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Why 8 out of 10 SME owners can’t do their jobs without a PA

Kate Allen, Managing Director, Allen Associates

Building and running a successful business from scratch is by no means an easy task. From the day-to-day demands that can change at the drop of a hat to the long-term targets set by the board, the mind of the average SME owner buzzes with every business-related matter from accounting to marketing to HR.

However, while carrying the weight of the entire company may be unavoidable in the early days, the support of a Personal Assistant can be critical when the business starts to grow.

Recent research from Fresh Business Thinking found that 70% of business owners surveyed preferred to do everything themselves. However, while this figure may point towards the lack of need for assistance, the survey further shed light on the reality of this approach: not only did nearly half of all respondents (47%) claim to have worked through a weekend, 74% said that their relationships with friends, family or significant other have been affected by working long hours.

In turn, the growth-rate of the business can start to suffer – clearly not due to a lack of commitment, but perhaps as a result of an inefficient use of time. As you rush around attempting to keep on top of administrative tasks between strategy meetings and business proposals, the quality of your input will naturally be affected by a lack of focus. Before long, you’ll find yourself playing catch-up with your diary: you may have ticked off everything in your to-do list today, but what about the reactive tasks that never made it in?

Increasingly, small to medium sized business owners are realising the undeniable advantage that comes with hiring a personal assistant - someone to dot your i’s, cross your t’s and keep the ship steady from behind the scenes. It’s no wonder that eight out of 10 SME owners are unable to carry out their role effectively without the help of a PA: after all, the job of a Personal or Executive Assistant has drastically evolved over the last decade. As well as diary management, business leaders today look to their assistants to support them across a wide range of areas that will allow them to concentrate solely on their principle objectives. These could include clerical administration, coordinating events and travel planning, but could also come in the form of compiling reports and creating presentations. In many cases, the list of PA responsibilities extends into financial matters such as updating budgets and processing invoices.

Of course, it’s understandable that many small business owners are still fearful of bringing someone so closely on board: if they aren’t the right candidate, you might spend more time managing their workload than benefiting from another pair of hands. However, the addition of a skilled and trustworthy PA can often be the game-changing play of a successful SME: suddenly, you are free to dedicate your time towards driving the business forward without having to worry about the niggling administrative tasks that were dragging you down.

For 20 years, the Allen Associates team has been helping employers in Oxfordshire secure the Executive PA and Administration talent they really need. Can we help you? Click here for more information.

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