Team Talk: The Smart Financials of Investing in Your People

(A Four-Part Series)

Part II: The Right Time to Hire

The best part of starting up your own business is the carefree lifestyle that being an entrepreneur affords you. The endless freedom to pursue your hobbies. The ability to unplug and vacation at any time. The steadfast confidence that your team is managing all aspects of your business at optimal efficiency and without incident. Am I right???

Okay, maybe not, but I do actually think that the fiscally fit business owner should create “people plans” that move you toward these ideals one excellent hire at a time. One of the biggest challenges is knowing when it’s time to grow your team.

Before we delve further into the subject, let’s acknowledge that hiring can be stressful for the small business owner. You worry about meeting salary. You consider the resources it will take to get a new person trained. Furthermore, unlike new equipment rental or advertising expenses, when you hire — you’re committing to provide a livelihood to a real human being. That can be an emotional burden if things don’t work out. It also emphasizes the importance of rational decision-making (including forecasting and budgeting) so hiring is part of your business strategy.

To start, here are some key clues that it’s time to hire now to sustain growth and foster client loyalty:

  1. You have an incremental big project, a new client order closed, your current clients continue to engage your services/re-order and your pipeline is robust.
  2. To handle basic client or production needs, you’re neglecting critical aspects of your business such as your financials or business networking. This leads to “fire drills” and diminishes the quality of products or services.
  3. You are working 24/7 with no end in sight. If you have not had a vacation (or even a day off) in what seems like forever, it’s safe to say you need help! Taking even a short time out to refresh will make you more effective across the board. Having competent people by your side will allow you to take those much-needed breaks.
  4. Your responsiveness is slipping. If your customers are waiting too long to hear back from you, then that is a problem. Your business will not last long if you can’t maintain timely and effective communication.

Of course, desperation doesn’t generally lead to the greatest decision making! Ideally, you want to recruit and hire proactively with adequate time to find the best candidates. Steps to do this include: assessing your capacity across all functions based on your financial and sales forecast; aligning job descriptions and required experience with current and future needs; budgeting for new hire salary and training; and building a screened candidate pipeline so you can onboard the right employee when they are needed.

Being fiscally fit means you have the processes, flexibility and insight to fuel your business growth – even in uncertain, ever-changing environments. GrowthCast is happy to help make sure you have all the financial and people management tools to make this a reality.

Upcoming Team Talk topics:

  • Part III: Investing in Your Employees to Grow Your Business and Enhance Loyalty (i.e., training, new benefits, open feedback, and career paths)
  • Part IV: Minimizing the Cost of Employee Turnover (documenting job processes, building strong teams to pick up the slack, learning from attrition)

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