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Small Biz Efficiency Slowed by Admin Tasks: Survey

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on November 05, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Small business efficiency isn't doing so hot, according to a recent survey conducted by OfficeMax.

In the aggregate, the OfficeMax Small Business Efficiency Index claims "the nation's 23 million small business owners lose more than 4 billion hours each year managing time-consuming -- but crucial -- business operations and administrative tasks." Yes, that's 4 billion (with a "b") hours.

Here's a succinct summary of the survey's other findings, and a look at what business owners can do to combat inefficiency:

Survey Says...

The Small Business Efficiency Index Survey was conducted among 321 small business owners in the United States with 100 or fewer employees.

Surveyed business owners said they spend nearly four hours a week longer than they should managing backroom tasks, which often caused owners to burn out. (The dramatic "4 billion hours" projection is based on Small Business Administration data stating there are currently 23 million small businesses in the country.)

Business owners who participated in the online survey also reported concerns with vendors who currently provide backroom support. For example:

  • 54 percent feel that their current service vendors do not understand their business and specific needs,
  • 44 percent are concerned about the availability and reliability of some of their vendors, and
  • 40 percent question the ability of their current vendors to stay on top of technology trends.

Tips to Improve Efficiency

Rest assured, small business owners have a number of affordable time-saving opportunities at their disposal. This may include:

For additional guidance on achieving a more efficient workplace with legally sound techniques, you may want to consult an experienced business attorney.

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