Entrepreneurs generally start their own company because of their dream of owning a business, their passion for a specific product or service, or an undeniable opportunity that they have discovered. They choose their business by reflecting on what they are good at, trained in, and enjoy doing. That being said, I have met very few entrepreneurs who are good at, trained in and enjoy doing all of the administrative and technical tasks required to keep the business running smoothly.
Here are three time killers that can distract entrepreneurs from focusing their efforts on products, services and customers:
1. Bookkeeping and Administration
Records are extremely important to businesses of all types and sizes. Tidy record keeping will ensure that your business pays the right amount of tax, meets all of its regulatory obligations, and ensures that the business is ready in the case of an audit. Records also help the entrepreneur to make better informed business decisions, build better projections for future years, and detect potential problems before they develop.
There are a variety of professional service companies that will take your envelopes of paper on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis for data entry, prepare pay-stubs for employers, track payables and receivables, and set reminders for impending government filings.
2. Information Technology
In this modern age of mobile devices, cloud computing and apps for business and play, it is amazing how much time can be lost on buying, configuring and tinkering with new gadgets. These tools can give new companies increased capacity and better opportunities than they otherwise would have had. Hiring an IT professional can help your business strategically focus on the business processes and platforms that will be most effective for your company.
3. Operating an office
An office space away from home could be important for your productivity or could be a first step in bringing on partners or valuable employees. An entrepreneur who should be focusing on growing the business at this critical turning point might become frustrated with the time required to coordinate mundane things like alarm systems, internet connections, keys, bathroom supplies and cleaning. When you are big enough to take on a full time office manager, a full sized office might work, until then there are some great options for turn-key co-working spaces and office shares. You’ll get less space for your money, but it will be well managed and care free.
For these and many other aspects of business, I’m constantly sharing the mantra with many visitors to The Small Business Centre “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.”
Business Consultant, Halton Region Small Business Centre