Taking on your first staff member as a solo business owner can be equal parts exciting and frightening. But if growth is a priority, then it’s going to happen sooner or later.
But how do you know when it’s time?
- You’re turning down work
It may seem like a first-world problem, but having to say no to new business because you’re too busy is a sure sign you need to draft in some help.
You’ll probably find yourself struggling with your current workload before you put your foot down and say no. Many entrepreneurs get stuck at this point and end up either burning themselves out or getting the work done, but at a quality that isn’t the best. Bringing in your first hire can ensure you’re maintaining a strong reputation, as well as increasing those all-important word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat customers.
- You’ve got no time for anything
Even business leaders with a team of hundreds will say that they have no time to spare – but they do have the luxury of delegating tasks to others! If you constantly find yourself with no time – for that new project, to make some tweaks in your business model, to take a day off – it’s definitely time to start looking for a new hire. Without one you’ll simply stagnate.
- You are short in a particular skill set
Although we all like to think we’re skilled across the board, sometimes it’s best to defer to the experts. If you’re finding yourself tackling regular tasks that aren’t to your strengths, consider bringing in a specialist – hiring an employee doesn’t always have to mean trying to find a clone of yourself!
Perhaps you’ve ramped up your marketing efforts or you’re finding yourself swimming underneath a mountain of admin (or your accounts). While in today’s gig economy it’s easier than ever to hire freelancers in almost any area for small amounts of work, it gets very expensive for on-going projects that cover the work week. A new hire could work out cheaper!
- You have the cash to pay them reliably
The first few years of your business can be rocky to say the least. Cash flow can stop flowing at a moments notice and even though an employee may be useful at that stage, you just couldn’t be sure you could pay them their wages reliably. The time to get writing that job description should only come when you’re 100% sure that you could pay them on time each month.
- You’re ready for the role of manager
Managing a business is a world apart from managing people. Your new hire doesn’t just want to feel like a cog in your business machine. They will look to you for guidance and inspiration and a great mentor makes for a great boss. If you’re ready to hand off some responsibility with total trust (no micromanaging, please!) then you know you’re ready to find a new employee.