Estimated reading time: 5 mins
When you’re swept away with a good business idea, you may fail to consider even the most basic things, such as finance, or how to actually produce that product you’re excited about. Even when you find those answers, there’s more to think about, such as hiring, or the much-dreaded paperwork. Which, by the way, is what we’re going to look at today.
Having an excellent idea does not make you a natural paperwork wonder. It’s a shame, we know. But, if the paperwork was a headache for you before you started, things will only get worse as you grow. So, it’s past time you tackled your least favorite part of the job.
You may feel alone in your dislike, but a surprising amount of managers hate paperwork. Sure, we all imagine the big bosses who sit in their offices and do nothing else all day. But, that’s rarely the case when you have your own business. Instead, most managers want to be on the floor, producing their goods and getting stuck right in. As such, time spent doing paperwork can feel wasted. Yet, if you fail to get a grip on this, you may fail to get your business off the ground. Passion, after all, does not keep your profits afloat.
The good news is, tackling the issue isn’t as hard as you might think. To help you along the way, we’ve put together a few paperwork pointers which should make the task a little easier.
Hire someone to do it for you
The most obvious way to tackle the paperwork problem would be to hire someone to do it for you. Few employers consider this an option and choose instead to hire on the practical side. But, there’s nothing to stop you employing an admin expert using sites like agencycentral.co.uk, and spending more time on the floor yourself. Your business won’t lose out, and you won’t have to do paperwork. Plus, an experienced staff member will ensure the paper aspect of your business is up to scratch. It’s a no-brainer in a lot of ways. When looking out for candidates, consider people who have worked in offices in the past. These are most likely to have a decent idea of proper admin standards. Make sure, too, that you check in often. While they may know more about the technical stuff, you still need to ensure they’re actually doing the work!
Use the right programs
You know what they say; it’s not what you know, it’s the programs you use. Okay, perhaps not, but they should because it’s sound advice. No matter how much you hate paperwork, getting the right software will ensure you can do the job fast. Of course, we use the term paperwork loosely here, because most business operations are now on the computer. Hence why programs could make such a difference.
Getting this right will help you with everything. Services like Quickbooks ensure you won’t have to worry when it comes to staff payment. And, something like this media marketing dashboard from Netcentrics.co.uk could help you manage the marketing side of things. Other useful options are efficient email services like Gmail, and decent accounting software.
Set aside a small chunk each day
When you hate paperwork, you fall into the trap of putting it off. As such, the job is worse when you do get to it because you have hours to catch up on. To keep on top of the issue, separate the task into small daily chunks. It may not seem like the right way forward, but an hour each day is better than five at the end of the week. You’ll find that it’s much less of a mountain to master. An hour will pass in no time at all once you get into the habit.
With the idea of getting things out the way, you could start doing your paperwork at the beginning of the day. Getting in an hour earlier than everyone else means you could get everything done before business begins. Make yourself a cup of tea, and tackle one thing at a time. Spend ten minutes on email, ten minutes on admin, and so forth. Dividing time in this way will make things go even faster!
Find a way to make it fun
Most of us hate paperwork because it’s boring. Who wants to sit at a desk and look at facts and figures when there are big machines to play with elsewhere?
As such, it stands to reason that making paperwork more fun will make it more bearable. Now, we’ll level with you; fun paperwork is no easy task. But, it’s not impossible. Including small fun touches can go a long way. Why not use fun shaped stationary, like the paperclips found at www.therange.co.uk? Obviously, keep them away from the stuff your clients will see. But, for office pieces, there’s no reason why not.
It may also help to develop a reward system to motivate yourself. Hiding sweets in your desk drawer, and eating one after every task will work wonders for your efficiency. Just make sure you’re strict enough to follow it through!
So, you see, paperwork doesn’t have to be as bad as all that. It’s unlikely that it will ever become your favorite part of the job, but following these points will take you far. It may be difficult at first but persevere. In no time, paperwork will be much less of a pain in your backside. Instead, it will morph into a quiet nagging which you can set aside for the majority of your day.
Instead of growing disheartened about your dislike of the admin tasks, take heart that it’s a sure sign of a good manager. If you stay in your office all day, your staff will resent you, and you’ll lose track of your business. As it is, your dislike for sitting still shows that you’re still passionate enough to make this work. But, you do need to sit down sometimes!