Are you Ready to Hire Your Next Employee?
For the small business owner perhaps the biggest decision after making the choice to actually go for it, is whether or not you’re ready to hire. Your business is your baby. You’ve built it up with your blood, sweat, and tears. Someone else may come in and mess everything up. And let’s be real for a moment.
As small business owners, we’re kind of control freaks. Otherwise, we’d work for someone else.
The single most important part of trying to answer the question of whether or not you are ready to hire is to map out your business plan and project your growth. If you’re already scrambling to hire because you’re so far in the weeds, it’s already too late.
The hiring process itself can be lengthy and then you still have to train your new employee and get them fully integrated into your business. If you’re hiring from a reactive place instead of a proactive place, you’re more likely to cut corners when it comes to training. How many times have you said, “It’ll just be faster if I do it myself!” instead of taking the time to train someone else how to do it?
Then you find yourself back in the same place. Overworked, exhausted, and questioning your life choices.
Another reason to plan your hiring ahead of a need is that a negative onboarding experience can lead to unhappy employees which then leads to higher turnover. No one wants that. If you hire before the need is critical, you can avoid this. In a recent interview with Jodie Shaw, chief marketing officer for The Alternative Board, she recommends you start your hiring process eight months before you anticipate an actual need.
The business plan/growth strategy you map out doesn’t necessarily need to be complicated but you should have one. For tips on how a business plan can help your business, go read our previous blog “Is a Business Plan Right for Me?”
Factors to consider before you are ready to hire your next employee
Now that you understand WHY it’s important to be ahead of your hiring needs, let’s talk about a few ways to know WHEN to hire. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to help you decide if the time is right for you to hire your next employee.
1. You have to turn down work
As small business owners, we tend to have a hard time saying no to a new client. However, if your workload is maxed out and you consistently find yourself with more work left than you are physically and mentally capable of managing, it’s probably time to start thinking of expanding your team.
When trying to decide if you should hire a new employee, cost is often a major factor. While cost will always be an important factor, don’t forget to think about future revenue. Online bookkeeping and accounting firm Bench.co recommends that you project how hiring a new employee will increase your revenue. Without being able to scale your business, your growth will remain stagnant and you will more than likely remain exhausted.
2. You are lacking a skill
Many small business owners like to try to DIY everything. Fueled by that entrepreneurial spirit and YouTube, we tend to think we can figure out how to do just about anything. That doesn’t mean we can necessarily do it well. Besides, isn’t there something else you could be doing that would better serve your business than trying to teach yourself about creating a balance sheet or writing code? Hire someone that already knows how.
The other way you may identify a skill you are lacking is if you discover a new potential source of income or a way of diversifying your business but just lack the knowledge in that area. Regarding this, serial entrepreneur Kurt Johnson says, “Sometimes you will come up with great business ideas that you are just not personally equipped to execute on. This is a great problem to have and the right employee can truly make the difference in taking your business to the next level.”
3. You have a clear vision of the role
When talking with other small business owners, we often hear, “I don’t know where to start! I just need help!” While the first step IS admitting you have a problem, without having a clear vision of your expected outcome, it’s difficult to formulate a solution. On more than one occasion, we’ve had a client come to us certain they needed to hire for a specific role, but after talking it out they have an “AHA!” moment and realize that what their business really needs is someone else entirely different.
Before hiring your next employee, you need to have a clear vision of what tasks you’d like this new employee to handle and how much time it will take to accomplish them. Is this a full or part-time need? Maybe it’s a contract or seasonal position?
Not only should you have a clear vision of the tasks you’d like your new employee to take over but you should also have a clear understanding of the results you will expect from them. How will you measure their success? What would you need for them to accomplish in order to receive a glowing employee review?
If you can confidently, answer all of these questions, congratulations! You are ready to hire your next employee.
When you are ready to find your next great employee, check out our Hiring Kit to save you the stress and frustration that often comes with the hiring process.