Why what I do is good for you! (My Admin Services)
January 31, 2021
There are various things that people ask me to help with, but they all have the same problem – lack of time.
One client has asked me to handle customer questions and reply to them so she can get on with designing. That’s the part of her business she loves. People who order from her often want to know how long it will take for their order to reach them. They might need to ask what to do about returning items if they’re not suitable. Maybe they want to find out if a particular item comes in a different design. Answering questions is time consuming for a busy designer, so I monitor the emails and Facebook/ Instagram messages she gets and deal with any that are related to orders. Many of the questions are asked lots times, so I have a sheet of FAQs and answers to refer to. Sometimes there’s a message I can’t answer so I have to ask the fulfilment team, but most of the time I can find the answer by looking through the orders on her website or by referring to my sheet. By getting me to deal with these questions, my client saves about 15 hours a month.
I like my job because it’s varied. There are all sorts of things that people would rather hand over to somebody else. One of the biggest headaches is keeping financial records up to date. Each transaction takes a moment and would take only a moment to record. But it’s really frustrating to keep stopping what you’re doing to deal with each one as it happens! It’s just not practical and it’s very distracting.
Three different clients get me to do this for them. One has a full-time job and does Airbnb as well, one makes jewellery and the third is a joiner. The joiner was fed up spending Boxing Day every year updating his records. Now that I update them every quarter, he has more time to spend enjoying the festive season. It’s the same idea for the jeweller. She can spend more time on designing and making jewellery knowing that her record keeping is up to date. But I think the Airbnb owner sums it up best. She says, “My ‘business’ isn’t really a business; it’s a ‘side-hustle’. I have a very demanding full-time job as a teacher, and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is financial admin for my side-hustle! It’s great to be able to just throw all the relevant paperwork into a box, which I hand over to Freya a couple of times a year. Within a day or two, she’s got it sorted out and filed for me, entries made in a spreadsheet, and questions identified; I can take her work and hand it straight to the accountant at the year-end. I highly recommend her services, for speed and efficiency, but most of all for the peace of mind.” What a lovely recommendation!
Those three business owners have very different businesses, but they have the same problem – finding time to keep their financial records up to date. I really like doing this task because it involves shuffling lots of paper! Basically, I sort piles of receipts, file them in a folder in date order, record them electronically and hand it all back to the client. I’ve written a more detailed description in another blog post.
Inbox Detox is another popular service. My first ever client was overwhelmed with the contents of her inbox. She couldn’t find anything and just wanted it cleaned up. We talked about how she used her email a bit like a to do list, then I set about labelling, archiving, filtering and deleting according to her instructions. She wanted me to monitor her inbox from then on and file any receipts that came in. That’s the task I do every morning to start my working day. This client saves between four and six hours a month by getting me to do this.
When people ask for an Inbox Detox, the common problem is the lack of time to tackle it themselves. I’ve worked out a process for sorting emails that works well. Once it’s done the client can usually keep on top of things because I’ve set up the filters according to what they want.
You might love what you do so much that it doesn’t seem like a job, but the bottom line is you need money coming into your business. Whether you use a template or a computer package like Xero or QuickBooks, preparing and sending invoices is another time-consuming task. There are two clients who pass this over to me. One has a homemade system recorded on Excel and the other uses Xero. At the end of the month, the details are sent to me so I can send out the relevant invoices. When that’s done, I file the invoices and update the recording spreadsheet. This can save the clients between three and five hours a month (depending on how busy they’ve been).
So, there you have it. These are the things I know I can do but I also enjoy learning new skills and exploring new platforms. If you need me to find you some more time please get in touch for a chat.