Of all the problems you’ll face as a business owner, there’s one you’ll be happy to face – the need for new people. It makes sense; after all, the only reason you’d ever need to hire someone is because your business is growing too big to manage all by yourself.
The first step to hiring someone is admitting you’re understaffed. Whether you’re considering adding a second employee or a hundredth, you’ll know you’re ready to add to your payroll if the answer to any or all of the following questions is “yes.”
"Am I too busy to do it all?"
Sometimes a busy month is just that. You go without sleep for a few weeks, but then you’re back to waiting for the phone to ring. At a certain point, however, that busy period goes on for months and months with no end in sight. That’s the time to post a wanted ad.
Many businesses have a feast-or-famine phase; bone-dry one month, jam-packed the next. But when your business is at full capacity month after month, you need someone to take on non-core tasks so you can focus on the big picture. For instance, hire an assistant to keep the books and answer the phones while you go out and network with other business people.
"Is there something I can’t/hate to do?"
Every entrepreneur builds a business around their strengths, but their weaknesses make certain tasks unbearable or impossible to complete. Whether you can’t do something or you hate doing it, an extra person can take it off your hands.
Many business owners know how to make products or provide services, but they don’t know how to market them. These owners may hire a marketing specialist to promote their business. Others may hate keeping house and hire someone to keep their office organized. Running a business is hard, but hiring someone to do the hard stuff makes it easier.
"Can I afford it?"
This is perhaps the biggest obstacle business owners face. The last few years have seen even the world's most successful employers complain that it's too expensive to hire new people. You, on the other hand, can reasonably ask whether you have room in your budget.
First, find out how much how much money you have and how much of it you can spend on a new employee or contractor. The more you have, the more comfortable you’ll be. Second, calculate how much more revenue you’ll earn with this new employee. For instance, if hiring an assistant for $15 an hour can bring in an extra $60 an hour, the answer should be pretty clear.
The right time to hire new staff varies from one business to another. The real right time, though, is when doing it all on your own just isn’t working anymore.