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6 Signs You’re Ready to Hire Your First Employees

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Starting a business is an exciting time. And it’s even more exciting to see that business grow and flourish. As work piles up, there comes a point when you need a little extra help. However, timing the hiring of your first employees is a tricky business. You don’t want to hire too early and not have enough work to go around. Equally, you don’t want to hire too late and lose out on the chance to work with some great new clients. 

So, how do you find the right balance? In this article we will be sharing the 6 signs you’re ready to hire your first employees.

1. You require new skills 

The exciting thing about expanding your small business is the opportunity to learn new skills. However, when you’re in the midst of running your own company, finding the time to learn something new can be difficult. As a result, you might find yourself lacking skills in some areas that are essential to the growth of your business. 

Firstly, let us encourage you that this is a good thing. Even as an entrepreneur, you can’t do it all. Despite the fact you had to wear a lot of hats in the beginning, it will soon become impossible for you to manage every part of your business on a daily basis. Secondly, lacking skills gives you the opportunity to meet and connect with talented individuals who can help your business grow, flourish, and succeed. 

Whether you need to hire an individual who is experienced in administrative duties, sales tactics, client communication, logistics, or something else entirely, finding someone who can meet the skills you lack is an important first step in growing your business.

2. You are spread too thin 

As your business grows, you will find it becomes increasingly difficult to manage everything you once were. You might find yourself working longer hours, opening your laptop on the weekends, and falling behind on project deadlines. Working in this way is not sustainable and can lead to feelings of burnout, anxiety, and depression. 

According to David Nesenoff of Tikvah Lake Recovery, “When you’re burned out, you’ll likely feel exhausted mentally and physically. You might struggle to stay awake or alert during the day, or you may find that it takes you longer to solve problems or take care of tasks that were once easy for you […] If you don’t address signs of burnout or take steps to prevent it from happening, you could be setting yourself up for some more serious health issues.” 

When you are spread too thin in your business, you aren’t just putting yourself and your health at risk, but you’re also risking the reputation of your business. Your customers and clients may start complaining about the quality of your services, your lack of communication, or your inability to meet deadlines. If you are neglecting essential areas of your business in this way, something needs to change. If you are finding yourself spread too thin, it’s time to start the hiring process.

3. You are saying “no” to new opportunities 

Another telling sign that you’re ready to hire your first employee is that you are saying “no” to new opportunities. There may be many reasons why you’re having to turn down new business opportunities. These could range from a lack of skills to limited time. However, according to CNBC, “the lack of workers is hurting small businesses’ ability to keep up with demand for their products and services.” 

If you are having to say “no” to exciting new opportunities because you can’t deliver what’s required on your own, it’s time to consider hiring employees. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a full-time staff member. You might want to start off by hiring a freelancer who can fulfill the job requirements, within a set timeframe. 

As your business grows, new opportunities will come and go. However, hiring your first employees ensures you don’t have to turn down new opportunities. This provides you with a chance to work with some great companies, deliver top-quality service, and increase your revenue.

4. You already have a role in mind 

If you find yourself regularly needing support within a particular area of your business, it’s likely you already have a role in mind. This is an important first step in the hiring process as it ensures you’re not going to jump into the decision without first considering what you need help with. 

According to The New York Times, “It’s always a tricky balance in hiring. You may feel some pressure to fill the role quickly – the work has to be done, or you’re worried the slot may be taken away from you. So, you may want to hire one of the first people you meet. On the other hand, you can’t wait forever, endlessly interviewing people to find that perfect candidate.” 

We recommend that you take the time to sit down and write a full job description. This will help you outline exactly what you are looking for, which roles the individual would fulfill, and will help you consider whether there is enough work for a full timer or a contractor. If you already have a role in mind and there is plenty of work available, this is a tell-tale sign that you’re ready to hire.

5. You are working “for” your business not “on” your business 

Wasn’t it exciting in the beginning when you had the time to work on your website, create engaging content for social media, and manage your accounts? In the early days of running a business, there is certainly plenty to keep you busy. However, most of the work is focused on improving your online presence, pitching to potential clients, and ensuring all your documentation is up-to-date. 

According to Business Insider, “During the early start-up phase, most of the momentum in a new company derives from the entrepreneur’s own commitment and self-sacrifice. You do almost everything by yourself, and your focus is on building enough cash flow so you can start bringing in people to help you. Watch yourself for wasted motion during this stage.” 

As the work starts trickling in, it doesn’t take long for things to get really busy. Soon enough, you find yourself with no time to work on your business at all. Instead, all your time is spent completing the work for your clients. If you are at this point in your business growth, it might be time to consider hiring an employee. As the business owner, you need to be working on your business, rather than in it. Hiring a new employee will allow you to take a step back and consider the bigger picture.

6. Your standard of work is slipping 

In the early days of running your business, you would do everything in your power to keep your clients happy. You would communicate with them often, deliver work as soon as possible, and make time for meetings to ensure they were happy. 

However, as your business grows, it can be difficult to give each of your clients the time and attention they need – let alone the work you’ve promised to deliver. As a result, it doesn’t take long for your standards to slip. Projects that were once delivered on time and above expectations are delivered late with numerous errors. Clients who never had complaints are now sending dissatisfied emails. Keeping in touch with clients is no longer an exciting prospect but one that you dread because you’re struggling to keep up. 

If you’ve noticed your standard of work has begun slipping, this can be a telling sign that you’re ready to hire your first employees.

Final words 

Starting a business is an exciting time. You are your own boss, you’re in control of your time, and you are pursuing your dreams. It is thrilling to see all your hard work pay off as your business begins to grow and flourish. However, there comes a time when you can no longer manage everything on your own. We hope this article has shed some light on when it’s time to hire your first employees so that you can boost your business growth in 2022. 

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