There’s nothing wrong with running a one-person business. In fact, lots of sole-traders build successful companies with nothing more than their own skills, a couple of trusted advisers and perhaps a dependable freelancer or two to outsource work to.
But you might fast reach a point where they need to hire staff. Maybe you can’t meet the demand for your products or services. Perhaps you’ve hit a profit ceiling and the only way to keep growing is to bring in extra people.
Or maybe you’re not sure if you should be hiring your first employee. If so, here are six signs that it’s time to hire staff:
- You’re always struggling to find time to send estimates, bills or invoices. Many business owners don’t have time to get through their invoicing – even if they use invoicing software – so invoices pile up and as a result they don’t get paid on time. Find out more about getting paid quicker.
- You’re drowning in paperwork. It’s all too easy to let admin get on top of you – and that stops you doing the things you’re really good at. In the longer-term, that’ll harm your business, so think about hiring now.
- You don’t feel able to develop new ideas or take on new work. Saying ‘I don’t have time for new clients’ really means that you have all the work you can handle by yourself. If you’re turning down opportunities, hiring an employee can help you build a valuable company.
- You need to hire staff from day one. Some businesses can’t operate without staff. If you’re running a restaurant, operating a warehouse, managing a hotel or building houses, you already know you need to hire your first employee.
- You want to create a company you can sell eventually. Does the exit plan for your business involve selling it? If so, potential buyers will look for staff – because they will want to purchase something that’s more than just you.
- Your business needs specialist skills that you don’t have. You can’t be good at everything. The best, most successful companies recognise that they need to bring in expertise – and that’s where hiring the right employee can set you up for bigger and better things.
Of course, hiring a permanent member of staff isn’t the only way to solve some of these problems. You can also consider outsourcing work to other companies or individuals, bringing in a consultant or finding tools to help you work smarter.
However, plenty of companies have found that taking the big decision to hire staff has led to new opportunities and exciting growth.