How much time do you spend on non-core tasks? The answer is too much. Running a small business (and especially starting one) is becoming increasingly laborious. Nearly two-thirds of small business owners work more than 40 hours a week (and one-third work more than 50), according to the 2017 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report; worse, the survey found that the amount of time they spend on administrative work and dealing with regulations impedes their work. No wonder small business owners list “managing my business” as their most common personal stressor.
Out of that time, according to the ServiceNow State of Work report, executives spend an average of 16 hours a week on manual administrative work – the equivalent of two full days every week.
The pace and volume of work are increasing.
It isn’t your imagination: 70% of respondents to the ServiceNow report said they think the pace of work has increased by 10% since 2016, largely due to the ubiquity of mobile devices and the Internet of Things. In other words, technology has created open gates to workers – and business owners in particular – through which a nonstop flood of demands never stops pouring.
Running a business is a lot of work
Many of those demands have nothing to do with the service or product offered by the business. Instead of spending all of their time working on their business, owners instead must spend time working in it. All of that under-the-hood work – human resources, accounting, compliance, etc. – keeps the doors open, but it doesn’t improve their core offering or make more sales. No wonder small business owners end up working 50 to 70 hours a week.
Most small business owners have a DIY mindset.
It doesn’t help that many business owners try to “do it all” themselves. According to the National Retail Federation 2016 Overregulation: Burdening America’s Small Retailers Report, small business owners are three to four times more likely to handle administrative tasks – including recruiting, benefits management, payroll, marketing, and more – themselves rather than assign them to someone on staff or hire outside consultants.
You should re-think how you spend your time.
The problem with the DIY attitude: while the business owner is the single best person to work on their core business – developing new products, making more sales, etc. – they are often not the best person to work on administrative tasks. They’re unlikely to also be a specialist in finance, HR, etc. Further, it’s so easy to find vendors and outside partners who can make short work of those tasks, often completing them faster and more accurately and, in the process, freeing the business owner to do the work that makes more money. Time is an investment, and every business owner should make sure their time is paying off.
CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.