Owners Get More Time to Grow Business

Owners Get  More Time to Grow Business

Small business owners are spending less time on administration and more on growing their businesses, research by Vodafone has found.

The change in emphasis ― revealed by a survey of 1,000 business owners ― has been put down to the effects of the recession.

The Institute of Leadership and Management’s senior policy manager, David Pardey, said:

“Small firms that weren’t particularly customer focused or aggressive in terms of growth really suffered during the downturn ― those that survived have had to up their game.”

“One of the advantages for small firms is that they can quickly adapt to tougher market conditions ― unlike bigger organisations ― and many owners realised it was a question of getting out there and chasing business.”

According to the poll, the average boss now spends almost a third of their working week solely on planning and delivering growth (30%), compared with just 13% of their time on this in 2009. It also revealed that a quarter of small business owners chose to prioritise administrative tasks last year, in contrast to just one in ten who currently focuses on admin over growth.

“It’s encouraging to see that small business bosses now recognise the need to return to the helm to focus on growth,”

said Vodafone sales director, Rob Shardlow.

However, the Vodafone research indicated that delegation and time management remained a problem for many small business owners, who still spend almost two weeks each year dealing with suppliers across areas such as IT support and payroll.

David Pardey concluded:

“A need to keep costs down and a reluctance to hand over the reins mean that many small business owners are still bogged down in administrative tasks and red tape.”

“Whether it’s juggling the finances, deciding which bills need to be paid and which ones can wait, or simply controlling costs by doing things themselves, small firms are often unwilling to outsource things like payroll or other HR duties, particularly if cash is tight.”

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