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How to Know When You’re Ready to Start Hiring

By January 30, 2024No Comments

Hiring staff is an essential part of business growth

When you first start running your business, you’ll probably find you’re doing absolutely everything in your business with practically no time to actually work on it! But as your business grows your team will also need to start growing. Hiring staff is an essential part of growing your business. If you don’t expand your team, you hold back the growth of your business massively because it doesn’t allow you to take time out to work on your business and focus on things such as strategy, goal setting and overall growth.

Your first employee is a big milestone

When you realise that you need to hire and make the necessary moves to hire your first team member, it’s a huge step and definitely something to be proud of. But the truth is, making that decision or even knowing when you’re ready to start hiring is difficult. 

It can actually have quite a negative impact on your business if you hire too early. It might cause issues with cashflow if you haven’t properly worked out your finances. You might even end up stretched too thinly if you haven’t really got the time to train your new employee. 

In fact, one of the things that’s important to consider when hiring is what type of employee you’re going to hire. Think about it like this; if you’re time rich and money poor, you could hire an apprentice. This way, you don’t have to pay out so much on wages but you can use your time to train up the apprentice who may not have the previous experience. On the flip side, if you are money rich and time poor, you could hire someone more experienced who already has the necessary experience, skills and knowledge to fulfil the job role you’re hiring them for.

What options do you have when hiring?

Like I mentioned earlier, there’s many different options and types of employees you can look into when you start hiring. Let’s take a look at a few:

  • Apprentices – apprentices are a great option if you’re lacking funds, but have time to train. You often also get a loyalty with apprentices that you may not get elsewhere, as they grow and develop their skills and experience within your business. Apprentices are often a strong long-term addition to your team.
  • Experts – experts might be the way to go if you lack time, but have enough funds to pay a higher salary. They already have the skills and experience you’re looking for, so they’ll expect a higher rate of pay, however they may not need training. These are also a good option for the long-run.
  • Freelancers – many freelancers tend to do one-off projects or work at their own decided rate. The good thing about freelancers is that there’s so many different options. If you need a short-term solution or someone to outsource to as a one time thing, freelancers can be a good choice.
  • Virtual Assistants – VA’s tend to be a good choice for bigger projects that require more work, planning and strategising. They tend to act like someone you work with and liaise with to successfully execute your projects or launches, but aren’t necessarily an addition to your employees. VA’s could be either a long-term or short-term solution.

How to know when you’re ready to start hiring

Let’s take a look at some of the signs you might be ready to start hiring.

1. You’re declining work from new clients

If you’re finding yourself having to turn down work from new clients, whether it’s due to not enough staff to complete the job or you simply don’t have the capacity for more work, it might be time to start hiring. Turning down work is totally okay if you need to. But if you’re  having to do it quite regularly it might start to damage your reputation and new clients might stop coming to you.

Declining work can also increase your customer acquisition cost, which is essentially the approximate cost of taking on a new client or customer. When you’re using a lot of time, money and resources to get new clients but not actually accepting work, you’re not seeing the return on investment. In fact, it’s cheaper to retain clients than it is to acquire new ones. With this, hiring more staff allows you to open up more space for new work because it gives you more time to focus on the actual delivery of your product or service, rather than all the  day to day operations, meaning you don’t have to turn down new clients.

2. You’ve found opportunities for more revenue

Maybe you’ve had an idea for a new product or service, or a way to adapt or even reinvent an existing product or service, or maybe even a new market to dip into! Well if this is the case, then hiring staff may be a good move.

When you hire more staff, you can delegate tasks and pre-existing responsibilities to them meaning you have more time to focus on these new opportunities that could bring in more revenue. Then this new revenue could be invested in more staff, and the cycle continues.

3. You’re receiving customer complaints

We all know that good customer service should be at the core of every business, I mean, without happy customers we wouldn’t have a business in the first place! We also know that bad customer service can have a really negative impact on your business. Customer complaints aren’t great, but use them as an opportunity to get feedback and make improvements to enhance the customer experience.

Customer complaints could be anything from product quality, poor customer service or long wait times. However, when you start to expand your team and hire more staff, these issues could be solved and make the customer journey quicker, more convenient and more Enjoyable.

4. You want to improve the quality of your products or services

Of course as business owners, we always want to make sure that what we’re putting out to our customers and clients is the best possible quality and solves their problems. But, there’s always room for improvement and adaptation. So if you’re looking to improve or develop your products or services, a new hire might be able to help with this! New team members can offer a fresh perspective and set of eyes on your offerings, and potentially offer new insights and opinions from an outsider view. This could particularly be helpful with new launches and projects too. And of course, with improved products and services comes happy customers, encouraging repeat purchase.

5. You’re lacking time and are behind on work

We’ve all felt like there’s just never enough hours in the day, I mean, that’s probably a business owner’s most used phrase! But if you’re really finding yourself struggling to keep on top of everything like admin, accounts, marketing and generally all the day to day operations, whilst also delivering your product or service, it may be time to start hiring if you have the facilities and capacity to do so.  Hiring someone allows you to delegate the day to day operations and admin tasks to the new team member. This takes a whole lot off your plate and allows you to take time out of your business to work ON your business, rather than in it. 

As your business grows, your responsibilities grow – so hiring staff can allow you to focus on these new responsibilities whilst they handle the day to day, behind the scenes tasks. 6. You’re lacking a specific skill set your business needs.  We all have our own areas of expertise and experience, that’s why we do what we do. We don’t necessarily have the time to learn a new skill or dip into a new area of our industry or niche to get a certain task or project done. We have to focus on what we’re good at, and continue to develop that as our business grows.

So, if you’re lacking a specific skill set or area of expertise that you need, it might be time to hire someone. When you’re hiring you can look for those with the skill sets you need for your business, whether it be marketing or admin, or design or content writing; consider what you might need to add to your business.

7. There’s plenty of work for a new hire

Like I mentioned earlier, there’s lots of different options when hiring. So when hiring long- term there needs to be plenty of ongoing work for your staff to complete. In fact, 22.5% of employees end up wasting time due to lack of work.

It’s important to make sure there’s continuous work to do, complimented by the right training and SOPs in place to ensure the work is done to a high standard and the right way. So if you have ongoing work for a long-term position that needs to be filled and you have the facilities and capacity to do so, it’s time to start hiring.

8. You have the financial capacity for it

One of the most important things when hiring is of course having the financial capacity to acquire and retain staff, so it’s crucial that you have a good understanding of your numbers to be sure you can continuously cover all costs of things like wages, employee benefits and Training.

It can be expensive, but with team growth comes business growth and vice versa. When you hire the right way and hire the right people for your business, you’ll see the return on investment through the business growth you can achieve by expanding your team. So once you’ve got this down, you could start hiring!

Planning is crucial when hiring staff

The most important thing to remember is to plan. There’s so much that goes into hiring staff, so many different factors and things to consider to make sure you do it right, and at the right time. Don’t make rash decisions without thinking things through and weighing up all the pros and cons.

You need to have a strong understanding of what the new employee will be doing, and all the potential advantages and disadvantages you could come across in order to effectively recruit and encourage the best possible growth of your business.

If you need support with this, speak to one of our experienced professionals on 01733739660.