Why Business Owners Avoid Admin (And Why They Shouldn’t)

When you first start your business, it’s pretty easy to stay on top of all your admin tasks. After all, there aren’t that many of them, and while you’re still scouting for your first clients you have all the time in the world to get them done. But as you grow and get busier those tasks become bigger and more complicated, and you have less time to get them done. 

At this point, you might start to feel the crunch. And how you react to this admin pressure defines what kind of admin personality you are, and how you should proceed. In our experience, there are 4 kinds of people when it comes to admin. Let’s see if you recognise yourself!

The Pro Admin Lot

First, let’s look at the positives. The people who engage willingly (and even enthusiastically) with admin as a project. These are those super organised people who often don’t need help with actually doing the core admin tasks, but probably could find a better use for their time.

  • The Super Doer: These are the top of the pile – the people who are just built for admin. They are the person planning things, remembering birthdays for their clients and sending cards, giving out recommendations left and right, reconciling the bank account on the first of every month, all while generally keeping on top of everything. That doesn’t mean they are actually doing all of their own mind you – often the super doer is actually delegating or outsourcing some or all of those tasks, and being proactive about it so that nothing falls behind.
  • The Reluctant Doer: The reluctant doer is more likely to experience admin as an obstacle. Something they have to do, but don’t really want to face. They might feel like their to-do list is endless, and that they are always several steps behind. The important stuff usually gets done, but often late or at the last minute. This can create problems or conflicts that just didn’t need to happen. Reluctant doers often feel like they’re underqualified to do the admin tasks in front of them – and sometimes they are!

The Anti Admin Brigade

Then, you have the other end of the spectrum. The business owners who really aren’t built for admin, and so they try to pretend it’s not there. Rather than face the tasks and just get them done, they can often be found procrastinating.

  • The Admin Avoider: The avoider is desperately trying to escape admin. They see it out there, flying right towards them at 50 miles an hour. And they duck. Or scribble out the task and write it again on tomorrows to-do list, day after day after day. They might make excuses for why ploughing through a to-do list is so hard, and often think they’re ‘bad’ at certain things, which gives them an extra reason to avoid the admin tasks. Deadlines are missed, and when it’s eventually done, the worst is usually rushed and a bit sloppy.
  • The Admin Denier: Then we have the last, and worst. Where the avoider sees the problem and ignores it, the denier ‘doesn’t think there’s a problem’. They’re either ignoring admin tasks entirely (and getting into big issues because of it), or finding someone else to take care of it all for them. The admin denier may not know they’re an admin denier. They may think that this whole admin thing isn’t such a big deal – that there isn’t really that much to get done. After all, won’t someone else step in before things get too bad?

See something you recognise in that list? If you’re honest with yourself, which kind of admin personality are you? And if it’s not what you want to see, what could you do differently?

The issue for many business owners is actually quite simple. Admin tasks take time, a lot of mental energy, and yield very few results. While they are integral for keeping your business running, they tend to not bring a lot of shining positives to your business. It’s not like if you work hard and do all the tasks, then more money appears in your bank account. It just means that things keep turning for another month, or another year. So there is a lot of work and little reward.