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Effective administration is the bedrock of any small business. When done well, administrative processes allow a business to operate smoothly and efficiently, maximising productivity and improving profit margins.
Here are seven essential tips for successful business administration:
1. Understand your team
If you are working with a team of administrators, understanding their strengths and weaknesses allows you to support them in their work and get the best out of them. Encourage your team to plan personal objectives at the start of the day and set reminders for any important tasks. You should prioritise tasks and get your team to share out the workload during busy periods and use quieter times to get files and systems in order.
2. Get the right software
Having the right administrative software at your disposal can make administrative tasks much simpler, much quicker and less prone to human error. If you’re doing things manually, new software may seem like an expense you can’t afford. However, be sure to consider the cost of team hours and the cost of mistakes when making your decision. There is an extensive selection of administrative software available, with many packages tailored to the specific needs of a business or industry. You could be saving money in the long run.
3. Create an efficient work environment
There are lots of other ways you can make your business administration more efficient and less costly. Make sure your office equipment is fit for purpose and not causing regular problems and delays. Ask yourself if the way you conduct meetings helps or hinders productivity. Also, keeping the office tidy can have a positive effect on efficiency. It means staff aren’t left searching around for stationery or trawling through papers to find a specific file.
4. Good record keeping
Good record keeping is essential to successful business administration. You need to develop a fool-proof filing system where everything can be easily accessed. More and more offices are adopting a paperless system, with all documents kept online or in shared files. This saves money in printing costs, can make documents easier to locate and is also kinder to the environment. Backing up your data is another crucial thing to consider.
5. Invest in training and development
Regular training and development for your business admin staff is an important step to keeping your team’s skills relevant. A business administration course could give you example structures and strategies to employ in the workplace. New hires should also go through an induction program and be given an administration processes manual. That way they have a reference to consult even when no one from your team is available to support them.
6. Keep the bigger picture in mind
Always consider the long term objectives of your company when implementing business administration procedures and organising your team’s time. It’s easy to get consumed by the day-to-day administration of the business, so you need to think of the bigger picture too. By thinking to the future, you can be well prepared for changes and use your time and resources more efficiently.
7. Review and refine
A good business administrator will always be on the lookout for systems and procedures that have become outdated and no longer perform their function efficiently. You’ll need to come up with new ideas, consult with your team and train staff in new systems. Listen to the members of your team who are responsible for the day-to-day implementation of administration processes. They’ll be able to tell you what is working and what feels clunky. Review new processes regularly and try to refine them.
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