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Should you be hiring an office manager?

If you’re working all hours, employing an office manager may be critical for both you and your business, says David Tait of Redmill Resourcing

Employing a good office manager can radically improve the running of any business. Specifically within the advisory marketplace, a good office manager can be key to the success of the organisation.

Many of the UK’s advisory businesses remain small, owner-managed firms where the directors of the company also advise. It’s not uncommon for me to hear stories from business owners of how they need to juggle family life with 90-hour working weeks, manage the day-to-day running of the office, the staff management, deal with suppliers, order stationary, and tackle a whole lot of other general tasks.

The RDR has seen advisory businesses realign their business models to cope with changing regulation and, with that, we have witnessed better systems, processes and an overall better infrastructure in many advisory businesses UK-wide than ever before.

With these new process and improved systems, now common in advisory businesses, there is a need to employ someone who can manage this overall improved infrastructure effectively and the need for a good office manager in the advisory space has become far more prevalent.

I appreciate for some cost is a driving factor, and small businesses do not always have the luxury of employing a back-office workforce to relieve these pressures, but I think you need to ask yourself the following question – is an office manager a nice to have or is it business critical?

Benefits of hiring an office manager

The role of office manager will vary depending on your own specific requirements, but there are common responsibilities regardless of the company size infrastructure. The main purpose of an office manager is to ensure effective and smooth running of the office whilst organising and managing all administrative matters. Of course, the role is far more detailed than that. If you can find an office manager with the right skills they can be empowered to further develop the company’s processes and procedures, can manage social media engagement, manage budget, expenditure, and even help to train, develop and appraise existing staff.

Critically, a good office manager will relieve you of a considerable administrative burden, free up a significant proportion of your time, which in turn will allow you to run your business operationally, focussing on the strategic elements that will potentially lead to growth.  Find a good office manager and perhaps you can say goodbye to those 90-hour weeks.

Ultimately the decision is yours to make but what I can say with some certainty is that the directors that I speak with day-to-day that employ an office manager, tell me that they have far more time to run their businesses strategically.

Business growth

I have also witnessed that companies who employ office management and a good back-office staff are the companies who are experiencing better growth in their business. I believe the fundamental reason for this is simple – by passing the responsibility of general administration, staff management and general office housekeeping to an office manager, affords the business owners and directors of smaller advisory firms the time to focus on the important strategic elements of their business.

It comes back to the same question time and time again: Is my business a lifestyle business or am I growing something of capital value for future sale? My advice to you if it is the latter, is to get a good office manager, free up your important time and focus on the strategic elements that will allow you to grow your company.

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