“I WANT IT NOW!” This outcry by spoiled brat Veruca Salt may be one of the most memorable lines in the beloved children’s movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It’s been almost 50 years since the release of this musical fantasy film, and Veruca’s demand has a completely different context for me. Rather than a child greedily demanding candy, it’s the business owner who is crying out for organization and efficiency when it comes to running their business. 

Business administration may not be top of mind for a business owner, like sales, production, innovation and customer satisfaction are. But not taking care of the behind-the-scenes details of running a business, or taking care of business the wrong way, creates operational inefficiency, business issues that are more expensive to fix later, and in the worst cases (which aren’t all that rare) legal challenges or a failed business. A well-organized and efficient business administration function provides a strong foundation on which a company can grow in a way that is healthy and sustainable, and ultimately can help minimize the costs of running a business.

For small businesses, organization and efficiency in business administration can be hampered by a lack of understanding about what needs to be done, a concern about the cost of hiring a business administration expert like a Chief Administrative Officer, a DIY business owner who isn’t ready or willing to delegate running the back office to someone else, or a combination of things. Regardless of the reason for not achieving business administration success, one thing is certain. Most business owners are crying out for it.

Are you wondering how you can find the golden ticket to success when it comes to the administration of your business?  Start with these steps:

  1. Appreciate the scope of activities that business administration involves—for example, entity governance, risk management, compliance, HR, contracts administration, process optimization, and records management.
  2. Decide that “taking care of business” (TCB) is a priority. 
  3. Acknowledge that hiring a business administration expert in house or on an outsourced basis may be a more effective use of capital than taking a DIY approach, even if you have the time, expertise and desire to take care of every business administration detail yourself.
  4. Collaborate with a business administration expert to develop the TCB scope and strategy that is right for your company, considering the life phase of your business (start up, growth, holding steady, or nearing exit) and specific projects, transactions or undertakings on the horizon.
  5. Implement your TCB plan and be prepared to adjust it from time to time to align with the company’s evolving business and strategy.

As Willy Wonka put it while treating Charlie and Grandpa to a ride in the Wonkavator, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it. Want to change the world, there’s nothing to it.”  

Achieving efficiency and organization in business administration won’t change the world for everyone. But it almost certainly will change your world as a business owner for the better.