Dateline Friday 16th December, time: 17:50hrs GMT; the Managing Director of a Start-up enterprise desirous of business growth, was sweating visibly, pacing and panting. The deadline for the Expression of Interest Proposal for the restructuring of a large development bank was barely minutes away. All hands were on deck as staff of the firm hovered around, putting finishing touches and collating the document via the network.
Time, the ever marching constant, was ticking dangerously away. At exactly 17:58hrs, everyone heaved a sigh of relief as the Project Officer finally clicked ‘SEND’, and waited for the hour glass to roll out the “sent” checkmark.
Unbelievably, as if from a bad dream, a royal blue screen saver floated across the VDU…..”XYZ Internet Services wishes you a Merry Christmas, PLEASE RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION”. With shock and palpitations, the MD bellowed “What the h….k is up with you guys! Is the Admin. Department sabotaging the future of this company or what?”
Adrenaline rising, anger and disappointment all rolled into one.
You can imagine the rest of the story. “Stuff” really does happen, but with a little planning, you can avoid major slip – ups that may prevent you from achieving sound business growth.
How serious is the problem?
If this was just a one – off incident in your business (which frankly to me is alarming enough!) you may say that you have systems in place to pay bills on time, renew premiums and such; after all we are human and mistakes happen once in a while. However, if this has been happening like a recurring decimal, it’s time to create a proper Admin Schedule or Calendar with tasks and timelines. These are some of the essential tools for business growth.
Steps to Creating Your Admin Calendar
Take a sheet of paper and divide into 4 with a huge cross. In each quadrant, write the following categories: Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly. Now put on your fanciest thinking cap 🙂 and plug in telephone airtime top-ups, monthly Janitorial Service Charge, First Aid Box Refills, filling of Annual Tax Returns and other business commitments into the appropriate places in any order you like – this is the brainstorming (a time tested business growth tool) part.
Refer to documents that can jog your memory such as your list of files, past Payment Vouchers etc. If these sound alien to your business, you had better check out some more of my gradually evolving Business Tips that will guaranty business growth over time.
Next, you go to Excel and create headings like Task, Responsibility, Amount Involved and columns for each month from January to December across the spreadsheet.
Now, like Leonardo Da Vinci painted Mona Lisa, armed with your mouse as paintbrush, fill in your excel “canvas” carefully but surely with every conceivable payment, renewal, office supplies stock replenishment etc. Put the name of the staff responsible, remarks if any and the amount of original “green backs” aka dollars you have to cough out for each. Don’t feel bad, it’s better you know just how much you will need to maintain the backbone of your business right from the onset, let the marketing folk know they are not the only ones who need a budget, daaah!
Apply a Catalyst to your business growth
Now, here’s the masterstroke for putting it all together. You need to ensure that a reminder is set a day or two before each task is due, depending on the lead time. If your business needs to make regular overseas payments, a longer notice is obviously required. You can use Outlook, your Admin Manager’s phone scheduler or something similar. The reminder is the real clincher.
That’s it from me! The stress-free way to avoid the pain and disappointment of administrative snags while ensuring business growth.
Do you have an alternative or even better idea? Are there any other problems stifling your business growth or personal business tips you wish to share?
I would love to read your comments!
However, if you are feeling just a teeny bit lazy, stay tuned for a scoop on a done-it-for-you- template in my upcoming book.