Are you sweating the small stuff when you should be focusing on the big picture on how to grow your small business? If you are like many small business owners in Canada, the answer is yes.

According to the quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor, entrepreneurs recognize planning, hiring, and marketing as key business functions but admit to spending a big part of their day on tasks such as office administration, cleaning and repairs. The thing is, 59 percent of these small businesses admit their company would be in a much better position if they could spend more time doing what they're good at.

"We know small business owners put their heart and soul into everything they do, so a reluctance to rely on others is only natural," says Eric Nielsen, vice president and general manager for Small Business Services Canada division of American Express Canada. "But looking for outside help for even a few tasks can allow owners to focus on the work they love and the reason for starting their own business in the first place."

So, what non-core tasks are small business owners taking on themselves?

  • 49% are doing secretarial work

  • 48% are tackling technical support

  • 40% are doing office/property repairs and cleaning

  • 30% are doing their own construction

  • 56% are doing it because they don’t want to give up control

  • 38% admit they waste time doing things other people are more qualified to do

  • 24% do it themselves anyway to maintain quality

  • 24% don’t want to spend the time it takes to hire/manage outsourced contractors

  • 52% see outsourcing as too expensive

"We may see owners become more willing to outsource some tasks as they move towards a goal of business expansion rather than maintaining the status quo," Nielsen says. "Hiring a third-party is not only low risk but can fill a temporary need for business-critical skills."

Need some tips for delegating? Check out this YouTube video: