The Receipt Bank Blog

News, advice and tips from the world of cloud accounting

How to maximise efficiencies in a small business...

You’ve set up your own business and you’ve decided to either go it solo or with a small team. How do you maximise efficiencies so that you spend your time doing what you do best, while offloading or outsourcing what you don’t?

In the early days of running your own business most of the tasks – the interesting ones, and the not-so-exciting ones – fall to you as founder and owner. Yet although many entrepreneurs have huge amounts of energy and vision, they often waste their time and talents getting caught up in trying to do day to day office tasks. Sometimes this is due to a reluctance to relinquish control – believing only they can do the job properly. At other times it is because they believe, mistakenly, that outsourcing accounting, book-keeping, administration and IT services will mean extra costs and a security risk to their data. By taking this hands-on approach, however, business owners end up being drawn into repetitive tasks which they are not necessarily expert at, while still having to find the time to go out and attract new business and generate income.

In first few years of your business you may not want to take on the extra cost and administrative burden of recruiting and employing extra staff to do your back-office tasks. Instead of doing it all yourself, however, you could join the growing number of entrepreneurs who are outsourcing essential functions which are not within their personal skillset. There are companies which specialise in providing such services. Thanks to huge advances in technology, you can employ the services of virtual assistants, web designers, IT specialists, bookkeepers, and accountants from around the world. If you choose an assistant in a different time zone, you can even have work completed overnight ready for you the next morning, your time.

Outsourcing can help improve your productivity because you can concentrate on the tasks which most reflect your own skills and abilities. So before you decide to outsource, look at what you, and your team, are good at, and where the knowledge gaps are. Then you can start to look for experts to help you either on a one-off basis or as a continuously outsourced service.

For example Upwork provides web designers, mobile designers, creative and writers for hire.

Guru connects hirers with freelance designers, paralegals, managers, administrative support and finance specialists around the world.

One of the more time-consuming tasks in running a business is keeping track of bills and invoices. Online services like Receipt Bank convert bills, invoices and receipts into data you, and your company, can use. Receipt Bank reflect all your transactions in a single report which is securely stored and accessible at all times.

It’s vital to be clear about what you want from the contractor as this will help you select the best company or freelancer for the job. Once you realize the benefits of removing yourself from low-level tasks, you will find you have more time to devote to the vital task of driving your business forward. It’s a smart investment for the future.