Multi-tasking business owners ‘putting their business on the line’

Published:  07 October, 2011

UK: Business owners in the UK construction industry are spreading themselves too thin by taking on so many different roles within their own company, according to new research* by invoice finance specialist Bibby Financial Services.

Construction owners and managers are well aware that wearing a range of different hats is par for the course, but according to the research by invoice finance specialist Bibby Financial Services, many are regularly being forced into taking on other duties in addition to traditional roles such as recruitment, securing finance and marketing.

The survey found almost seven in ten (69 per cent) are being drawn into purchasing office supplies, almost a half (48 per cent) are regularly collecting and making deliveries and 57 per cent are undertaking the marketing and PR of their firm.

And, while 60 per cent continue in the pursuit of new business opportunities and 87 per cent deal with their clients, the amount of time devoted to these so-called ‘day-to-day’ business functions is being eaten in to due to having to chase payments from customers (60 per cent) and deal with recruitment and HR issues (63 per cent).

At a time when owners and managers should be focused on identifying areas for growth as well as maintaining a healthy cash flow, increasing orders and boosting sales figures, the findings by Bibby Financial Services suggest the owner of today’s construction firm is actually an extreme multi-tasker.

But is their willingness to take on extra roles putting their business at risk, due to being too immersed in other necessary, but time consuming matters?

Jason Heath, construction finance specialist at Bibby Financial Services says: “The research really highlights just how demanding running a business is and that some managing directors may be taking on too much. It is a particular concern that many business owners in the construction sector are spending so much time chasing customer payments, dealing with suppliers and securing funding, in addition to their many duties.

“We have supported construction firms before, during and after the recession and understand the pressures facing many businesses in the industry as work has decreased and budgets have become tighter.”

But while business owners cannot always avoid the many roles they must play within the firm, Jason believes there are some simple steps they can take to manage pressures.

He adds: “For many small and medium-sized enterprises cash really is king and ensuring finances and cash flow are in order has to be a priority. Outsourcing tasks to specialist organisations such as invoice financiers, which can offer comprehensive credit control services and flexible funding solutions, can really help free up business owners time, allowing them to get on with the important job of running of their business.”

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