At some point, every entrepreneur must face a challenging decision: Is now the time for me to hire my first employee?
We know you. We been you before. For so long it was you…. just you. You came up with the ideas, you moved toward that idea by using your own money or borrowed money, you made all of the adjustments, you dealt with the heartache, depression & agony of that first sale and now, you turned a profit. Not only have you turned a profit, your projected margins for the end of the year have you moving up 40%. The success that you asked for is now happening and it is happening FAST!
So what now? The job that you created can no longer be done by just you. It’s exciting, all right. But at the same time, it’s unnerving. You’ve only done it by yourself with a little help (maybe), and now you must bring someone else in to not only help you, but also do it the way you want it done? Yeah…. Ok.
Finding the right moment to hire can make the difference between a failed enterprise and a successful business. On one hand, if you hire the wrong person, you’ll likely bring yourself cash-flow problems definitely if they have the right resume, but aren’t able to execute. Or, the new hire can execute just fine but suddenly, there is no work for them to do. You could hire a friend, but what if they get too comfortable & don’t take your business seriously. What if the get jealous and simply try to demolish all that you created?
This is the unfortunate process of almost any business that has finally shown its potential. The “What if’s”. You have to understand right now at this time, everything will not always be profit. Things, situations, weather, people, changes…etc will COST YOU MONEY. The more you grow, the more you lose the potential to be in complete control. With that in mind, its time to determine what changes you can make to keep steady growth, and get the help that you need.
First things first, you have to be able to identify the point, in which, you should hire someone. Don’t lose too much sleep on the “What if’s”. Why not? Well think about it. How excited were you when you got what you thought was a good job? Fast forward 2 years in time. How much time did or does the company pay you to work in comparison to how much time you spend “at work”, actually on Social Media? Didn’t mean that you weren’t effective. Just means that there are gaps that can never be filled. You can make adjustments but you wont know what they are, until a problem arises.
Understanding when NOT to hire.
- You’re desperate. Often, a hiring decision is made in the heat of a very stressful moment. You suddenly have more work than you can humanly handle, and you just need to get someone else to ease the load. A decision made too quickly out of desperation is rarely a good one.
- You have not identifies what a new hire would actually do. Another mistake involves realizing you need help, but not knowing exactly what kind of help you need. You been doing this yourself for quite some time. You enjoy that it is done right. What parts are you really willing to give up without having to micromanage? Unless you have a defined set of responsibilities and expectations for your new hire, do him or her a favor and don’t hire anyone yet. A new hire at this stage will rightfully be confused and ineffective. So, instead, hire a coach, not an employee.
- You’re willing to take the first person who comes along. If you’re lucky, the first applicant will be EXACTLY who you are looking for. They can help you take your business to the next level….. HOORAY!! Yeah, no. That simply doesn’t happen. Unless you are able to clone yourself successfully and do all of the work all of the time, a new hire will have to learn what you want them to do & how you want it done. No matter how much experience they have, you still have to teach them.
What are some options I should look into?
If you’re currently a solopreneur looking to make that next step, hiring will certainly be challenging. You’ve had this business for a long time, and bringing on an employee doesn’t always look so good. Instead, you can look into hiring a co-founder or business partner. A business partner is a great idea to begin with if you know someone that you can trust and are willing to put the effort in. If not, consider at least looking into a new hire that has the potential to be a business partner.
A business partner or co-founder could easily become the nervous system of your business. They usually can begin to anticipate the needs of the business and your needs as well. They bring great ideas to the table and have the ability to train new people effeciently. You’ll be able to depend upon him or her when you eventually appoint managers or successors.
Hire when the things you can’t do alone still generate revenue.
It’s been said that the only two purposes of an employee are to: 1) make money for the business, or 2) save money for the business. If you have a reasonable degree of confidence that your new hire will do at least one of those two things, then you just had another great idea.
In the early stage of a company, making money is more important than saving it. Like most startups, there’s not much money to save anyway. What you need to do is market the product first.
Hire someone with particular skills that you need.
Before you look for an employee, know what kind of employee you’re looking for. There are a million different skill sets that you could identify. It’s not enough to simply know that you “need some help.” What is it that you need done? What will free up your time? How could this employee help you be more effective? Bringing on someone that has the experience in everything is great, but this is very rare.
If all else fails – Hire the person for “The Job”.
You may still be undecided over whether or not it’s time to hire. Don’t sweat it. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, hire a contractor. You may have particular things that you just need to be handled on a temporary basis and this may be your answer. This could also be a test to subside the learning curve of hiring a person.
Hire a contractor with the same set of parameters you’re looking for in an employee. You can create a contract for one month, six months or a year. You have control.
If the contractor route works out well, you can ask them to transition into a full-time employee giving you more options.
You cant be Afraid of your Success
Don’t be afraid to hire help. Even a terrible hire is better than no hire. Mistakes are an essential part of growing, improving and expanding. Your obstacles are what will determine what kind of business owner you are. How you handle those obstacles will determine what kind of business owner you will become.