Hiring staff is often the only way you can make the leap from small-time business to something greater – but hiring and managing staff isn’t always easy.
Success can be a curse. Of course, not the sort of curse that you can complain about and get sympathy from people – trust me, the moment you start complaining about being too successful in your business, people will shut you down, and fast. Still, anyone who has launched a freelance business reaches a crossroads eventually: That point where they’re as busy as they can get, are charging the highest rates they can charge, and if they want to make more money they will have to consider hiring staff and becoming a larger enterprise.
This happened to me in my own modest translation services business. I wasn’t exactly Microsoft-sized, but I’d reached a point where the idea of taking on one more client made me sweat. I knew that I had a choice: I could hire someone to help me, or I could take a step back. I chose to take a step back, and haven’t really regretted it, because hiring staff – in a language translation business or other sort of business – can be a positive – or a negative.
Staff Positives and Negatives
Having staff means a lot of great things for you and your business:
- You can pass the most boring stuff to your employees. After all, that’s what you pay them for. This leaves you free to either build the business further, to explore other opportunities for your business, or to take more time for yourself – whatever your goals are.
- You can start thinking big, because any goals you had that you lacked the skills or time for are now within reach. All it takes is hiring the right people.
On the other hand, hiring people can have a lot of negatives for you to deal with:
- You’ll have a lot more to worry about, from payroll and benefits (if they’re full-time) to managing personalities and juggling schedules as people take vacations or just call in sick.
- Your employees represent your business to the world, so you’ll be on the hook if someone misbehaves or does a poor job.
- It’s often easier to grow than to shrink, so taking on new people and new jobs often means you’re stuck – if someone quits, it’s likely on you to fill the gap until you can hire someone else.
Hiring: Things to Consider
If you do decide it’s time to add some staff, here are a few considerations:
- Spend a lot of time thinking about the ideal candidate you want – their skills, their background and – just as important – their personality. Know what you want before you announce the opening.
- Make certain you’ve got the budget set up. Even if you’re just handling everything as freelance positions, you can get into a lot of trouble if you don’t plan ahead to ensure you can pay your new hires.
That being said – go for it! You’re on a grand adventure, and your business is growing!
Image courtesy worklife.roberthalf.com.au