SME owners too distracted to innovate » SMEInsider

SME owners too distracted to innovate

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Owners of UK small businesses are wasting their time on administrative tasks and sacrificing their creativity, according to new research.

A survey by Geniac shows that 61% of SME owners are taking on business admin tasks themselves – spending up to half of their time dealing with legal issues, handling business accounts, as well as HR and company formation admin, and that, according to psychologist Dr Gary Wood, means they have less time to innovate and come up with new ideas for growing their business.

In terms of what business areas that are being ignored, brainstorming new ideas is the principle area being neglected (33%), followed by working on new business proposals, products and services (28%) and spending time with their customers (27%). The result is that overall growth is the biggest casualty – nearly three quarters of SME owners (73%) believe that their business would grow more quickly if less of their time was taken up by company admin.

Dr Wood said: “Our brains work better when we concentrate on one thing at a time. What we think of as multi-tasking is actually the brain flitting between tasks very quickly. It’s difficult for your brain to switch into creative mode when you’re worrying about balancing the next spreadsheet or a looming contract deadline. So, instead of trying to be an all-rounder, play to your strengths rather than using up energy on the things you’re not so good at.”

  • Nigel Melican

    Great advice – but who is going to do the routine admin?

  • Ian Cass of the Forum of Private business completely agrees with the findings and our members are now spending less time as we take away the headache. Take a look at our findings of the cost of doing business back in 2015 of which the research is currently being updated for 2016. https://www.fpb.org/blog/infographic-cost-doing-business-2015