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Daily admin is swamping small business productivity

Although small businesses think innovating and customer service are vital for success, they are unable to devote adequate time to either

Managers across the UK are being bogged down by too much admin, according to the latest Management Pressures and Productivity survey.

The study of 144 companies across the UK asked managers where their time was best spent, where their time was actually spent, and what they felt was the biggest hindrance to productivity.

It found that 35% of small business leaders spend “much of their day” on paperwork, though only 4% described it as a crucial activity for business growth.

For small businesses, the biggest hinderance to productivity was disorganisation (25%), followed by too much admin (18%) and poor internal communication (15%). In contrast, IT systems were by far the biggest frustration for larger firms (50%) and only a minor concern for small businesses (8%).

The results also showed that small businesses were unable to prioritise tasks that lead to business success: innovating was ranked second most important for success and customer service was ranked third, yet only 5% of firms spent time on innovating and under 10% said they spent enough time on customer service.

Tom Brooks, marketing manager at Immervox, commented: “With everything from internal communications, administration, and customer service being run through IT systems in business today, too often we see a lack of investment in the correct systems and innovation, which ultimately is hindering growth.”



Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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