Are you the founder of a start-up, a small business owner, director of a foundation or non-profit organization? Then perhaps, in the early days of your company you were able to stay on top of all the administrative tasks, organizational issues, personnel management, and all the other stuff you have to deal with when running an organisation. But over the years you have become too busy, too distracted, too overwhelmed or simply too annoyed to deal with it all?
Perhaps it is time to consider hiring some support for your organization. Here are some indicators to find out whether you are coping well enough or whether you could really benefit from some extra hands in your office:
1. Time (when you find there is too little of it)
Are you often working late to be able to stay on top of things? Are you spending more than approximately two hours each day on office related matters? That will certainly stop you from doing the more important and urgent things that make up your organisation. Handling invoices, dealing with insurance matters, arranging lunch for guests, updating the website; these are all urgent matters but prevent you from focusing on your mission.
2. When travel arrangements become travel nightmares
If you travel frequently you know how time consuming it is to search for the best available flights and hotels. If you keep on postponing this due to lack of time or resources, you may end up paying higher fares or having to use annoying and time-consuming stop-overs. A good office manager will make your travel a priority and knows where and when to go for the best deals.
If you keep on postponing small and annoying tasks like sorting out the mail, archiving your invoices, calculating your VAT, drawing up new personnel contracts or ordering new printer cartridges you know something will go wrong eventually, and solving those issues may even be more time consuming.
4. When staff queries become staff hassles
When your staff members (even though there are only a few) drive you crazy with their questions about their holidays, contract renewals, travel reimbursements or anything else that they are entitled to ask you, you realise that you may want to hire someone to deal with all these questions. We all know that happy employees are loyal employees.
When your office is a chaos, with papers, old mail, new insurance policies, unpaid invoices, stamps, printer manuals, staples, personnel contracts and rental agreements are all in some pile or other…it is time to get someone in to create structure once and for all. An office manager can set up an efficient archiving system, both for all your paper work as well as for your electronic documents.
If you can answer “yes” to at least 3 of the above indicators, you should seriously consider hiring some extra hands, either permanently or temporarily.
© Danielle Klinge
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Danielle Klinge is an independent office manager who supports start-ups, ngo’s and small organizations. Extra hands to support your mission: http://www.ngoofficesupport.com.