When to Start Hiring Employees for Your Small Business

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

As an entrepreneur at the helm of a new business, the move to hire your first employee is a big step forward, and knowing when it’s the right time to make this move is imperative. While hiring your first employee is a good signal that your company is moving forward, it tasks you with the responsibility of managing and depending upon another person’s actions. These three key conditions signal that it’s time to hire your first employee.

A Consistent Work Overload

Consider hiring an employee when you realize that you consistently have more work than you can effectively manage. However, hiring an employee brings financial burdens that include the costs of salary or wages and all of the incidentals that come along with having another person on your work team. Regardless of how badly you need another person to help pick up the work slack, make sure that you can afford to pay your employee. Budgeting may be tight in the beginning, but a good employee who brings added skills to your business generally more than replaces initial hiring costs within a short time frame. Ideally, a new set of hands and pair of eyes – and whatever talents and experience your new employee brings – will ultimately allow you to accomplish more at a quicker pace and kick-start the growth of your business.

Having More Than One Reason

Aim to hire your first employee when your need for their assistance isn’t the sole motivating factor. An overburdening workload is a strong motivating factor, but waiting to hire someone until you reach a point of desperation often leaves you willing to hire the first person – not necessarily the best person – that applies for the position. In most cases, desperation leaves you feeling forced to hire quickly without completing due diligence and without vetting the appropriateness of the individual for a spot in your company.

You’ll do better to make the decision to expand your workforce before the need for an employee becomes critical. A good scenario for your first hire is one where you have a clear plan expanding your business by adding an employee. For example, if you’re confident that the addition of a salesperson could immediately expand your customer base and revenues, that hiring decision is better than just taking someone on to generally relieve your workload.

You Find the Right Person

Most small businesses start from the concepts and ideas of one person. As an entrepreneur, you’ve been working on and nurturing your small business on your own. How your business runs, its values and who it serves are rooted in who you are and how you think. When you’re ready to share your business building journey with someone, and when you can find a like-minded person with the knowledge and skills to qualify as co-founder material, that’s one of the best indications that you’re ready to hire your first employee.

References & Resources

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