Getting a startup up and running is no easy feat. The first few years are all about the hustle and achieving as much business growth as possible, while keeping all the foundations in check. As your business progresses, you will soon see areas of improvement and the need for more staff. With small budgets and the added pressure to make the right business decision every time, it can be tricky to know when to bring on new staff. Here are five signs to watch for when growing a startup.
1 You can’t keep up
There’s no doubt about it, the life of an entrepreneur is busy. And launching a startup means you’re doing everything all at once. Getting a brand off the ground, growing a customer base, seeking investors, developing a product, designing a website – your to-do list is never ending. While working hard is a guarantee, you need to be careful not to overextend yourself. You can’t do everything and when it gets to the point where you just can’t keep up with the demand, it may be time to bring on new staff.
2 You need expertise
If you need expertise in order to make smart business decisions, you may need to look for your first hire. It could be an advisor to come onboard to help you with your financials, a website designer or digital marketer to help you generate your online presence or a business development manager to do networking and relationship building. However you want to grow your business, you will eventually need to bring in people with the expertise and knowledge that you need.
3 You’re turning work down
If you’ve experienced a particular season of growth, you may find that you have to turn work down or send away new clients because you’re understaffed and overworked. This is a huge warning sign. You need to bring new people onboard who can help you grow your business. Instead of turning work away, find the right staff who can help you through the growing pains. If you are unsure if you can afford permanent staff, consider engaging with contractors or freelancers.
4 You’re losing clients
Perhaps you aren’t turning work away but you’re losing clients because of your lack of time, attention or expertise. This is a sure warning sign that you need to get help – stat. Finding customers and growing your business is important, but you need to be able to service your clients. Live up to your promises and give your clients a good experience of your brand. If you start losing clients now, you could do long term damage to your reputation.
5 You can’t fulfil your promises
No matter the industry or service you provide, you have to be able to deliver on your brand promises. The starting years are some of the most important. You are introducing your brand to the world and this could be the first impression your clients and customers have of your business. If you can’t deliver your product or service on time and to a high standard, you need to rethink your business model. New staff could be the best investment you’ve ever made.