There comes a time in the path of all solo-preneurs that they must face the facts: Help is needed. While it can be a difficult decision to expand your company beyond yourself, it’s also an essential step for business growth as a whole.
There’s no denying that owning a business is tough work and, at a certain point, your company will outgrow the time that you have. Whether you find that your clients need you to be in two places at once or you’d simply like more time with your family, bringing in help is the first start to taking your business (and life!) to the next level.
When is it time?
For those like me, this revelation comes from the very beginning of starting a company. When I was starting my second company, I was lucky to know that I would need help right from the start.
However, for those who have been successful on their own, the best way to know when you need help is to recognize when you don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. It can be very hard to be all things in your company, including the accountant, the sales person, designer and planner, all while providing your clients with the level of attention that they deserve.
Whom should I hire?
The answer to this question comes from your individual needs.
For some, contracting an accountant or a freelance writer may be all that you need, which provides you with a cost-effective solution to freeing up more of your schedule. Keep in mind that with contractors, you don’t always get to call the shots--they are responsible for creating their own schedules, and you can only outsource work that relates to the signed contract.
Other business owners might find that they need more of a support team that can back them up whenever needed. In that case, bringing on interns or employees on payroll is the answer, as you can train them to meet your brand’s standards and rely on them more so than contractors.
How should I announce it?
Word of mouth has always been and continues to be the best method in my market. I have yet to take out an advertisement for an employee, so I fully believe in the power of one’s network. Post the job details in social media groups, industry association newsletters, and tell your peers about your new opening. Not only does this save you time (and money!), but it’ll also help to pre-qualify your leads by the standards of those you trust.
What do I do after I hire someone?
Assuming you found the best fit for the position you’re trying to fill, consider starting them off with a trial period. I bring people on as an independent contractor for 90 days to get a feel for their personality and their work ethic.
This is especially important in small offices like my own, as the way we mesh and interact is just as important as the newbie’s prior experience. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach a personality. Look or someone who can comfortably multitask, brings some experience in your field, and gets along with everyone.
Once you find the best fit for your company, you’ll soon see your workload lighten and you’ll find that your schedule isn’t quite as jam-packed as it once was. While the process may seem time-consuming, the investment in your business is well worth it!
Kim Sayatovic is the founder and chief creative officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans.