(BPT) - Each year offers a chance for new beginnings - an opportunity for people to reflect on the past and make personal resolutions to use their time effectively to prosper in the year ahead. The same is true for businesses, as entrepreneurs and business owners set new strategic goals and plans for growth.
Managing time is what is costing business owners. Twenty-three million small-business owners across the U.S. lose four billion hours each year managing time-consuming - but crucial - business operations and administrative tasks, according to the OfficeMax Small Business Efficiency Index sourced in the fall of 2013. In addition to lost time for growth, most business owners said these tasks also drained their passion for their business.
The following resolutions are designed to help business owners who want to use their time more productively and achieve stronger growth in 2014.
Explore the resources available to you
A challenge for many small-business owners is understanding how to utilize resources to further grow their business. In fact, many of these owners aren't even aware about the various assets that a trusted, reliable vendor can provide to their business.
Through extensive national research, OfficeMax found that small-business owners have a lot of questions, such as which vendors to turn to; what questions to ask; how much time to invest in researching appropriate vendors for each specific business need.
Resolve to explore the options and resources available to you in order to assign important tasks to a reliable partner. One such resource is the OfficeMax Services Center, which offers more than 40 business solutions services, from credit card processing and payroll services to IT support and cloud storage solutions.
Use new technology to your advantage
A majority of surveyed business owners expressed concern that their current vendors were not keeping up with technology trends. Be sure to enlist support that offers you the hardest-working technology options aligned with your business needs, whether for website hosting or on-call IT support. Cloud storage is another priority technology that can help business owners save time and sleep sounder knowing that files are secure and easily accessible in one central location. Resolve to save time looking for files throughout the year by using cloud technology that will ensure key files are in the right place and give your business a new sense of organization and technological proficiency.
Select reliable vendors to provide support
Fifty-four percent of survey respondents felt their current service vendors do not understand their business or specific needs. An important part of reinvesting time for growth is finding trusted vendors to get the job done.
Business owners spend a lot of time conducting support work that, while critical, takes them away from working with their customers and growing their business. OfficeMax learned that business owners want to refocus their time building their businesses, and they want reliable partners who will address their specific needs.
Resolve to make finding those vendors a priority. Depending upon your specific business needs, OfficeMax Services Center staff helps pair businesses with reputable and professional service providers including North American Bancard; Company.Payroll; GoDaddy and Carbonite Online Backup. So, you could hand over the reins of these tasks with confidence that your business processes are being handled by skilled professionals.
For additional information about the business solutions services available through the OfficeMax Services Center, visit your local store or visit www.officemax.com/services.