Running a business is not particularly easy. If you are starting out many of you have begun as an owner operator and you handle everything yourself. Maybe you hired someone to build a website for you or a few other basic start-up costs, but mostly you are on your own. You maybe filled your garage with a pallet of products, or you have a little home office where you wear many hats
In a previous article, we mentioned that one of the times to recruit is during the 12-24-month growth period of a new business. This is, of course, true, however it is really not the only time.
So, when do you need to bring people in? Well, the answer to this is:
When you feel you need to bring people in.
“Okay, fine” you say, “but, how do I know?”
Beyond simply wanting a few people working with you to make things easier or to help you handle an increase in sales or clients, let's break this down:
Case 1 – Too many clients
You can't service all of your clients or customers, or worse, you are losing clients because you can't do everything you promised them. This one is fairly obvious. You need to recruit people because if you don't, your business won't survive without them. At the very least, you need someone to answer the phones, fulfil orders, or to provide support.
Case 2 – The right amount of clients, but no back-up plan
You are doing well enough to continue to survive, but just barely. You have a full load of clients but don't want to pick up any new ones because you don't have time and you know you won't be able to provide them with quality work (see case 1 above). At this point you can't grow because you've reached capacity. Of course, you also know that if you don't pick up new clients, you could find yourself in trouble if you lose one of your existing ones.
You need more clients to draw upon, but need more on the back burner as insurance. However, as you know, no client wants to be left on the shelf. They need what they need and what they want when they want it. If you can't provide it, they will likely go elsewhere. To be able to keep them, and keep them happy, you need more people.
Case 3: Periodic or Seasonal Growth
If your business is prone to temporary periods of growth during certain seasons or events, it makes sense to bring in temporary staff. This can apply to a holiday rush, but also for new product releases, development work, and more. You need to makes sure that you can be staffed well at the right time with quality people. Depending on the complexity of the work, sometimes this can be something you plan for, while at other times you can simply bring people on with short notice.
Case 4, 5, 6, etc.: You want to expand
You are ready to bring your business to the next level. You simply want more clients or customers than you already have, but have not even enough time to recruit quality employees. You can hire recruiters, but you rapidly find that most of them are throwing every candidate who has one out of ten requirements you need at you. This is taking up even more of your time. At this point you may need to consider hiring someone for human resources, someone who understands what your business needs are. Of course, they aren't bringing in actual revenue so you need to bring in more people who can do this.
You need salespeople, however you also quickly find that to get quality ones, you cannot expect them to work on commission. You start to need more developers. You need managers to make sure everyone is focusing on what it is they need to do. Suddenly you are being audited, so you need accountants and lawyers (and probably a therapist to help you with your stress!) You see what's happening here. More positions become necessary, Growth begets new challenges, so you need to keep hiring
This increases as you want to expand to new locations. Maybe you need more warehouses that require more staff. Maybe you want to open an office in another city?
The point is that there really isn't a specific time when you need to recruit. Yes, of course some times are easier to plan for, such as growth, however you need to be aware that there are many other points where it makes sense. It's generally a good idea to always consider hiring at any time.
Whether hiring people is a planned effort, or it’s an agile response to a trigger point or change in your business, its crucial to sustaining growth for your business. However, quite often small businesses can put off investment in people due to a lack of capital.
This is where inFund can help…
We provide small businesses with access to a live credit facility that allows them to access funding when they need it. Once approved for one of our live credit facilities, small businesses can log in to a portal and get an instant view of the funds they are eligible for and this figure updates each month. Equally, businesses only have to pay for the days they use the funds, so if you’re bringing in a new employee and revenues start to accelerate in 6 months’ time, you can repay early and you’ll repay less.
When it comes to hiring people, there might not be a specific time, but you do have a choice; hire or not hire. And by not hiring you run the risk of growth stagnating and ultimately getting left behind your competition.
Take the next step, apply for your live credit facility, so when the time is right for you to hire, you know you have the funds at your disposal to do so.