When you first started your business, you were likely a one-man (or one-woman) band. You probably did everything yourself from building your website to cleaning the office to meeting with clients and actually doing the work you’re fond of.
Moving forward, we hope you’ll arrive at a point where it’s all just too much to handle on your own and you start thinking about hiring someone to help you out! Hiring a few extra hands can be a daunting task. There are so many things to think about when you make that decision.
Today we’ll look at a few questions to ask yourself when considering expanding the business.
What elements do you need help with the most?
You’ve probably come to the decision to hire someone because you’re overwhelmed. But what specific tasks do you find overwhelming? Sit down and make a list of the most frustrating parts to the day. What don’t you have any time for and where do you need the most help?
What do you want to spend your time on?
Many business owners will rush to hire someone with similar skills to their own…only to find themselves handing off all the “fun” projects to the new hire, and being stuck with the day-to-day maintenance of the business such as the bookkeeping, etc.
So spend some time thinking about the tasks that could be handed off to someone who holds a different skill set. Ideally you get to spend the most amount of time with your clients. So a good first hire might be a part-time bookkeeper or accountant who can help with the budgeting and financial reporting. A personal assistant can be another great start: someone who has the ability to schedule your day, help you with client communications, and keep track of invoices, contracts, etc.
Do you need full-time or part-time help?
Really think about this. If you’re overwhelmed with running the business yourself it can seem like you need three extra sets of hands for 60 hours per week each! That’s likely not reality. And the last thing you want is to hire someone to sit on their hands.
Take some time to objectively look at the tasks you want this new person to complete, and how much time these should take. Average it out and include this in your “help wanted” ad. Being clear about the time commitment will help avoid applications from unqualified candidates.
How much time do you have for hiring & training?
When you hire someone, it will take a chunk of your time to peruse resumes and interview potential candidates. You’ll also want to set aside a fair chunk of time to train your new employee. No one will succeed if you stick them at a desk and expect them to read your mind. Training, mentoring, evaluating, and nurturing are all part of the deal when hiring someone new.
Do you have the capital to hire someone?
If you’re bringing on a new employee you need to consider the up-front costs, not just in your time, but in overhead costs as well. Can you supply them with the tools they need to do the job? Most employees will require a quiet workspace that contains a desk, phone, and computer. You should also consider added costs such as Internet usage, etc. that will increase once it’s more than just yourself using the office.
Are you willing to take on an Intern?
An internship or co-op can be a cost-effective way to get some temporary help. You can work with local schools to recruit someone who’s right for the job. The downside is they often require more of your time in terms of training. Still, it’s a viable option to consider and can lead to some of the best employees you’ve ever had.
What are your legal responsibilities when hiring someone?
This will vary based on your city, state or province, but you need to know all the requirements associated with becoming an employer. Everything from wages to employment insurance to employee benefits, you need to know what you’re required to offer employees, and what’s standard for employers in your area as well.
That’s a lot to consider!
Yes it is.
Hiring someone shouldn’t be done lightly, but doing so when well-informed and prepared for the task at hand can be the best business decision you ever make!
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