Small Business Advice: When Is It Time to Hire a Full-Time Employee?
By: Adam and Matthew Toren, authors of Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley, 2011)
The hiring process can be daunting as a small business owner. Before you embark on finding the perfect candidate, however, first consider some small business advice that will help you to assess when it’s time to add a full-time position to your business.
When first starting out, most startups lack the capital to hire full-time employees; in fact the picture of the entrepreneur “wearing many hats” is so often sited, it’s become almost cliché.
In many small businesses, the owner is the CEO, Accountant, Customer Service/Sales Rep, and Janitor -- and that’s just for starters. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be, right? Entrepreneurship is hard work, and that means doing anything to make your business successful, even if that means doing everything yourself.
And now for the aforementioned small business advice: there is a real danger to your business success within that mentality.
Doing It All Isn’t the Answer
There comes a time in business when all the tasks that “need to be done” grow into a significant time commitment and crowd out the activities that truly make a difference in your business.
For example, if you’re stuck making daily deliveries for your business, you’re sacrificing time when you could be networking, making sales calls, planning for growth, or any number of other activities that are vital to keeping your business healthy.
Not only that, but chances are if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re probably less motivated by tasks that aren’t creative or challenging. But it’s not as though the deliveries and other such work isn’t important. It needs to get done. So what’s the solution?
How Can Hiring Help Your Business?
In our new book, Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right, my brother and I talk about the power of time leverage, and how it can be used to increase your workplace and employee productivity, and ultimately your bottom line.
For instance, you might not think you can afford to hire a delivery driver, but it may very well be that you can’t afford not to. Bring on someone to take over a task that is necessary for maintaining your business but not vital to your business growth.
This will help free your time to focus on those areas that fuel business growth and improve the bottom line. It’s also very likely that those activities are the ones you enjoy most. So hiring the right people to leverage your time is not only constructive for your business, it can also have a positive effect on your mental state.
Watch for the Signs
So how do you know when it’s time to hire a full-time employee? While there isn’t a formula for answering that question, there are clear indications that can lead you in that direction.
Generally, when you wish you had more time to work on building your business, rather than simply maintaining it, you have a very good indication that it’s time to bring in help.
Clients who comment on not seeing you as often as they used to or want to can also indicate that you need to focus on the core needs of your business.
The bottom line? An entrepreneur’s job is to nurture his or her business into a successful company. It’s up to you to take the steps necessary to make sure you have time to do your job. Hiring your first full-time employee can be a little intimidating, but if the timing is right, the payoff can be huge!
Adam & Matthew Toren are brothers, serial entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, award-winning authors of Kidpreneurs and co-founders of YoungEntrepreneur.com. The Toren brothers are authors of Small Business BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley 2011.)