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small business first hire checklist

Checklist: Is Your Small Business Ready for Its First Hire?

Most small businesses start out with one employee — a lone founder who wears multiple hats. But eventually, with growth comes the need to make your first hire…and then your second, third and fourth.

The question is: How do you know you’re ready?

A full-time hire is a big responsibility. Unlike outsourcing your work, in which you pay someone for exactly the amount of time you need and can cut bait relatively quickly, a full-time hire is much more costly and requires a fairly specific role with enough responsibilities to take up a 40-hour workweek.

After all, the last thing you want to do is spend on a salary, benefits and equipment only to find out that the new employee isn’t justifying the costs.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick checklist to help small business owners make this pivotal decision. If you say “yes” to one of the questions on this list, it might be time to make that first hire. And if you’re saying “yes” to several, consider that a clear sign to get that job listing ready.

Is Your Small Business Ready for Its First Hire? 5 Questions to Consider.

1. Are you saying no?

There is no clearer sign that you need more help than when you’re telling customers “no.”

Saying “no” to a customer is literally turning down revenue. And while you can view this as a good thing — after all, if you’re turning down customers, it must mean that your product or service is popular — it’s only a good thing if you eventually capitalize on the demand.

So, if you find yourself having to turn down business because you don’t have enough hours in the day, it’s time to consider making your first hire.

2. Do you have a new potential revenue stream?

Along the same lines, imagine that you already have a full plate, but you suddenly have a “eureka!” moment. You think up a new line of products or a new type of service — if only you had the additional manpower to turn this theory into reality.

You don’t want to lose out on a potential growth opportunity because you’re handicapped on a personnel standpoint. If you want your business to grow, your roster needs to grow, too.

3. Are certain types of work piling up?

At the end of the day, you’ve managed to get through all your sales calls and ensured all of the day’s deliverables have gone out. But then you notice a pile of half-completed invoices, and realize you still haven’t started the marketing strategy you told yourself you’d brainstorm.

If that sounds like you, you probably need another set of hands.

That’s because a clear sign that you’re short on personnel is pushing important duties to the side. Sure, you might be clearing the most mission-critical of tasks every day, but it’ll be hard to expand without a fresh marketing push, and you’re bound to get in trouble with the IRS if you can’t stay up to date on all of your financial paperwork. So it’s time to staff up and make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks.

4. Are your customers complaining?

Just about everyone will appreciate the sacrifice of a small business owner who is working hard trying to earn a life for themselves. But ultimately, if you’re putting out shoddy work because there’s too much to do and only so many hours in the day, your customers will begin to look elsewhere.

Thus, a clear sign that it’s time to make your small business’s first hire is an increase in customer complaints about anything that’s under your control.

5. Are you tapping out?

Sometimes, your own body will act as a signal that you need your first co-worker.

If you’re working so hard that you can’t take care of yourself, you’re eventually going to break down — whether it’s physically or mentally.

That’s not to say you can’t work hard — most small business owners have to. But pushing yourself past your body’s own limits is a quick route to burnout. And that ultimately is going to jeopardize the success of your small business.

So, if you find yourself simply too tired, distracted, or drained, consider hiring reinforcements.

Is It Time to Grow Your Small Business’s Headcount?

Every company has growing pains — both right before they hire, and while they navigate the changes of a hiring their first employee. But if you get the process right, you’ll set the foundation for growth … and eventually, even more hiring.

McManamon & Co. provides a wide array of consulting services to small and midsize businesses, including helping companies determine whether it’s time to expand their workforce — and what they need to do from both procedural and accounting perspectives to make that happen.

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your firm, call us at 440.892.8900 or contact us online today.

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