team of administrators will give you greater flexibility, increase your visibility, and allows you to focus on what you do best – growing your business!