As you lay awake at night, unable to sleep, thinking about the never-ending to-do list you have become a slave to since starting up your own business, you may be tempted to indulge in the idea of recruitment. Establishing a new enterprise is often a one man (or woman) band type of situation but as the venture develops and brand grows, you’re going to need a few extra pairs of hands. This can be a time and cost-heavy process so it’s important to get your timing right.
Starting or expanding your workforce, whether it’s by multiple staff members or one additional employee, is a process that needs some careful consideration. It may certainly be the development you need to continue growing your business, sure, but it will also bring about a whole host of changes that you will need to adapt to. Your management, budget and engagement processes will likely undergo a serious overhaul so just make sure you’re fully prepared.
As well as implementing big changes, first-time or additional employment can be an extremely exciting process. Taking on new staff members means you gain a whole new body of skills, contacts and ideas for you to capitalise on and help you increase all-important output and productivity. Every business will reach the ‘right time’ of its own accord because growth is unique to every different company and only you know when this feels right but we’re here to help you recognise the sure signs.
When you can comfortably afford it
Okay so as we’ve already touched on, staff are for life (or at least for the terms of a fixed contract) and not just for Christmas and are going to be a substantial addition to your regular monthly expenditure. First and foremost, before you even entertain the idea of adding names to your payroll, it’s paramount that you consult your budget and have an honest conversation with your accountant to establish if this is something you can truly afford.
Regular wages and monthly salaries are a demanding financial commitment and you need to be 200% that you can cover the added costs. You need to make a substantial return on your investment or the whole operation will be fruitless.
When the workload demands more attention
As well as establishing if there is enough spare cash in the pot so splash out on new or additional staff members, you need to ascertain whether there is enough of a workload demand to justify the decision. Be honest with yourself and do not use personal stress levels as a yard stick to measure the need to expand your workforce. Yes, starting and running a business is more often than not an extremely stressful and time-consuming endeavour but recruiting employees on the grounds of a few sleepless nights will only lead you into bigger financial issues further down the line.
When vanity isn’t a major deciding factor
In the same way that we urge you not to you use your own blood pressure levels as a deciding factor when it comes to growing your workforce, we also implore any small business owner not to indulge in their own vanity. Establishing a start-up venture and getting it off the ground by yourself can be an incredibly daunting process and you’ll likely be looking for influence and inspiration from anywhere you can take it. However, concentrating too much on what other people are doing could potentially lead you to make poor decisions for your own business.
Just because your competitor has a ten person-strong workforce and are expanding every other month doesn’t mean you have to. Think about, analyse and know what is going to be best for you and your company rather than just trying to mould yourself into the cookie-cutter business model that you deem ‘normal’. Similarly, employing members of staff just so you can boast an expansive company at the next catch up dinner with your old high school friends is a risky move that will likely land you in monetary trouble later on. Reputation is built on sound business acumen, brilliant marketing, outstanding customer service and an impeccable knowledge of your industry – not the number of names on your payroll.
When you’ve done preliminary preparation
If you’re looking to add an additional member of staff to your workforce then you will have either done all the appropriate leg work beforehand to prepare for their arrival into the business or you will hopefully have learnt from the mistake of not doing so. If you’ve stumbled across this article through searching for advice on knowing when the time is right to start hiring staff then one of the most important pointers you should take from this article is to do your homework beforehand.
Not that we want to compare your members of staff to four-legged furry animals but think of a new employee as a new family pet, a puppy for example. You wouldn’t bring the pup home and then start researching the nature of the animal, the care and resources it is going to require and how you are going to fit it into your daily schedule would you? No, well it’s exactly the same when it comes to your business. You need to know that the role you’re aiming to fill is something that will benefit your business and you will also need to know how you are going to alter your management processes, deadlines and budgets to cater for their needs