The time has finally come for your small business to need a little growth. You’ve spent some time getting your business and your product out into the market. You’ve combatted ecommerce and social media until you’ve climbed to the top of where you had planned to be by now; it’s a great feeling and you should be proud of yourself. However, the numbers do not lie and it’s time to start looking at things that you need to change to accommodate the demand for your business that you didn’t anticipate. While it’s exciting to get to grips with the thought of expanding the business that has been solely in your care for this long, it’s scary, too! Not only are you about to start increasing your levels of production, you are also going to have to start looking at bringing on some staff to give you a little relief.
As a smaller company, you may not have a HR department on hand to advise you about the process for hiring people, benchmarking salaries or what you can afford for a new workforce. If you don’t have a workforce right now, then this whole process will be very new to you and you will have a lot to learn along the way. Adding staff is a huge step for a new business. Not only do you have to think carefully about where you want to add someone new, you have to think about how it’ll change your business. Most of the time, new employees do nothing but enhance your business. Not only can they bring a wealth of experience, but they can take some of the burden off of you, especially if you have been working alone.
No one can really tell you when the right time to add new people is. The only way you can truly know when to expand your workforce is by asking yourself some serious questions, and we’ve helpfully put some of those questions together for you to make life easy.
What Business Do You Want?
This is an important question to ask yourself. This whole time, you’ve been working alone, and the company has been very successful. Not everyone wants to have a huge, booming company with hundreds of people working under the same roof. Expansion doesn’t mean more bodies have to be stuffed into the building. It’s time now to choose whether you want to have a larger staffing – whether inhouse or outsourced – or whether you prefer to have a smaller, more intimate team. You don’t need a huge department for each area, and adding more people means letting go of some of the pieces of your business so that others can help. It’s up to you if that is what you want.
Can You Control Growth?
Some businesses are able to control their rate of growth. Most companies that offer a product online are at the mercy of that product if it becomes popular. You need to decide whether you can handle the additional orders that you would be inundated with, or whether you need to scale it back until you get the staff in to assist. What you can control will really dictate how many staff you need to bring on and in which department.
What’s The Growth Like?
Are you experiencing popularity with one product as you do each year, such as Christmas-themed gifts, or are you experiencing an overall popularity with all your products? If it’s the first, there’s a chance you only need to bring on temporary staff to help you with the workload for the season. If the second, looking at longer and more permanent solutions is the answer, as you will need the staff all year round. You need to be sure that you can justify the level of staffing, as you don’t want to add in a load of new people if their job roles won’t be sustainable.
Do You Have To Go In-House?
How much work do you get through the year that you need a permanent staff force with you? Many companies, especially smaller outfits, choose to outsource different pieces of their company rather than lock into the commitment that comes with hiring permanent staff in-house. Outsourcing can be hugely beneficial to your company, as you can still get the support that you need without breaking the bank and committing to the benefits you have to provide as an employer of permanent staffing.
Can You Handle It?
Before you can decide whether you need new people, you have to decide whether you are equipped for it. If you are working out of your spare bedroom at present, you need to choose whether it’s feasible for you to bring anyone on at all! The people you bring on will need a level of training and management that you have to free time for, and if you cannot afford that time then you may be wasting it thinking if you can handle a new person aboard. You also need to consider the extra safety training and any legislation you have to meet by hiring in new people.
Bringing on new bodies into your organisation is not an easy business. It’s not as simple as putting a job advert in a newspaper and waiting for the applications to roll in. Recruitment is a process that takes both your time and your money, and you need to have both of those free to be able to get through the process itself. Your company could greatly benefit from expansion, and often you won’t know how well it can benefit until you bring anyone on. Hiring employees is a big step for a business you are likely very protective over, but the rewards that new staff can give you can be great, and you can do so well with the future of your company if you bring on someone you can trust. Give your company a chance to evolve and watch your profit margins soar!