One of the most common questions in any business is : when do I hire help? We will put an eCommerce spin on this article, but the theories and ideas can be used for any growing business.
The answer if you are reading this article is probably right now. If this question has even begun to pop in your head, some part of you knows you will need help 1) to grow or 2) reclaim your sanity 3) both
There is a lot to do/manage as business owner: inventory, accounting, product research, customer service, educating yourself, solving problems, etc.
Because I’m going to slant the article into convincing you that you should hire someone or additional employees, I’m going to start by saying when you shouldn’t
- You are blissfully happy with the way your business is currently being run. If you are profitable and enjoying doing every facet of your business, you don’t need help. Why change something that is working?
- You have a brand new business and don’t understand it yet. The over-zealous entrepreneur who hires someone to do a task before he/she has at least an elementary understanding of it will be disappointed with the results. If within your team, either yourself or a portion of the management, doesn’t have the skill/knowledge to train/manage the task being delegated, you are asking for poor results. New employees need help and guidance and if you cannot provide that, you will not end up with the result you want.
Why you should hire
80% of how good you are at something is good enough – A common objection among business owners is that “no one can do this as well as I can”. Lucky enough for you and your ego, this is probably true in most cases. However, this doesn’t mean a task shouldn’t be delegated to a new hire. Example – If a new employee creates $50 in revenue from a project that you would have created $90 in revenue from, IT DOESN’T MATTER. 1) You didn’t have to spend the time doing it, that’s worth something. 2) You can multiply their output. In this example, once you have two people doing this task, you have now created $100 in revenue when you had only created $90 by doing it yourself.
Those that you hire may just be better at something than you are – I like to tell people business owners that one of the two reasons you should hire someone is that they might be better at the task than you are. (The second reason is the bullet point below this one). Example: I was doing my own customer service the first year I was in business. Eventually, it was taking up so much of my time that I decided I needed help. So I hired someone. Then it took up even more of my time because I was still doing a lot of it myself and trying to train someone else to do it. She wasn’t as good at it as I was when she started. But low and behold, after about 6 weeks and her doing customer service every single day, she was an expert – far better at it than I was. So now I had a situation where 1) I didn’t have to do customer service 2) The person doing it was way better at it than I was! Win-Win!
You hate doing it (even if you are good at it) – The second thing you should outsource / hire help for first are the things you do not like doing. There will be enough things as a business owner you are forced to do that you don’t want. If you can hand something off that you don’t like doing, this is a huge win. If you do it right, you can hire someone who enjoys doing that thing that you hate, which is another Win-Win!
Waiting too long is bad. Very bad. As mentioned above, training a new employee takes time. For most tasks, I expect I will be training on and off for at least 3 weeks. If you wait to hire someone until you are overwhelmed/absolutely need help, you will regret it. Now you have to train that person on top of doing the task yourself because you aren’t comfortable handing it over yet. Hire early, make that person an expert. Then, once your incoming tasks for that project are overwhelming, you have a expert to handle it and YOU can focus on building your business instead of keeping it floating.