Biggest Time Wasting Tasks for Start-Ups (and How to Get That Time Back)

Long on tasks, short on time – start-ups, we feel you. Here’s how you can make the most of your week.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many hours of sleep you’ve skipped, or how many bullet journals you’ve bought this year – , unless you’ve managed to get your hands on a flux capacitor, time runs away with your to-do list.

If there’s one group of people who know the time-pressures of running a business, it’s the start-up community. With a reported 50% of businesses closing down within the first five years (yikes) those initial stages rely heavily on the people within the business ticking off their full to-do list every day (no pressure).

If we look at famous start-ups, like Away, AirBnB and Hims, let’s say that the average startup team is around 2-3 people. That’s 2-3 people who need to take care of everything from finance, to marketing and everything in between, all whilst trying to make a living and perhaps have a chance to go and pee every now and then.

The thing is, a lot of this precious time is sucked up by time-wasting tasks that could be outsourced to a Virtual PA . And to save any time you’d spend thinking about what these tasks could potentially be, we’ve listed some of these swirling time-vortexes below…

Client & Consumer Research

If we break it down, it’s really just looking for stuff, isn’t it? And thanks to the internet, it can be done pretty easily. The time consuming bit is actually reading the material, sifting through the bullsh*t and coming out the other end with valuable references.

With a Virtual PA, all you have to do is give them a quick brief and away they go.

Estimated time saved: 2 – 4 hours

Travel Planning

What if – instead of spending hours looking for affordable-but-not-covered-in-mould hotels, dealing with airlines and organising transfers – you could just be at a certain place, at a certain time and have your whole business trip organised for you?

Guess what, you can. By the way, you’ve got a window seat too.

Estimated time saved: 1 – 2 days per trip

Event Organisation

Whether you’re hosting a networking event, a talk or the annual Christmas party, there are loads of things to consider when organising an event; and if you speak to anyone who’s ever had to hire chairs before, they’ll likely nod and sigh in response.

When you outsource planning, all you have to worry about is how many canapés you can secretly scoff in the bathroom. For the record, our average is 7.

Estimated time saved: 2 – 3 days per event

Building a Database

Ahhh excel sheets. For some, they’re a grid of absolute hell, but for PAs, they’re the source of all happiness. No, seriously.

Pulling together a database is one of those ‘needs-to-be-done-but-takes-an-age’ tasks, which luckily, can be outsourced to a Virtual PA with open arms and the best damn colour-coding you’ve ever seen.

Estimated time saved: 78 years 1 – 2 days (depending on the database)

Editing & Proofreading

It’s hrad to beleive that peeple still make spelling mstakes in this day and age, but trust us, it hapens. And hey, that’s okay. Everyone has a limit and if you’ve been staring at the same document for the past 8 hours, you’re bound to miss something.

Enter – your second pair of eyes. A Virtual PA can scan those docs and emails like a hawk and save you from repeatedly hitting your head against your keyboard for sending a pitch with “our community has grown organically, and we now have over 6,000 fannies on Instagram”

Estimated time saved: 30 mins – 1.5 hours per doc

Data Entry

You’ve got the information, now it’s just a case of getting it plugged in to where it needs to be. Whether it’s your website, a form or even an award-entry, your Virtual PA will be more than happy to plug in their favourite data-entry playlist (it’s a thing) and get that data…well…entered.

Estimated time saved: 1- 4 hours


It’s no secret that recruitment process can be pretty time consuming. A Virtual PA can help with everything from drafting the job spec, to sifting through CVs and even organising interview slots.

In fact, they’re pretty damn good at it too.

Estimated time saved: 5 – 10 days per hire

If our estimations are correct – you could save up to just over 3 working weeks of time by outsourcing these tasks alone to a Virtual PA. Yep, that’s 3 working weeks.

For start-ups with little budget, it’s worth thinking about how much these 3 weeks cost the business with your salary in mind, and then how much better that cost would be invested in tasks that a) only you can do and b) actually drive the business forward to the next level. On top of that, all of our virtual PAs work for themselves – which means you don’t have the cost of a permanent member of staff and can call on their help, whenever you need it most.

Ready to get your time back? Register now.