For the unenlightened, administration does not have a good press. For those who do not understand the importance or benefit of good, straightforward admin it is seen as a function which slows things down, introduces a layer of bureaucracy and increases the overheads.

In reality, however, administration is the function which makes the difference between an average business and an excellent one. As exciting as it might be to develop new products and services or meet people as part of the marketing and sales effort, this amounts to nothing if the day to day running of the business is mired in confusion and disorganisation.

Management Tip

There are no examples of businesses that have fulfilled their potential and been highly successful without well organised administration.

It is about time that people in administration are recognised for the contribution that they make to the success and stability of the business. The unsung heroes tend to avoid the limelight and their skills are taken for granted when everything is working well. It is a different story when things go awry such as people being paid a day late or the email system being out of action for an hour. The art of good administration is to make it look simple and obvious. The reality, however, is that it takes a lot of skill and effort to make things look easy.

There are endless examples in some of the best companies in the world. For example, the experience in an Apple Store when buying one of their devices is usually slick and well organised. One of the most impressive aspects of a return visit, using the same credit card is that they automatically know who you are, where you live and what your email address is. If you choose to have an electronic receipt rather than a paper copy, it will arrive in your email inbox before your foot has crossed the threshold at the exit.

It is true that this will have been a team effort, including the sales and marketing people. However, the people that make it work in practice are the admin team.

Improve your business administration with the Business Transformation Toolkit.

Section 02 includes the following:

  1. What constitutes administration?
  2. How to get the balance of admin right; not too little and not too much.
  3. The key to smooth running admin.
  4. The eight primary functions of admin.
  5. How to organise the business effectively.

For details, go to