Dude, Lose That Secretary!

February 10, 2012 · Posted in Business 

Peer out of your office door, what’s your secretary doing right now? You might want to get cracking on that pink slip if your answer is either — reading Cosmo, checking out the latest showbiz tidbits on OMG and/or napping off that food coma. In a perfect world, a secretary would only be paid commensurate to the actual work they do, not for the hours they spend “looking busy.” A small business can circumvent such a situation by hiring a secretary only on a part-time basis to manage office affairs, while having an answering service take care of incoming calls.

If you’re not as good in Math as I am, it’s time to grab that calculator and assess the situation with six variables from A to F.

Variable A. Secretary gets paid $12.00 per hour. Variable Two – Secretary works a standard eight hours a day – or so you hope. Variable C – Secretary spends 40% of the day at work handling office affairs. Variable D – Secretary spends 30% of the day at work handling inbound phone calls. Variable Five – Secretary goes on lunch for an hour, which is 12% of the work day. Variable F. Secretary spends 18% of work day remaining unproductive

In summation, your secretary is earning $96.00 on a daily basis. Breaking things down pursuant to the six variables mentioned above, they are earning $38.40 per day for actual office duties, $28.80 per day for answering the phone, $12.00 for eating lunch (that is, if lunch is paid) and $17.28 for having fun at the expense of your valuable bandwidth and office space. Now let’s expound on the above theory and multiply the numbers above by 22 business days, or one working month — secretaries earn $844.80 a month for office liaisons and other issues, $633.60 for handling inbound telephone calls, $264 for eating lunch and the remaining $380.16 for goofing off.

So, if only 3.2 hours per day are spent managing office business, it doesn’t make sense for business owners to hire a secretary for an entire day when most of their duties can be outsourced to a call center. But it only gets more “fun” when you take into account “free time”, which encompasses quick breaks to take a wizz, smoke a cigarette, drink a cup of Joe, etc. — in that case, round up the 3.2 hours to four hours, and adjust your monetary figures to $48.00 daily or $1,056 monthly. Also, lets take $250.00 as an average market price for utilizing an answering service for a one month period. And remember that part-time employees, or employees who work less than four hours a day, do not need to take a lunch break.

Alrighty then, it’s time for me to reveal those vaunted grand totals to all you business owners reading this from wherever you are.

Situation A. You will be spending $2,112 per month if you hire a secretary for all office-related tasks.

Situation B. A business owner who hires somebody as a part-time secretary and lets an answering service take care of phone management will be paying a comparatively paltry $1,306 per month.

So with all that in mind, an individual who owns a business can save close to $10,000 annually (actually $816 per month or $9,792 per year) by utilizing an answering service. Remember that this figure does not even include the increase in business opportunities if you have somebody available after hours, twenty-four by seven, answering inbound calls. Having a live operator available at all times makes your small business appear larger than it really is, and allows your business to thrive, look and feel more secure because after all, you are ensuring that somebody is on board all day long to answer customer concerns.

Making a well informed drafting chairs decision has never been more important to you and your health.


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