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You’ve got an extra 27.7 minutes a week in 2020 – 5 ways small businesses can make the most of it

3-minute read

Lauren Hellicar

25 February 2020

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In case you’ve been so busy running your small business that you haven’t noticed, 2020 is a leap year, meaning you get an extra day. How will you use it?

As a small business owner, it's likely you often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day – and that one leap day every four years can hardly make a difference.

But instead of being just another 24 hours of hard work, what if 29 February is a chance to check your priorities and ultimately achieve a better work-life balance?

27.7 minutes x 52 weeks = just over 24 hours, roughly one leap day

We’ve done a quick sum and worked out that an extra 27.7 minutes a week equates to just over 24 hours a year (roughly a day).

The maths means you can justify booking out half an hour a week this leap year to streamline admin, helping you run your business more efficiently.

What’s the best way to spend half an hour on your business?

1. Get organised with your invoicing

You could streamline the way you send invoices using an invoicing app. Features often include a connection to your online banking, improving efficiency and accuracy, and automated sending of invoices. Some let you customise your invoices with your company logo.

For more help with this time-saver, you can read our article on the best invoice apps for small businesses: 7 apps to make your life easier.

And if you spend a lot of time chasing late payments, why not have a look at our tips for writing a late payment letter – including a template you can download?

2. Keep track of your expenses

You could make tracking your business finances far easier – without the cost of hiring an accountant. Things like bookkeeping, invoicing, inventory and payroll are all kept in one handy dashboard with the help of an accounting app.

Whether you’re looking for a free version to keep costs down, or you’re unsure about how accounting apps work with Making Tax Digital, get helpful tips in our article on the best accounting software for small business: a comparison guide.

3. Make business banking easy

You could set yourself up with a business bank that caters to the needs of small business owners. Our article on the best banks for business, as voted for by small businesses and the self-employed reveals which banks, according to a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) survey, are best for:

  • overall service quality
  • online and mobile banking services
  • overdraft and loan services
  • relationship and account management
  • service in branches and business centres

4. Set up a professional-looking business website

This may take longer than half an hour, but there are some good website software providers making it relatively quick and easy to create a professional-looking website. If you think of your website as your virtual shop window, it makes sense to spend more time on this one.

Some let you set up a basic site for free, with benefits including ‘drag and drop’ page features and user-friendly content management systems for updating your words and pictures.

Read more about some of the main ones on the market in our guide to the best free and paid business website builders.

5. Get your HR in order

While it’s often said that your people are your greatest asset, there are extra time-consuming responsibilities that come with having staff. That’s where HR software can come in handy. It can help you manage a whole range of people-related tasks more efficiently, including:

  • keeping records (some of which are legally required)
  • hiring people
  • tracking leave and attendance
  • delivering training

Our article on the best small business HR software lays out several different options, including free HR software and cloud HR software versions. It’s a useful read whether you already have staff or are thinking about hiring people in the future.

Take some well-deserved time out

Simplifying some of your admin means you could end up getting more than a weekly half hour back. And when that happens, you might find the space to think about more enjoyable ways to spend your time and look after yourself.

What will you do with your extra time this leap year? Let us know in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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