Business Development

How red tape is costing British small firm leaders time and money

Hannah Wilkinson | 19 May 2016 | 8 years ago

red tape
Admin takes up 33 hours each month but costs 14, 000 a year to avoid
Over 50 per cent of UK small business owners think the burden of red tape is holding back their firm’s growth prospects, according to new research carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The survey also revealed that small firm leaders spend more than 33 hours each month on carrying out administrative tasks with employees carrying out a further 70 hours of admin work.

More than three-quarters of those questioned admitted to spending more time than they wanted to on compliance-related tasks, employment law, health and safety and tax issues.

Dave Stallon, the FSB’s commercial director, said: The Government has pledged to remove 10bn worth of red tape over the course of this parliament. The FSB welcomes this focus on deregulation, which should free up small business owners to spend more time doing business and creating economic growth.

initiatives like the cutting red tape programme, the one-in-three-out? approach to new regulations, and steps to boost the regulatory policy committee are all moves in the right direction.

The Enterprise Act which received Royal Assent in May 2016 contained a plethora of measures intended to reduce bureaucracy, including an extension to the Primary Authority scheme which allows small businesses to deal with just one council when it comes to regulatory issues.

Those who took part in the FSB survey were also questioned about alternative uses for the time they currently spend on admin if the burden were to be reduced. More than three-in-five stated they would spend free hours on new business development something which currently gets allocated just a quarter of the time given over to admin.

it is a common frustration amongst owners of smaller companies that they are unable to find the time to work on their real business activities, because they are too busy completing administrative tasks, however essential they are, added Stallon.

these businesses need expert support they can trust in order to minimise time dedicated to business administration. If they do this, they can maximise the time spent making their businesses bigger, better and more profitable.

Almost half of those surveyed would hire consultants to help with compliance if they could afford to but those who do outsource admin spend 14, 000 a year doing so.

Think being more productive could cut down the time you have to spend on admin? Read this.

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