At the beginning of your business, it's just you, happily crafting away or designing or sewing or whatever it is that you love to do while sending out a few of your products here and there to your equally happy and satisfied customers. Everything is going smoothly because you can enjoy the simplicity of your work from start to finish all while answering emails, staying active on social media, attending markets to sell your craft, figuring out the design of your brand new website, photographing your products for said website and on... and on. It doesn't matter that you have an endless list of things to do because you're doing what you love and that's what matters. You'd rather work 100 hours per week doing what you love rather than 40 hours per week doing something that you don't... right?
But soon you realize that the never-ending tasks seem to be on repeat and your orders begin to back up. Customers are having to wait just a little bit longer than expected, supplies are taking longer to arrive than anticipated and your Instagram is quickly being neglected. Those weekend markets that used to bring in new customers? Forget about it! There are only 24 hours in a day and what once was something you loved to do has now become something that is mundane and feels like a chore. If you don't fulfill orders, how will the business ever continue?
Here's the myth that you might be thinking: "I must work harder so that my business can succeed."
Here's the truth: You must work smarter by delegating tasks so that your business can succeed.
There are only so many hours in the day. By continuing to work on the tasks that simply sustain your business (making products, fulfilling orders, etc.), you will inevitably run out of either money or, most likely, energy. If you hope to have a business you need to stop treating it like a job.
"If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic! And, besides, that's not the purpose of going into business. The purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people" -Michael E. Gerber
So if you're reading this, thinking that a team of ambitious bodies, all working toward your same goal, would be incredibly helpful to you right now, then let's take a look at the 'when' and the 'how' of hiring.
3 instances of WHEN you should begin to hire:
When you find yourself with more to do than you have the hours for
You either have more orders coming in than you can currently fulfill by yourself, or you're faced with the challenge of juggling parenting/schooling/full-time job while simultaneously running your side hustle. We all have our fair share of things that need to be done, but if your dream of opening your own business is to become a reality, you're going to need some help, sister.
When you’re faced with a life change
Life is unpredictable at times. You may think that running your business is perfectly fine by yourself, until something big comes up and totally changes the game. For me, that was a move across country due to my husband's job which meant that I physically could not be producing my own products for several months. While that seems like an enormous set back, it freed up time for me to consider other options and hire outside help.
Ask yourself: "What would happen if I got sick or injured? Could the business run by itself without me?" If not, this might be a great time to start thinking about adding to your team.
When you want to grow
If you're feeling like you've hit a plateau in your business, or want to reach new revenue goals, you'll likely need to have a team behind you to help get you there. This may look like hiring a coach, a virtual assistant, or an ads manager. Or perhaps investing in yourself to take a course, or read up on the business topics you need more knowledge on. Determine who or what would help you reach those new goals and move immediately toward taking those first steps to hire.
If you wait until you're overwhelmed with orders, it's already too late. Be proactive in your business by finding the people who will allow your business to grow with ease.
HOW to hire:
Start by creating a list of:
- Tasks that don’t require YOU to do them (cutting, packaging, tying tags, running errands)
- Things that you’re not very good at or don’t like to do (bookkeeping, Facebook management, content and blog writing, etc.)
Determine the type of person or people that you would need first to ensure that these tasks are completed. Personally, I began by hiring a seamstress, a virtual assistant, a personal assistant, and a bookkeeper. Those were the positions that I determined would help free my time so that I could focus on product design, customer relations, social media, and website maintenance.
It's common for small businesses to hire contractors which allow for scheduling flexibility and minimal contractual binding for either party. You can hire them for as many or as few hours as you need them, depending on their schedules, or course.
Here are a few things that you’ll need to hire a contractor:
-A written contract
*speak to your legal advisor to make sure it includes everything that your business will need
-W9 for tax purposes
-Confirmation that they are self-insured
I recommend interviewing several prospects so that you can get a good understanding of their skill sets as well as to share your vision for the company to decide if they are a best fit for your business.
Taking the initial step to add someone to your team can be an incredibly rewarding experience as it'll allow you to focus once again on the things that you love and the things that you're good at. Remember, if you want your business to succeed, you need to stop treating it like a job and start running it like a business. Hiring is the only way to free yourself from a job and create a well-oiled machine that can eventually run on its own if need be.
Other blogs you might like to read:
"How to Get High Quality Photos Without Breaking The Bank"
"Top 3 Mistakes Small Shops Make on Instagram"
If you'd like to watch my IGTV video on this topic, you can find it here: