This week’s guest post comes from Raj Jana who discusses the importance of know when it’s the right time to expand your team. Here’s Raj:
It’s hard to beat the energy and excitement that comes from starting a business. You have your hands in everything, from marketing and PR to sales and product development. Being this involved in the beginning is great, as it allows you to have maximum control over turning your vision into reality.
But as you grow, it will become increasingly difficult for you to manage this amount of work. There are only so many hours in a day, and you have other parts of your life, such as family and a social life, that need tending to. The only way you’ll be able to manage this growth is by expanding your team.
However, this can be a scary prospect for a lot of people. Hiring employees makes things a lot more serious. People depend on their jobs, and you need to be able to give them this level of security, not to mention you need them to make sure your business remains a success.
One of the ways to make sure hiring employees supports the business in an appropriate way is timing. If you wait too long, you may be in too far over your head, and if you hire too early, you may not have the funds, or the work, to keep people on long-term. High turnover effects employee engagement and productivity, so it’s important you get this right.
Consider the following to help you decide if you’re really ready to expand your team and start hiring.
You’ve got lots of projects “on hold”
Hiring people full-time is a big commitment. If you bring someone in and then they spend a lot of their time figuring out what to do, you’re wasting both your time and there’s.
So, one of the ways to decide if you’re really ready to begin hiring is to look at the projects you need doing that keep getting put off. We all have those things we say we’ll get to “some other time.” But if this other time doesn’t eventually change into “now,” then your business will suffer.
Ask yourself: are these projects not getting done because they’re not important, or because we don’t have enough time? If it’s for reason number two, then ask if you think this work will be something consistent enough to bring on someone full-time to do it.
If you’ve just got a few small things to clean up, you can get this work done using a freelancer or an independent contract. But as those “on hold” projects pile up and become more urgent, know that you’re entering the hiring phase for your small business.
You’ve got a good idea of company culture
This is one not many people think of. A strong and appropriate company culture can give you a big competitive edge. But culture is hard to manage, even in small organizations. As you grow and add new people, they will bring with them their own set of norms and beliefs that will alter your overall company culture.
You’ll want to spend some time asking yourself what kind of culture you currently have, and also what you would like in the future. If you’re not sure, it might not be the best time to hire. You won’t be as aware when a culture you don’t want starts to grow, and this will make it much harder to adjust down the road.
Having a strong understanding of culture also makes the hiring process easier. You can use your company culture to attract talent, and you can also use it as a way to filter through candidates. For example, if you want to build a culture with a fun-loving, adventurous and innovative spirit, you’ll want to look for these qualities in potential candidates, as they have a better chance of helping to push your company in the right direction.
If you’re not sure of your company culture, or where you would like it to go, it might be a good idea to hold off on the hiring process until you’re there. Consider spending some time detailing your core values before moving too far along in the hiring process.
You’ve got the money
Hiring people is expensive. This much you probably already know. If you’re going to start bringing people in, you need to make sure you can make the financial commitment.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to look at your revenues and expenses to see if you can incur the additional cost of hiring people full-time. Make sure to include salary, benefits and any relevant taxes you need to pay in your analysis.
But consider other things, as well. For example, many companies these days are offering in-office perks to make themselves more attractive as employers. Popular choices include free food, premium coffee and gym memberships.
Make sure you can offer these same benefits to anyone coming in. The last thing you want to do is to promise people one type of work environment and then change it shortly after hiring because of lack of funds.
If you can pay people and offer them the same range of benefits as you do now, and still maintain good margins, then you should be all set to begin hiring. If not, then consider waiting or moving some money around so that you can begin this phase of growing your business on the right foot.
You’re ready to delegate
This last one has more to do with you. As a business owner, it’s normal to want to have control over everything. It’s your dream and your vision (and often times your money), so it’s expected that you’ll want to make sure everything is going according to plan.
But when you start hiring people, you’re going to have to relinquish some control. You defeat the purpose of expanding your team if you’re constantly looking over people’s shoulders, and this will also make them feel less comfortable working for you.
Ask yourself if you’re really ready to take a back seat. Obviously, you’ll still be involved, and many of your new employees will report directly to you, but if you’re not prepared to let people do their thing, then everyone will suffer.
Consider trying things out by working with some reputable freelancers. If you can find it in yourself to be hands off and to trust people to do the job the way you want, this is a good sign you’re ready to start hiring.
Start building your team today
Hiring employees to your business is a fact of life. You can only grow so much with the small team you have right now. And while it’s important to hire the right people, it’s just as important that you start this process at the right time. Think about whether or not you’re really ready to start hiring, and if you are, then start building the team that will help bring your business to the next level.
Raj Jana is an entrepreneur and business owner. He has grown JavaPresse from simply being a good idea to a thriving eCommerce business. Raj knows having the right people in the right roles is key for success and hopes this article offers useful advice and insight for other business owners.
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