How To Take Care Of Your Business (Administration) While Getting Your Work Done

Let’s make an important line in the sand here.

On one side, there is your work: the things clients pay you to do. The “money-makers.”

On the other side, you have your business: the administration, marketing, accounting, IT, management, public relations, and executive departments that any business, of any size, needs to function.

How much time do you devote to each?

Take this quick quiz:

(1) When was the last time you updated your website?
Give yourself: 0 points for the last 2 months, 5 points for 2 months to a year, 10 points for a year or more

(2) How old are your business cards?
Give yourself: 0 points for less than 1 year, 5 points for more than 1 year, 10 points for no cards

(3) Do you review your financials monthly? Quarterly?
Give yourself: 0 points for monthly reviews, 5 points for quarterly, 10 points for never

(4) Do you have contracts with your clients?
Give yourself: 0 points for yes, 5 points for sometimes, 10 points for no

(5) Do you have an intake structure to get new clients coming in while you sleep?
Give yourself: 0 points for yes, 5 points for sort of or in process, 10 points for no

How did you do?

35-50 points means you have a lot of groundwork to do for your business
20-35 points means you are close to the danger zone, but have taken some steps to stay organized
0-20 points means you are on the right track, and a master of juggling!

The Vital Work of “Running” a Business

As we’ll be talking about in the coming months in our excuse-busting series on overcoming mental blocks, as working moms, it can sometimes be a strain to devote as much time to our work as we would like.

But any business owner will agree—when you’re busting your butt to have and do work for enough clients to meet your income goals, it’s easy to let your “business” slide in favor of your work.

In the start-up world, it’s common that the visionary, the person with the drive and the big idea to get the business off the ground, is replaced once the business starts growing, because he or she, frankly, has no idea how to run the business they’ve created.

As solopreneurs—self-employed women who run our own business of one, perhaps with a little help—we don’t have the luxury of passing off all of these functions. We need to find the balance between dreaming and doing.

Let’s explore some quick, easy ways to get a better grip on three key business areas you may be neglecting:

  • management
  • administration
  • accounting


Without a plan, goals, and a path to meet those goals, businesses stagnate, at best. While you are busy working with the clients you have now, who is looking out for you to make sure you have more and better clients in the future?

This is where you have to put your management hat on. Here are two quick ways to incorporate management time into your workflow:

(1) Run business reviews. As often as you can, but monthly at the least. Imagine you are back in an office and treat these meetings as you used to treat meetings with your real boss. Put them in your calendar, create an agenda, and make sure you cover everything vital to the state of your business: how is X project coming? Are you on track to meet your goals for the quarter? Do you have enough income/sales coming in this week/month?

(2) Hire a coach. This is a slightly counter-intuitive one, because it seems like hiring a coach is actually like bringing in someone to do the management for you. But what it actually does is give you time devoted 100% to making those decisions for your business that you have to respect because you have financially invested in it.


Now that we’ve got the higher-level business needs figured out, let’s look at the opposite end, the mundane tasks that you hate to do.

If your files aren’t in order, you can’t find the things you need. If you don’t have the proper background information you need prepared for a meeting, you might lose a big client you’re trying to land.

(1) Hire a personal assistant. It costs less than you may think—and most likely less than you are billing your own time for. Agree on a certain number of hours per week or day, make a quick list on Sunday night after the kids go to bed of the tasks you need accomplished during the week, and be clear about what you need done when. But it takes time to find the right person, so if that’s not possible…

(2) Hire a family member. Do you have a teenage child that can take on some office work for you for some extra spending money? How about an older niece or nephew? High school and college students are great for this because they’re always looking to add work experience to their resume.

If you can’t do either of the above, spend some time setting up a collaborative calendar your clients can schedule appointments on and explore apps like MyndCalendar and Refresh that can do several of these tasks for you.


Many of you have already hired an accountant to keep your books in order, whether on a regular basis or just around tax time. But if you’re not sending your accountant the necessary information on a regular basis, it’s difficult for him or her to help you beyond processing checks and tax forms.

(1) Set-Up Expensify. While it’s also used by businesses as large as CBS and Mozilla, Expensify is the path to relieving receipt stress for small businesses. The innovative software pulls all the necessary information from your receipts when you take a picture of them with your phone, and collates everything into expense reports (which you can also use as business categories—whatever works for you).

(2) Automate your banking and invoicing. Whether you go big, with professional grade software like Quickbooks, or keep it simple, your accounting system will take you the least time if everything feeds in automatically. If you haven’t already, set all your businesses to auto-updated your accounts and review the categories to make sure everything is feeding in correctly. Set all your regular invoices to go out automatically via either PayPal payment requests or an invoicing software like Freshbooks.

It’s true. Most of these fixes require money. But once you start to reap the benefits of a happily humming business free of stress and hurdles that come from not addressing these key tasks, you’ll thank me.

What can you spend five minutes doing today to set your business up for more success in the future?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.