When you are a small company, it can be hard to determine when to hire more employees. This video will help you to hire with confidence.
The question I see and hear frequently is, how do I know when it’s time to hire someone? Really the answer is pretty simple. You know that you need to hire someone when you’re completely overwhelmed or your team is overwhelmed. This question will persist even as you get bigger and you have a big team. You’ll always be trying to figure out, is now the right time to bring on another person? Do I need another person? Are we going to continue to grow where we’ll have plenty of work for this individual? That will always be a question in your mind.
However, I’m going to focus more on the idea that you’re small. Maybe it’s just you or maybe it’s you and a couple of people. The way you know you need to hire is you’re swamped, you’re busy, you just don’t have time, you’re worn out, you can’t bill anymore work and you can’t answer all the phone calls…you need more people. If you’re really unsure about this, a way to figure this out is for simply one week carry a little notebook around with you and just write down everything you do. In the morning when you get up make a note of what you did. You got up in the morning and you immediately returned emails for 30 minutes.
You came to the office or from your home office you did phone calls for 30 minutes, then you went out and you sharpened mower blades, you got the crews out the door, you went basically to the irrigation store and you bought T’s and elbows and irrigation stuff. Then you had to do a flower run later and then you had to go meet with 2 clients, then you did an estimate, then you returned some more phone calls, then you helped a client make a payment and you write all those things down. At the end of the week you look at it and what percentage of that list could be offloaded to somebody else?
What percentage of that work if you hired somebody part time or full time they could take that off your plate so that you could go bill more work by you performing it or you could go sell more work or you could spend more time on working on the business? There’s really no magic to this. We’re in the business of billing time so we have to hire more people to bill more time so that we have more money so that we can hire more people. It’s really as simple as that. Though it’s not simple, especially in the early years.
It’s a little challenging to make these hiring decisions because you don’t have a ton of money sitting in the bank but the reality is that if you don’t take that leap of faith and hire that person to take stuff off your plate you never get freed up to go bill more time or grow the business. If you can’t grow the business then you never have enough work to hire the next person. You get the idea. At some point you’ve just got to look at what’s going on in your world and say, you know what? Twenty hours of my week could be handed off to a person that I could probably hire for 14 bucks an hour.
Imagine what I could do with 20 extra hours. I’d have more energy. I could go sell more. I could do some marketing. I could do so many things! I could go bill some irrigation work at 80 dollars an hour or 85 an hour, whatever that number is which would generate even more revenue. You could think through what you could do with 20 hours if you can offload some of the lower end activities to someone else and you just continue to repeat that cycle over and over and eventually you also look at your team and you say, okay I’ve got all these people on my payroll, how could I free them up so they can work on bigger and bigger things?
How could I take my expensive people that make 40, 50, or 60,000 a year, take some stuff off their plate, offload it to somebody that makes less to free them up so they could do more so I don’t have to hire as many of these really expensive people. That’s the way you think about it and the way you figure it out is when you first feel overwhelmed and then if you’re really unsure, like I said, you track what you’re doing and you look for the opportunities to hand things off to other people. That’s how you do it.