Positioning Your Business For Growth: Understanding When to Hire Employees
When you’re running a business — especially a startup — it’s not unusual to eventually find yourself facing several hurdles. Perhaps your marketing plan isn’t panning out the way you expected. Maybe your website is broken, or you’ve realized your SEO campaign is ineffective. Or maybe you know you need some help but can’t decide when to hire employees.
Many entrepreneurs find it challenging to be clear-headed enough to identify when something isn’t working. That’s because entrepreneurs are skilled at wearing many hats and making their way in the world with clear vision and solid goals. But too much self-sufficiency can be detrimental and can actually end up hurting your business.
In these crucial, pivotal moments, you must be open to hiring an expert.
Making the Decision to Hire
One of the main things I hear from small business owners is that they need to control their costs — which I completely understand. You may be a one-person operation at this point, and if that’s the case, congratulations on making it this far!
The fact is, if you’re trending towards growth and want your business to be successful in the long-term, you have to be open to change.
Realizing that it’s time to make the leap from solopreneur to a business owner who gets more done through delegating tasks is a necessary step toward achieving your business goals.
Think of it as a moment of truth. Are you serious about being an entrepreneur for the long-term, or are you going to work 16 hours a day in the business leaving little to no time to have an actual life outside of work?
Sometimes. making the shift means hiring a contractor to deal with a special project that’s outside your normal repertoire, like logo updates or legal entity formation. Or maybe it’s hiring an assistant that can work a few hours a week and handle your administrative tasks for your business. In some cases, it means hiring permanent part-time or full-time employees.
Seek Smart Help
Deciding to hire can be scary for entrepreneurs. When you’ve been doing everything alone, the idea of spending the money and investing the time on bringing someone into the business can seem daunting.
The bottom line is sitting down and figuring out when to hire employees is necessary. Maybe it’s right now, a month from now, or six months from now, but growing your team should be part of your long-term expansion plans for your business.
Most importantly though, is that savvy business people know when to hire an expert.
When you don’t understand something or can’t determine a solution quickly, that’s a sure sign you need to reach out and be open to external input. An expert can help you see the bigger picture when you’re struggling to see the forest for the trees.
Be smart. Train yourself to recognize when something is not working. For Wrigley Gum giant founder William Wrigley Jr., it meant having the brains to discern when the gum he was giving away for free with purchases became more popular than the product itself.
The Real Cost of Not Hiring an Expert
When you’re up against the wall and need a solution fast, you have a choice:
- Hire an expert, or
- Learn the skill yourself, and do your own troubleshooting.
Learning a skill outside your scope can be costly. It can mean losing valuable time spinning your wheels. As a business owner, it’s crucial to start treating your time as the dollar value it truly is.
If you need some motivation, ask yourself how much farther you can get ahead by focusing your skillset on the big picture versus pulling several all-nighters learning this one new field.
Avoid the tendency to be closed off — even when it’s awkward to ask for help. A true marker that you’re on the road to success is when you can effectively recognize you need help, ask for help when needed, and embrace diverse opinions.
Seeking Help = Good Leadership
Teaching yourself to recognize opportunities where seeking an expert could prove beneficial to your business is the essence of good leadership. It’s part of being self-aware — an imperative to healthy operations.
With an expert, you’ll get an outside perspective, accountability, and one-on-one, personalized time. Handing off responsibility frees you up to pursue your vision and concentrate on the deep work you should be doing on your business to help it flourish.
One thing to consider is that it frequently costs less to hire an expert than to make costly, unrecoverable errors as you learn. And the cost of those errors comes in the form of dollars, time, and aggravation.
I had one client who actually lost $10K in two days due to mistakes, which was definitely more costly than what it would’ve cost to bring on an expert.
Deciding when to hire employees is always a decision that requires thought and planning, but by being objective about what is really happening in your business and understanding where your bottlenecks are slowing you down, you can better see where you truly need help. Adding to your team when needed will you put your business in the best position possible for future growth.
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