5 Signs That It’s Time to Hire Your First Employee

Author: Alyssa Gregory | January 27, 2016

Many small business owners start their businesses with the assumption that they will be solopreneurs indefinitely. If you don’t have a business that depends on staff to operate, most of the time it makes the most sense to start small. This keeps your business easier to manage and nimble enough to adjust to changes in the marketplace.

But when is it time to expand your team and begin to hire employees? Here are five signs that you may be ready to add a staff member.

1. You’re Turning Work Away
Having more work than you alone can handle is a solid sign that your business may benefit from an additional employee. Give it time so you can be sure that it’s not just a busy time of year or that the workload increase isn’t only due to one project that will eventually wind down.

2. You Need Access to Specific Skills
While you may be a jack or jill of all trades as a small business owner, there is often a point where it simply makes sense to bring on someone who knows more than you in a specific area. Your new employee may be a specialist in marketing, a bookkeeper or an accountant, or even an IT specialist that you need to alleviate your workload. Especially when the work you’re struggling with involves tasks you don’t naturally do well.

3. You Can Afford It…and It Will Increase Revenue
If your business is bringing in enough revenue to justify adding to your team, and the addition of an employee can be directly linked to increasing your revenue even further, then it makes sense to expand your team. Make sure you do a thorough analysis of your financials for a 12-month period before you decide if it makes financial sense.

4. Your Customer Service Process is Lagging
Have you received complaints from customers lately about your turnaround time or responsiveness? If so, you may have more customers than you can handle, and that usually translates into poor customer service experiences. Since your customers are the key to growing your business, customer service must be a priority. If you don’t have time to provide exceptional customer service to each and every customer on your own, it may be time to hire an employee.

5. You’ve Been Working In Your Business Instead of On Your Business
If the day-to-day operations of your business eats up all of your time and you, consistently run out of hours before you have a chance to work on growing and improving your business. It may make sense to hire an employee who you can delegate work to, free up your schedule a bit and dedicate time to working on your business.

Before you dive into bringing on a new employee, consider testing it out by hiring a contractor or freelancer. This will give you insight into the logistics of having a new team member without the immediate commitment. Once you’re ready to make the move to hiring employees, review these hiring guides from the Small Business Administration and QuickBooks to make sure you conduct the necessary research and are prepared for the process.

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