The decision to hire new staff is often a challenging one to make. Most owners faced with this type of expansion are hesitant to act, citing the costs of both time and money. But even when costs can be minimized, others defer to the common entrepreneurial trait of having a do-it-yourself mentality, believing that they can do everything on their own. Even more simply plead ignorance, predicting that present-day troubles will magically remedy themselves in the future.
But if your company truly needs more support, attempts to justify or ignore the problem might kill your business. Yes, you might be willing to do everything yourself in order to save money and/or time. But what many small business owners don’t realize is that their time and effort need to be focused on the right things. When you’re doing everything yourself, it’s easy to get caught up in details that do not move the needle on your business.
As a business owner, if the value of your own time is greater than the cost of hiring someone to help you, then you need to bring on extra help. Rather than seeing a new hire as just another expense, view it as an investment in the growth and future of your business.
However, knowing exactly when to hire can be difficult. Luckily, the five signs below will help you recognize when your business suffers from the consequences of being understaffed.
There Is Grumbling From Within
An office is no stranger to employee complaints. But if those complaints stem from being chronically overworked, then it’s up to you to investigate if their claims are legitimate. If they’re overloaded with projects and tasks, then their productivity and quality of work will decrease.
Overworked employees become unhappy ones, which can lead to many additional problems. Additionally, you need to truly pay attention and listen, because signs of “complaining” may not always be obvious. Are people falling behind on deadlines, making small mistakes or having interpersonal issues with one another? If so, it probably means you’ve exhausted your current workforce’s abilities and need to hire more people that can do what’s required.
Customer Service and Loyalty Are Losing Ground
Employee and customer complaints often follow a domino effect. If your employees are unhappy, you can bet your customers won’t be happy either.
When you or your employees can’t give proper attention to a customer, that customer will walk away unsatisfied. So if your current workforce can’t satisfy all of your customers, then it’s time to bring on extra help.
Hiring an extra employee has two effects. First, your employees will appreciate the extra breathing room. And second, your customers will end up happier and more satisfied. Make sure you have proper methods for measuring customer satisfaction. For online business, the “net promoter score” is the most widely used method. For other types of businesses, it can range from personal relationships to surveys.
Your Business Is Going Through Growing Pains
As a business owner, you’re responsible for seeing through your vision for the business. There will be moments when your company will be presented either with a timely chance to grow, or even better, your business will take off and multiply without any effort on your part. Both of these scenarios are great as long as you properly manage your growth.
But if you find that you and your team are having difficulties fulfilling the additional responsibilities, it may be worth hiring more people in order to properly keep the momentum going. This is especially valid if you forecast that the growth is sustainable. If you believe it’s temporary, then temp workers or independent contractors are a great solution.
You Don’t Have the Right Skill Sets
As any business grows, so will the needs of that business. For example, if you’re making a major push with a new product line that requires marketing expertise, you may need a marketing specialist. Assigning an existing employee that isn’t qualified to handle your marketing needs can lead to bad consequences. Sometimes, a superstar team member can succeed, but oftentimes, it sets your employee up for failure.
If you’re investing significant money into a new campaign, market or direction, don’t skimp on hiring the necessary personnel. You can’t force skill sets on people who simply don’t have them. Just because a professional golfer might be able to drive the ball 300 yards on the green doesn’t mean that he or she can hit a home run at the stadium.
Your Best Employees Used to Be Better
Do you have an employee that was once a company rock star but now produces weaker results? It’s far too easy to think that this person simply doesn’t care anymore. The reality, however, may be that he or she can’t keep up with the recent increase in workload. The real downside is that being overworked dilutes their results, which also shatters their confidence and motivation. In response, he or she may start looking for new employment in order to regain what was lost.
Don’t risk losing your best employees by giving them more than they can handle. On the other hand, when your business is successful, you shouldn’t be the only one to collect. Your team is a part of that success. If being overburdened makes them miss out on established incentives, you’ll notice it soon enough.
It’s All About the ROI
Of course, hiring can often be an expensive and time-consuming process. And although some of the processes can be streamlined and automated, it can take a lot for a small business to make the commitment. But if the signs point toward a need to expand, hiring new employees should give you and your business a substantial return on investment.
As a business owner, running your business is about calculating your risk and determining your needs and financial abilities. If an additional worker enhances the happiness of your employees and customers and boosts your product quality, then it will boost your profits too.