UK start-ups and microbusinesses are wasting over two working weeks every year on admin tasks, including managing mobile phone contracts, choosing energy providers, and buying insurance – according to new research.
The survey of 500 businesses employing between 1-9 people, conducted by business comparison site Beasy, found that start-up founders are spending an average of 5.5 hours per week choosing and managing the business services they need to run their company – equating to a staggering £7,106 in lost revenue per business, and costing the UK an estimated £37bn in GDP.
The key factor behind this is, Beasy says, continued reliance on manual processes. According to the study, over a quarter of business owners (26%) still use a pen and paper to keep a record of critical business functions including finance, marketing, insurance, and utilities, while more than two thirds (68%) use spreadsheets.
Despite the advancements of cloud technology solutions, it’s clear the majority of UK start-ups and microbusinesses are relying on outdated methods to run their operations, slowing down growth.
Beasy Co-founder, Arif Miah, said, “Our research highlights a fundamental barrier which is stunting the progress of the UK’s most ambitious founders, and the growth of their start-ups and businesses: the process of how businesses choose, buy and manage their business essentials. In an increasingly competitive business world, founders want to be strategising and innovating in order to stay ahead, not getting bogged down in unnecessary admin.”
Paul Beare is well aware of the dangers of business owners falling into the trap of clinging to outdated processes and wasting a lot of time. “It’s a familiar story that we see with the companies we work with,” he says. “They’ve grown quite quickly but sometimes their systems and processes haven’t kept pace. That’s why one of the first things we do is make sure they have the right payroll, bookkeeping and other finance systems in place.
By doing that, we’re freeing up their time to do what they do best: run and develop their business.
Over a third (37%) of business owners say they struggle to access better business services on offer because they do not have the time or don’t where to start with such a time-consuming process. Indeed, a third of start-ups are simply Googling for the best option when it comes to choosing their services, and as a result, more than a quarter (27%) say the biggest challenge running their business is getting the wrong business tools and services.
“Start-up admin needs to be simplified, the route into business needs to be accessible for all, and anyone from any backgrounds who wants to start and grow a business should be empowered to do it, starting with simplifying the process of getting the services a founder needs at an affordable price,” says Beasy’s Ala Uddin.
Digital services form the bedrock of Paul Beare’s offering to clients, whether it’s through automated financial systems, client trust accounts or other tools. “It’s vital we support them in any way we can, and that means offering the most up to date processes to ensure they are as efficient as possible,” says Paul.
If you want to continue you start up journey in the UK and you’re in need of advice or support in this or any other area, Paul Beare Ltd is right here for all your needs. You can contact us for help from tax and payroll to accounting and banking.