How to Know When to Hire Someone
Someone tweeted me a few weeks ago, asking how to know when it's time to hire an employee. This is something that varies by business and industry, and it's a huge step to take as a business owner, but as always, I will try to advise you based on my personal experience.
Up until the fall of last year, I did every single thing for my business: customer service, accounting, order fulfillment, product design, marketing, and social media, as well as keeping up with networking, blogging, and my Youtube channel. 2014 was a big year for my business, and I soon found that the "order fulfillment" and "customer service" parts were taking over my entire schedule. I no longer had time for anything else. This was a big problem because the "anything else" tasks were the ones that would actually grow the business.
In general, that would be my rule of thumb for other business owners:
if you're just keeping your head above water, therefore stalling your growth, that's when it's time to hire someone.
This, of course, is dependent on your specific situation. There are so many risks that come with hiring an employee, not to mention the cost of paying that person. But chances are, if you are swamped with work and barely staying afloat, you are making plenty of money to hire someone to help you.
It's important to remember that, as a creative entrepreneur, the best use of your time is brainstorming, creating, and coming up with big ideas, not draining your energy levels by spending hours doing simple tasks that could easily be handed off to someone else. In this way, you have to think of the cost of not hiring someone - the money that you're not making because you don't have the time to seek it out, grow, and create new products or services.
Another option, the one that I went with, is outsourcing the extra work. This option is great because you don't have to go through the hassle of training someone, filling out additional tax forms, risking the fact that they may quit at any time, etc. You can easily find freelancers and outsource companies that do everything from managing your customer service to order fulfillment. Of course, it is a bit scary to hand off sections of your business to, essentially, strangers who you only know through the Internet. Many people will feel more comfortable meeting someone in person and overseeing their work, but it's up to you and your specific situation. Outsourcing is quite a large topic so I will probably cover all of those details in a separate post in the future.
I can't even tell you how much my life has changed since I started outsourcing my more basic, maintenance type tasks, and freeing up my time for creating. So, I highly recommend it if you are at a place in your business where you can do this.
Do you have experience with hiring your first employee? Maybe you were wondering about this very topic? I hope it was helpful for you if so. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me if you have any other specific questions!