It’s pretty hard to listen to any small business advice without the topic of getting help coming up.
Many business guru’s promote adding employees and independent contractors as soon as possible.
I, however, am here to tell you it’s time to slam on the brakes. Hiring when not ready can cause your company to crash before it ever get the chance to succeed!
Because when hiring is not done right, it creates cash flow problems and time management issues. The two things you thought were going to improve by adding help end up creating sleepless nights.
Almost all of my clients that come to me with cash flow and/or exhaustion problems, find the solution in addressing employee issues.
They either have added employees without knowing exactly what they want them to do, or they’ve added employees that don’t have the right skills so they end up the focusing more on training/management and problem solving. Instead of increasing profit.
Before you run out and start hiring like crazy, even if it’s just an independent contractor, you need to do these four things first.
Define What is Needed (Job Description)
One of the best things a small business can take from corporate America is the practice of having a job description for every employee.
This is because when you have one it is easier to find the right person for the role that needs to be done and they know what they will be responsible for.
Start by creating a list of everything that you need help with. Be as detailed as possible. Don’t just say I need help with social media. Put into writing exactly what parts of social media that you need help with.
Are they going to manage Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Are they creating the posts? Are they scheduling the posts? Are they creating all the images needed? Are they tracking the engagement and ROI? Get as detailed as possible.
After you have created your list of things you need help with divide the list into specific jobs that you would like to hire for. For example you might have a social media position, an accountant position and a project manager.
Processes allow your employees to know exactly what needs done and how you want it done. It ensures that the task will be done the same no matter who is doing the job.
What I mean by a process is nothing more than a checklist for how things get done. It would look like this:
- Write a blog post.
- Copy and paste it into WordPress.
- Add links to relevant content.
- Add a Click to Tweet.
- Create an image in two sizes; one for Pinterest, one for Instagram.
- Select the publish date.
Extra credit for creating a screen-cast of yourself doing these. This way, when you bring an employee on, not only do they know what they’re responsible for, but they know exactly how you want it done.
Start with Independent Contractors
Before you jump straight into hiring an employee, start with independent contractors. This does a few things. You learn how to delegate, communicate and in general be a boss. You will also learn if your processes are understandable and doable by others or if they need adjustments when it’s not you actually doing the job.
It also allows you to grow into hiring from a financial stand point. An independent contractor allows you to see how your budget works with the extra expenses, it enables you to try it out without the added employee benefit and tax costs. At the same time, as you are trying it out, it makes it easier to eliminate the position if it just is not working out.
Purpose of an Employee
Finally, keep in mind the purpose of an employee. The purpose of an employee should be about adding revenues and profits to the bottom line, because they free you up to do what you are best at.
If you run out and hire five people, but you end up spending your time managing them and you can’t increase revenues, you’ve done nothing but narrow your margins and create less profit in your business.
The only time there would be a different purpose that does involve profits, is if you are working crazy hours and your life is out of control. Then a bit less profit to gain your life back may be worth the cost. Still keep in mind the goal though, and if the employes adds more work to your plate, you have lowered profits and time, thus not winning anywhere.
Once you go through these four steps, then you have the perfect scenario to be able to hire your first employee successfully.
Financial Coach for Business Owners – Andrea Travillian