Running a small business: knowing when it's time to hire

Of the country's 2.4 million businesses, 70% have only one or two employees. If you started your business as a weekend passion project, that stat might describe you as well. 

So — here’s the big do you know when it's time to hire new people? As you can probably imagine, hiring too soon can stretch your finances thin, but putting it off can limit your business's growth. 

If you're trying to find the right moment to hire your first employees, read on. We'll give you the best tips on how to know when to hire help for your small business.

Write hiring into your business goals

The best way to make sure that your hiring timelines meet your business goals is to plan it all in advance. Many small businesses grow out of the casual business plan they developed before they know it! You might think that growing too quickly is a nice problem to have — meaning, you might have a serious business opportunity on your hands before you have a plan for it.

This shatters the traditional business development paradigm, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't plan as soon as possible.

Build your hiring strategy into your business plan. How much revenue do you need to generate before you can bring another person on board? What development projects will you put off until you have an employee?

When you have clear objectives, you'll know exactly when your company's growth matches your hiring strategy — no guesswork involved.

Hire when you run out of you

You're the one licking envelopes, fielding questions from families, cobbling together a social media campaign — oh, and doing the actual work and teaching! 

One sign that you're ready to hire is that you're running out of time and energy to keep all the plates spinning. When there's more work to be done than you can manage, it's time to put out the call for resumes. 

Of course, it's not always that simple. For small business owners, there's always too much work and not enough of you to go around. Balance your profit margins and company growth against your business's demands.

Consider contracting

One benefit of the gig economy is that hiring is not the only way to bring on some help.  Contracted help can lift some of the administrative burden, leaving you free to focus on the part that only you can do: running the business. It gives you room to grow without accumulating new employees whose positions you might not be able to sustain.

If your small business keeps growing (and we'll raise a cup of late-night coffee to that), it's only a matter of time before you will need to hire.

However, contracting help for specific projects can be the perfect stop-gap between when you first need some help and when you're financially stable enough to hire someone regularly. 

Small business hiring, made simple

If you're running a small business, bringing your first employee on board is a milestone. Congratulations on making it this far! 

With these tips, you'll be able to make a strong decision about when to hire your company's first employee.

Are you ready to streamline your small business projects? Check out our suite of small business tools or get in touch with us for a free demo today.

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