The true cost of doing your own admin!

Written by: Penny Cooke | Posted on: | Category:

Admin – love it or hate it, it has to be done. While you're doing all those administrivial tasks – the essential ones that you need to do to keep your business on track – you're not doing those other things you have to do… grow your business, grow your success.

But the true cost of doing this yourself isn’t just about money. It’s about the time and energy – both finite resources – you're not spending on your passion, on your future. You lose sight of why you started your own business in the first place. You're in danger of burning yourself out.

So what are the true costs?

You lose sight of the Bigger Picture – of what’s important to you Depending on what stage you're at in growing your business, it’s really easy to think that you need to everything yourself, because you're the only one who knows what to do and how to do it; and that you doing everything is crucial to making it a success. And that’s true, in some respects. But not all of them. You have to learn which jobs are important and which aren’t or, rather, which aren’t “important enough” that they have to be done by you. The ones that can be outsourced.

Your business doesn’t grow the way it can and should What is your time really worth? If you're charging £50 per hour, £75 per hour, £100 per hour, then you can afford to work with someone like me, a Virtual Assistant – my hourly rate is nowhere near that (yet 😉). Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you charge £75 per hour, and spend five hours a week on your admin. That’s £375 per week. Gosh, I wish someone would pay me £75 per hour! That’s a very well-paid Admin Assistant. Wouldn’t you rather be earning that £375 than spending that £375, because that’s what you're doing. An alternative to that is giving just a portion of that on getting someone else to do your admin – like a Virtual Assistant.

The more time you spend on those admin tasks, the less time you get to spend working on your business. If you’re up to your eyes in administrivia, you’re adding no value to your business.

Being too busy can mean cutting corners, can mean mistakes, can affect the quality of work Keeping busy is one thing. Not being productive is another thing entirely, and can turn into a problem for those of us who run our own business. How distracted are you by emails? How often are you in the middle of an important job that needs your concentration if you suddenly remember that you’ve not done this admin task or that one? This can add to those not-inconsiderable stress levels, especially if you’ve got a deadline or three to meet. Not many of us can work well when we’re rushed, and being under pressure can cause a lack of concentration. And this can lead to a drop in the quality of work, and important details being missed. Not a good look, is it?

Say goodbye to a personal life When first starting out as self-employed, every minute of every day is important; where you could be building a reputation for the business, or earning money. But, as a client said to me recently when I’d sent something for approval on a Bank Holiday, “All work and no play…”. But working this way all the time will have an impact in many ways. On your mental health. On your physical health. On relationships with family and friends. Maintaining a clear work/life balance is essential. It can be trickier if you work from home, as I do, but do try to make time for not working!

Oh, why am I bothering? Back to the saying “All work and no play, (makes Jack a dull boy)”. Dull and overtired, constantly fighting to reduce that pile of administrivia, it can make you lose sight of the big picture, and thus lose the passion for what you really want to do, and why you went into business in the first place. And if you’re not passionate about what you do, what you make, or the services you provide, why should anyone else be?

So, what’s the answer? Find someone who can help with the Small Stuff so you can get on with the Big Interesting Stuff. Give me a call. See what I can do for you – help you focus on what you do best, and leave the rest to me.

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