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Business owners are wasting 624,000 hours a year

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Are you one of them?

Does your day disappear in administration? An astonishing piece of research from the British Insurance Brokers Association suggests that SME business leaders are performing numerous ‘back office’ tasks that lie well outside their core job roles. They estimate the total business owner man-hour cost for the UK’s 5.2million SMEs is 624,000 hours per annum.

26% of business leaders surveyed admit to spending over 50 hours per year with IT issues, and a quarter confirmed they spend time dealing with insurance matters. Believe it or not, 27% even confessed to spending over 33 hours each year procuring office supplies. 

Business owners are no doubt crucial to the strategic and commercial direction of their business. Certainly there are many important administrative matters that can only be handled by the boss. But office supplies? Does that really need board level involvement?

There has to come a time when you step back, delegate and say “It’s OK – my manager will handle it”. And if you don’t have the right resource in house, bring in specialists from outside – whether that’s IT, insurance, HR, or financial advisory.

You can’t be everywhere, and you can’t do everything, and this is a message many BCMS clients are heeding. I met one client this week who has promoted three key members of staff, recruited a business development director and made his operations director a minority shareholder in his business, all in the last two years. He’d first come to see us some years back, and so he knew he might be perceived as too integral to the business when it came to seeking a sale.  

In his words: “Clients were ringing me up all the time and it had to stop!” 

As a business owner, your time is most effective when it is adding value – delivering direction, oversight and growth to your business. Let someone else order the stationery!

Dave Rebbettes's picture
Posted Jul 2015
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