Every successful business experiences growth and at some point, you’ll have to make the decision as to whether or not you need employees. Hiring extra help allows you to expand your business and get more done, but the timing needs to be right for everything to work well.
A successful business is almost always defined as one that is growing and that usually means that you will reach a point where it is necessary to stop growth or to get some help. Unfortunately, recognizing this point isn’t as easy as many think and some businesses end up hiring too early, while others hire too late.
When you take on employees before the business is ready to handle it, the consequences can be disastrous. There must be enough profit to support the company and all expenses, including wages and benefits, if necessary. If you get help too early, you could end up having more expenses than income, which means failure for the business.
On the other hand, waiting too long can also be a bad thing, resulting in rushed training and desperation hiring where you simply hire the first person you see for the job because things are getting out of hand. A rapidly growing business can be difficult to handle and adding new employees who don’t know what they’re doing can cause even more problems if they aren’t properly trained.
Signs You Need an Employee
Fortunately, there are plenty of signs that will alert you to the fact that it is time to bring on some help for your business, you just need to be aware of them. Every business grows at a different rate, so there is no way to say exactly when you will need to start hiring. Of course, you also have the option of slowing growth and keeping your business smaller in order to avoid hiring anyone. Some businesses, particularly home based ones, will find this to be a valid option.
1. Long Hours
Every business owner works long hours; it comes with the territory, but if you find that you are putting in 18 hours days, six or seven days a week, it might be time to think about adding a little help. When you find yourself so focused on work that you can’t think about going on vacation or even taking a couple of days off, you probably have enough work to consider letting someone else take over part of it.
2. Lack of Organization
When you get too busy, it’s easy to miss deadlines because you just have too much going on. Emails and paperwork get misplaced because you simply don’t have time to organize anything. This is a common issue when a company is really starting to pick up speed and is usually a sign that business owners miss because they are too stressed out to realize that this means they need help. Instead, they work a little harder, but this rarely fixes the issue because there is more work coming in constantly, leaving little or no time to work on anything else. When important things start getting missed, it’s time for some help.
3. Out of Control Email
When your inbox starts to overflow with client emails, you know that your business is doing well. However, when it takes you all morning to go through every email, that’s a good hint that it might be time to let someone else handle the correspondence side of things. Hiring a secretary to handle phone calls and emails can be a very good way to free up some time for other areas of your business. Remember, if you are answering emails all day, you aren’t getting anything else done.
Burnout is very common among start up business owners. It’s stressful to start a business and it can take a lot out of you to continue burning the candle at both ends, which results in burn out. To avoid this, hire someone to help you out and take a break.
Symptoms of burnout include:
- Feeling ill for no reason
- Loss of motivation
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Headaches and stomach pains
- Withdrawal from friends and family
5. Other Employees Leave
While it’s fairly obvious that you’ll need to replace an employee who quits, you may also need to examine why they’re leaving, especially if several quit at once. It may be that the workload is just too much for the number of people you have working for you. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider not only replacing those who are leaving, but augmenting the number of staff you maintain.
As a business owner, it’s easy to ignore the signs and feel that you should be able to do everything yourself. In order to continue growing, however, it will be necessary to add some employees to your business. If you aren’t sure whether you can handle a full time employee, consider hiring a temporary worker, a freelancer or a part time employee to start off with. You’ll find that you can do a lot more when you can delegate certain tasks.