We’ve talked before, here at The Savvy Solopreneur, about how some solopreneurs fly solo by choice, while others are solopreneurs by necessity, intending to stay in solo mode only as long as it takes them to gather the resources they need to start building their team.
If you’re in the second camp, Wendy Dressler is here today, with a guest post that will help you decide if it’s time to hire your first employee.
At some point in every solopreneur’s career, they start to wonder whether they should consider hiring their first employee. This consideration can be challenging. After all, managing a business and managing a person are two very different things.
There are some red flags in a business that indicate when it may be time to hire someone to help. Here are some important things to consider when deciding if you should hire an employee.
Can You Support an Employee?
As a solopreneur, sometimes, it can feel challenging to support yourself financially. If this is the case, you’ll have to ask yourself if you can realistically support an employee. Employees have rights and regulations protecting their interests. Failing to meet those requirements can end up costing you more in legal trouble.
In addition to the financial considerations of hiring, you need to consider the paperwork. According to HR Payroll Systems, every employee you hire requires a Form W-4 to ensure compliance with tax laws and other regulations. You’ll have the added responsibility of managing this employee from a payroll and HR perspective, which may cost more time than the hire merits.
Are You Turning Down Work?
If you’re turning down work because you don’t have time to handle more, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. There are many tools that can improve a solopreneur’s scalability, including email automation, project management tools, time management apps, etc. At some point, however, you will reach the threshold of what you can handle yourself.
If you’re turning down work and see no possible option for scaling on your own, it might be time to hire someone to handle the extra. In this case, your employee will ultimately pay for themselves.
Are you Dropping Balls?
Another important consideration when deciding whether or not to hire an employee is the quality of your work. If you’re starting to make mistakes and forgetting essential tasks, it’s time to hire an employee.
Biting off more than you can chew as a solopreneur is a valuable lesson. Having a client notice can be a large serving of humble pie that’s hard to swallow. As your reputation hinges on testimonials and reviews, make a change before you get to the point of self-sacrificial behavior.
Are You Taking Time for Yourself?
Self-care is of the utmost importance for solopreneurs. While the technological capabilities that make owning a business accessible for aspiring entrepreneurs are amazing, it can be a double-edged sword. For solopreneurs, in particular, it can feel impossible to unplug and unwind.
If you’re at the point in your business where you can’t take any time away for yourself, you’re at risk of burnout. This is when it’s time to consider hiring an employee so that they can keep the home fires burning while you’re away, reconnecting with your family and taking some time for self-care.
Will a Contractor Cut It?
You may have realized that you need help but don’t know whether you need an employee or just a contractor. If you’ve never worked with a contractor before, consider hiring one as a trial run. This approach is also useful if you need help with a specific set of skills.
Alternatively, you may have worked with contractors and have enough need to support a part-time or full-time hire. As contractors often charge more per hour than an employee, you might be weighing the trade-off.
Crunch the numbers to determine what you could reasonably offer an employee in terms of hours and compensation, considering the costs of employment as well. If you already have a contractor you enjoy working with, talk to them to see if they’d be willing to negotiate a long-term employment contract that offers a lower rate for continuous work.
There are a lot of moving parts to consider when hiring an employee. Before you start looking, make a list of the specific tasks you want to delegate and what you’ll be able to do with the time you free up to expand your business.
Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
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