If you and your staff start feeling overwhelmed as your business grows, you’ll need to hire more employees to help manage this larger workload and continue to deliver high-quality service. However, deciding when to hire can be a tricky balancing act.
If you need some extra help but don’t have quite enough funds, you must take the chance that your new hire will be a valuable asset to your company to be worth your investment.
Here are three factors that will help you know when it might be time to increase your workforce.
1. Overwhelmed by Workload
If your employees start voicing concerns about not being able to complete tasks, it may be time to think about bringing on more staff. Get a sense of how well they are handling the work by monitoring productivity and their number of clocked hours. Other key indicators include the following: inability to fill orders within a given time frame, customers complaining about inefficiency or poor customer service, and getting tied down with administrative duties or time-consuming paperwork while you’re running the business alone.
You can always start by taking on part-time help; however, only hire someone if they fit the job description you’ve laid out for them. According to Entrepreneur, hiring someone just “because you need an ‘extra body’…results in poor performance [and] decreased productivity.”
2. Growth Opportunities
Look for growth trends in your business as well as in your industry and similar businesses and evaluate supply and demand levels for your product. When demand for your product begins to outgrow your supply, consider expanding your workforce. Perhaps you are about to embark on a new marketing campaign or you just launched your website, and you believe the result will be a spike in sales.
It is important to try to determine whether you are seeing consistent growth for your business or whether it’s a brief trend. Your business will experience ups and downs, so don’t panic if you hire someone new and then sales take a dip. If that person has a skill set your current employees lack, he or she ideally will help bring in more business.
3. New Set of Sales Goals
Hire more workers when you have a new set of sales goals that you can’t achieve with your current workforce. Perhaps they are able to maintain a steady level of productivity but lack the knowledge or time to get your business to that next level. With a sustainable business model and some success under your belt, you should be able to set new goals for sales and increased profitability.
Just as you should have job duties clearly outlined for your new employees, you should set some performance standards and goals as well. Try to be as specific as possible so the employee knows what is expected of him or her. You’ll have a better chance of reaching that quota and you’ll know your new hires are worth it.
Timing the hiring of your next employee or employees can be tricky for small business owners, but if you take workload and supply and demand factors into account, you can time it well and your new hires will help you achieve those sales goals. If, after hiring someone, you decide the timing wasn’t right, reevaluate and possibly reduce your workforce; you can use the experience and knowledge for the future.