Time Bandits

Are administrative tasks eating you alive? Here's how to cut them down to size.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the August 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Office administrative functions rank among the top three most time-consuming tasks for 81 percent of the small- owners surveyed last year by Comprehensive Business Services, an franchisor based in Mission Viejo, . In fact, more than half those surveyed spend 15 or more hours each week on tasks that don't generate income for their businesses. That's a tremendous amount of lost potential and revenue. What's the solution? First, says Charles White of Comprehensive Business Services, take an of how you're spending your time. List one item at a time and then review them, keeping these thoughts in mind:

  • Be sure the task is essential. Will your business suffer if you aren't doing some of the things you've been doing?
  • Systematize the task. "Analyze the procedure and create a -by-step formula for getting it done," says White. This forces you to develop the most efficient way of doing the work.
  • . Systematizing makes delegating much easier and more effective. Look within your organization for people who can take over tasks, and give them the necessary authority for getting the work done.
  • Outsource. When you don't have the necessary skills for particular tasks within your company, outsource the work. " is a common way to delegate necessary functions that have no direct bearing on generating sales," says White. "Outsource in areas where there's a particular expertise required that you don't have. For example, advertising and accounting functions are commonly outsourced."
  • Consolidate. When outsourcing, consider a source that can handle a number of related tasks. For example, you may look to your accounting firm to not only prepare your taxes and create standard financial reports, but to handle and provide cash-flow assistance. This allows the source to get to know your company and to act more as a consultant than simply a task-performer.

Contact Source

Comprehensive Business Services, (800) 323-9000, http://www.comprehensive.org

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