Peer out of your office door, what?s your secretary doing right now? If you answered surfing the internet, taking a nap, or reading a magazine, it?s time to rethink where your money is going. In an ideal situation, a secretary would be paid for the work they accomplish and not for watching the clock. If is my theory that small businesses can save money by hiring a secretary part time to manage office business and utilizing an answering service to manage the phones.

Let?s analyze this theory from purely a mathematical point of view using 6 variables A, B, C, D, E, & F.

1. Variable A: Secretary gets paid \$12.00 per hour.
2. Variable B: Secretary works 8 hours per day.
3. Variable C: Secretary spends 40% of work day managing office work.
4. Variable D: Secretary spends 30% of work day managing inbound phone calls
5. Variable E: Secretary spends 12% of work day on lunch
6. Variable F: Secretary spends 18% of work day remaining unproductive

Based on these variables, your secretary gets paid \$96.00 a day. With this figure broken down, they get paid \$38.40 per day managing office work, \$28.80 per day managing inbound phone calls, \$12.00 for eating lunch (provided lunch is paid), and \$17.28 per day for doing nothing. For the purposes of proving this theory, lets analyze the variables based on a 1 month block (22 business days), secretaries will earn \$844.80 for managing office work, \$633.60 for managing inbound phone calls, \$264 for lunch, and \$380.16 for remaining unproductive.

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. Accounting for ?free time? (i.e. coffee breaks, cigarette breaks, bathroom time, etc.) lets round up the 3.2 hour figure to 4 hours (\$48.00 per day - \$1056 per month). Also, lets take \$250.00 as an average market price for utilizing an answering service for a one month period. Also, take into account that with a part time employee (i.e. less than 4 hours per day), a lunch break is not required.

It?s time for the grand totals you have been waiting for.

- Case A: Using a secretary for every office duty costs a business owner \$2112 per month.
- Case B: Utilizing a secretary part time while outsourcing phone management duties to an answering service costs a business owner \$1306.00 per month.

Based on these figures, utilizing an answering service can save a business owner \$816.00 per month (\$9792.00 per year). Keep in mind that this figure does not include the increase in business by having an after hours, 24/7 live operator presence managing your calls. A live operator will strengthen customer relationships and project the image of a larger, more secure & dependable business to your customers (& potential customers). I suppose the title of this article should have been ?Don?t Fire Your Secretary, Just Cut Their Hours?.