How To Know When To Hire Your First Employee: 7 Signs You’re Ready

Congratulations! You have built a small business and everything is going far better than you ever dreamed! However, you are finding yourself burning the candle at both ends. You are tired, you are putting in 100 hour work weeks, you miss your family, and you feel a bit stuck. Allow this to be the nudge you needed today…it is time to hire your first employee. We know how scary this can feel as a small business and we know how challenging it is to know when to hire that first employee so allow us to walk through 7 steps that you are ready and how to restore some peace to your workweek!

Let’s start with some advice that you NEED to hear: Do not wait until you are overwhelmed to hire your first employee. Too often, small business owners start off on the venture of a lifetime, grow exponentially, overextend themselves, and then panic! Panic can only lead to poor decision making and bad first impressions. Some small business owners find themselves quitting their business altogether and others decide that they need to hire but they are too overwhelmed to know when or even how to start. If you wait until you are overwhelmed, you have waited too long and you need to hire as soon as possible! 

Rather than be reactive (which we can not always prevent), let’s focus on how we can be proactive in our business model. As a small business owner, you need to set aside time every month to assess how things are going. Ask yourself, how much am I really working? Be honest! Ask yourself what you need, what opportunities you have had or would like to have. Reflect on your goals for your business and if you are achieving them. Ask the people you love the most how things appear from the outside (their perspective can be incredibly valuable!). As you take this time, you will get the joy of watching your business grow. You will also be gifting yourself the time to hire when you WANT to and not when you NEED to.

So when is the right time to hire? How do you know you are ready? Let’s dive in! 

1. You are finding that the day is simply not long enough.

We mean just that. You can only stand upright and working for so many hours before you begin to fall apart. This means that your business has a ceiling, a limitation, a cap. As a small business owner, you are only able to say yes to the work that you can take on yourself. If you are finding yourself needing more hours in a day or worse, turning away incredible work opportunities, it is time to hire your first employee. 

Learn from our pro tip: set clear expectations for yourself regarding the amount of time you wish to work each week. When you feel yourself approaching the threshold you set for yourself, it is time to consider hiring your first employee. Trust us when we say, this is the best time because you will still have the work hours in a week to put in the time for creating a job listing, posting, vetting candidates, interviewing, hiring, and establishing a team workflow. These are possible when you are past your weekly hour limit but we won’t sugar coat it…it is HARD.

2. You are turning down valuable opportunities.

This is a BIG one! Maybe you have goals and ambitions to have as many opportunities as possible or perhaps you have specific goals regarding types of opportunities you wish to reach with your small business. If you are having to turn down those opportunities because you simply don’t have the capacity to take them on…it is time to hire your first employee. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your dreams and goals because you don’t have the capacity! 

By bringing on a new team member, you afford yourself the time to say “YES!” when you want to say yes and to partner with clients/work opportunities of a lifetime! You’ve likely heard the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, your business is your baby and if you want to see it grow, you are going to need that village so the time to hire is coming! 

3. You want to transition from ‘being the business’ to truly ‘owning the business’.

Let’s be honest, when we’re solopreneurs (a.k.a.  ‘one-person businesses’) we really just own our job. If we don’t work, we don’t make any money. We may be very good at our profession, but we’ll always be limited by our time and effort. Well the only way to get past that limit is to duplicate ourselves by building a team. Once we have a team that can do the work for us – then we actually own a business – an asset that can generate both money and time.

4. You are running out of ideas.

Let’s be super honest for a moment here. While you are the mastermind behind your own business and you have done successfully thus far, you can’t think of everything. Perhaps you feel yourself in a bit of a rut. Maybe you are repeating yourself…a copy paste method if you will. If you are finding yourself running the well dry, it might be time to hire someone who can help! Having fresh ideas can be SO valuable when growing your business. Not to mention, having someone to discuss ideas through, soundboard some of the dreams you have had, and so much more! You will not regret hiring someone to contribute their talents!

5. Your revenue growth has dropped or become stagnant.

As a small business owner, we know that you have revenue goals. You have bills to pay, business expenses, and dreams all your own that may or may not be connected to the growth of your business. If you are finding your revenue dropping because you have had to turn down opportunities OR if you are finding your revenue to be stagnant because you simply can not take on more work….you guessed it! It is time to hire your first employee! 

People hear this and immediately ask “What is this going to cost me?” and it is a completely valid question that we address in our blog post: 8 Costs Associated with Hiring an Employee. You will be surprised, maybe even shocked, to learn that it isn’t as scary as you think. Hiring an employee will cost money since you have to pay them BUT their efforts, time, and work will end up making you more money! Definitely worth digging into.

6. You seek additional skills that you have not yet acquired.

Small business owners wear many hats but they can’t wear them ALL. It is as simple as that. If you are finding yourself pouring extra time, resources, and money into learning new skills you have yet to acquire, it is time to hire! You can save yourself all of that time by hiring someone who DOES have those skills. You can hire someone who can take those tasks off your plate and even help you become more efficient. Perfect, right?!

7. You wish to have more work-life balance. 

Don’t go it alone anymore. The road to success is only so fun by yourself. Having a team to laugh with, cry with, problem solve with, grow with, and work with is truly amazing! Your business has the opportunity to grow exponentially and you have the joy of being able to delegate. Delegating means you can be home on Saturday (with your phone off!!!) while earning money from a business you have worked so hard to build. Hiring an employee or employees can be the biggest answer to your imbalanced work-life woes. 

Think about this for a moment. Do you want to be working 50, 60, 70, 80+ hours a week? Do you feel content turning down opportunities that could increase your revenue? Are you missing out or feeling a significant work-life imbalance? Running out of ideas by yourself? Reflect on your answers to these questions. Then ask yourself, is it time for me to hire my first employee? If you are ready…download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Building a Team to get started!  

Did this blog resonate with you? Want to talk about it? Reach out to us HERE!

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