SME decision-makers are ‘wasting two days a week’ on administrative processes

A new study published this week reveals that UK small businesses bosses and decision-makers are ‘wasting’ anywhere up to two full days every week managing workplace processes and administrative procedures.

The research, which was carried out by software company Process Bliss, suggests that more than half (54 per cent) of people in charge of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are wasting one day a week tackling such tasks, while around a third (34 per cent) are wasting two full days.

The report found that keeping on top of their tax and financial operations was taking up an awful lot of time for many SME bosses, as was general admin associated with HR, sales and marketing.

According to the study’s authors, SMEs’ failure to seek a helping hand in these areas is having a knock-on effect on productivity.

In fact, the study found that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of small businesses felt that they were not managing ‘repeatable’, day-to-day processes effectively enough – and that this was having an impact on their business.

Worse still, it found that while 30 per cent of respondents were managing such tasks using spreadsheets, 12 per cent of bosses were relying solely on ‘their own memory’ to keep on top of administrative tasks.

Alister Esam, CEO of Process Bliss, said: “Processes are hugely polarising – people are mostly either really detail-orientated and love them or are more ‘big picture’ and feel restricted by processes.

“But whatever your personality type, processes are integral to any business and should be managed in a way that means people aren’t wasting so much valuable time each week. When addressed in this way, processes give us reassurance that tasks are completed, everything is running as it should and free up our time for more enjoyable parts of the job.”