As a small business owner, hiring your first employee is a major step and a big financial commitment. It can also be an intimidating moment in the growth of your company. How do you know you’re ready to take this leap? Walk through these steps to determine if you’re ready to hire your first employee.
- Look at your work load. If you’re turning down work because you don’t have the capacity to handle it on your own, it may be time to bring on extra hands. Are you spending your time on tasks that someone else could do, while making excuses to clients for not meeting deadlines that involve the things only you can do? If so, this may mean it’s time for some permanent help.
- Run the numbers. Salary isn’t the only commitment you’re taking on when you hire an employee. You also need to pay taxes on the new employee’s wages plus benefits such as vacation time. You may also need to purchase new equipment such as computers or office furniture for the new hire. Calculate the costs for hiring a new employee before you place that job ad. If the numbers don’t support a full-time employee but you still need help, consider hiring a part-time employee or working with independent contractors to meet your job deadlines.
- Listen to your customers. Are you hearing complaints from your customers about your failure to meet deadlines or about your unavailability? Even if these are kindly phrased, they’re a warning sign that you’re spread too thin. Watch for negative word-of-mouth on social media as well to see if it’s time to lighten your own work load and focus on what matters.
A commitment to entrepreneurship means making tough decisions, and the moment you hire your first employee can be one of the most nerve-wracking. Whether you hire someone to answer phones or work at your front counter, hiring an employee can be the first step toward business growth.