You’ve been doing great as a one-person business. You get a few referrals every week. You close most of the leads and handle every job personally. You’ve earned a reputation for doing quality work, and you can see that you’re well on your way towards major growth and long-term success.
The only problem?
You can’t get there on your own.
There is a limit to the amount of time and energy you personally have to give. If you want to grow your company, you have to hire employees. And that is no small undertaking.
Most entrepreneurs feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of adding new members to their team. And honestly, they should feel a little overwhelmed. Hiring is a big deal. On one hand, building a team signifies a massive step forward for your company. On the other hand, bringing on new people comes with new risks.
- What if you hire the wrong people?
- How do you know if you can trust your employees?
- What additional expenses will you take on when you add team members?
- Will managing a team take you away from the work you love most?
- What about that incredible sense of control you have as a one-person operation? Will you lose that?
These are all valid concerns. Fortunately, there is a systematic approach to growing your business that can help sweep many of these worries away.
Step One: Assess how your business is doing right now.
You can’t hire the right people for the right jobs if you’re not 100% clear on what your needs are. And you don’t know what your needs are if you haven’t taken the time to look at how well you’re performing right now.
You undoubtedly have some sense of how well you’re doing. You know you’ve been getting more and more business and that your profits are on the rise. But you need to know the actual numbers. Take a minute to go over the following metrics.
- How many leads do you generate every month?
- How many of those leads do you convert to jobs?
- What is your average transaction and profit per job?
These numbers should reveal a lot to you. They communicate your current level of success and they show where there may be some missed opportunities.
To discover those missed opportunities, move on to:
Step Two: Determine the areas where a little help could grow your business.
Let’s say that as you look over your current metrics, you realize you’re not closing as many leads as you could. Perhaps it’s because your sales skills aren’t as strong as they could be. Or maybe it’s because you have your hands full dealing with individual jobs and client follow-up. Either way, hiring an additional person will generate more profits in the long run, whether you decide to hire for a sales position, an office manager, a skilled tradesperson, or anyone else.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider what you need:
- Which areas of the business do I need help in? Sales? Admin? Management?
- What am I really good at? What responsibilities are best kept in my own hands?
- Is there potential to generate more sales once I have help?
Answering these questions helps you determine not only whether you should hire an employee, but also how to take that next step productively.
Step Three: Ensure that a new hire equals higher profits.
When you add someone to your team, you open yourself up to new risks. If your new hire doesn’t help you generate more leads and sales, you’re essentially throwing money away, paying out a salary without gaining anything extra in profits.
You’ve already helped minimize this risk for yourself by evaluating how well your business is currently doing, how well it could be doing, and which skill sets are needed to help you get there. Now it’s time to take a look at what you can and cannot afford to invest in this next big step.
- How big you want your business to be. What ultimate goal are you reaching for? What intermediate step is appropriate at this point in time?
- How much cash you have to invest in the growth of your business. Can you afford to hire just one person? Two? More?
- How you are going to control growth to prevent losses. What can you do to make sure hiring a team member generates more business?
- How you will make the transition from managing yourself to managing a team. Are there any leadership skills you need to develop? How will you make company policies and values crystal clear to your new hires?
The bottom line is:
You don’t have to fear big change if you make that change strategically.
The tough reality of entrepreneurship is that you do have to make bold moves if you want to grow your business. You must be willing to make big, sometimes scary adjustments. You have to swallow your fears and all the what-ifs so you can open your arms to all the possibilities.
But you also have to be smart about it.
Take the time to sit down and assess where you are, where you’re going, and what you need to get there.
And then somewhere between all the metrics and analysis, remember to congratulate yourself. It’s hard to grow a business. The fact that you’re taking this step means you’re already doing something right