Making the leap from a sole trader to building up a workforce can be the most critical stage for any business and a very daunting task. The cost, time and practicalities involved in taking the leap and expanding can be a sticking point for young businesses. 

We have rounded up the top 5 indicators which may mean you are ready to take this leap and hire your first member of staff.

You have more business than you can handle and are turning down work

Perhaps the most obvious indicator that growth is warranted is that you can’t meet demand. Obviously, you shouldn’t hire until you have adequate work for another person to handle. If you are turning down a lot of work because you can’t physically handle it then this could be a sign you need to hire someone to help meet the demand.

You have identified a new revenue stream

You can hire someone to help you with your existing work demands but you can also hire someone to help with whole new types of work. If you see a gap in the market or a new possible revenue stream then you could hire someone to help you with this, the right employee can truly make the difference in taking your business to the next level.

You have a plan for growth

It’s important to have both short- and long-term goals, but you also need to map out a strategy for getting there. If you plan to grow which will mean you can’t handle the workload by yourself then hiring a staff member could make the progression smoother and more successful.

Your industry is growing

Take a look at your industry: is the market saturated? Or are you only scratching the surface of the customer base you could reach? Analyse your competitors and possible target markets-If you have minimal competition and a large untapped customer base, then you have better odds for successful growth which can mean that you need staff to help you.

You are meeting your goals

As a business you need to be setting yourself goals and aiming to reach those milestones you set. Make sure you asses your progress continuously to make sure you are on the right track to meet those goals. If you are, and ahead of schedule, then maybe you can speed up your plans and to help with take could employee someone to help.
If those indications are taking place in your business, then here is the next step as suggested by  senior business advisor here at The Women’s Organisation, Claire Pedersen. Take time to analyse if you are definitely ready to hire your first staff member by completing a time and motion study.

Every day for a few weeks, make a note of everything you do and how long those tasks take. Then analyse these tasks and see if they are things you need to be doing eg., networking or delivery of a service. These tasks should then be split into two lists. First, look at the tasks and see if there are duplications, are there tasks being done 3 times a week when you could just do them once? This is to find out if you are maximising your time in the most efficient way. On the second list look at what jobs are on that list and what job roles this could form, is there enough tasks on that list to warrant a full time member of staff or should you just employ freelancers or no one at all?

If you’d like some help with taking on staff for the first time, get in touch with Enterprise Hub to find out more about the business growth programme which can help you understand the practicalities. Email or ring us on 0151 706 8113.