To quote an old economics professor of mine, “the fundamental economic problem is the efficient use of scarce resources”. I tend to look at most of my business issues from this perspective – does it make sense to do this task myself? Do I have the skills needed to do it well? Or can someone else do it faster than me? Do I postpone it until I can afford to hire someone?
Making a decision to hire someone to help you manage your business exists on several levels. The first issue is – can you afford that person (if you don’t have the money, you can’t hire anyone!), is someone capable and competent available, will much training be needed to get them ready and most importantly, are you ready to delegate authority to that person?
The decision to hire is intimately tied to the growth of your enterprise. If your business is not growing, you’ll have a tough time justifying a “new bottom” on your bottom line. Your organization’s time and capabilities are finite. If you can’t serve new customers and are losing current ones because you are short-staffed, it is a sign from your business to add help. You might start by putting on part-timers to cover peak needs. A big benefit to doing this is you get a chance to look at potential full-time employees as your company grows.
There are real challenges to finding capable, competent and reliable employees, even with today’s large labor pool. Do you need general labor or skilled help? Is education important? What about communication or math skills, or experience? Take some time to make a job skills/profile of your ideal candidate. Also extremely important is compatibility and the new employee’s ability to listen and follow instructions. The goal is to make your new person an asset as soon as possible and the ability for them to grasp the essence of how you do business is essential.
This leads me to the next critical element in adding to your payroll. Training, training, and more training! As the founder and chief entrepreneur of your business, no one will know (or should know) as much as you do about the day-in, day-out process of how you make money. Providing guidelines, training and building the needed skill sets in your new hire is your job to do, or to make sure it gets done. There is a chance, however, that you might not be the best teacher or have either the patience or communications tools to give the best training. It’s better to find some help and advice from a source you trust. A well-trained employee will improve your profits and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Do you have any hiring tips to share?
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Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America’s #1 small business experts. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.