to do? What tasks do you most want an
employee to accomplish? You’re almost cer-
tain to have a long, long list. Prioritize. Clearly
define the work and you’ll be more likely to
find a candidate who fits your needs.
How much can you afford? Fear of
making payroll is probably the biggest obstacle for most people. Of course, you need
to make enough to pay yourself too. Change
your outlook: Consider employees an investment (which they are), and carefully plan.
Use a worksheet to help figure out your financial options.
Start slowly. You may not have to
plunge in with a full-time permanent employee.
Small businesses hire a quarter of their employees as part-timers. You may even want to get
your feet wet by first using independent contractors for tasks such as marketing or book-keeping, as long as they meet the legal
requirements for being contractors. (This is a
murky and complicated area—do some
research before going there.) That will help
you determine whether you’re confidently
able to make payroll.
Make the mental leap. Before you
place a help-wanted ad, begin to see yourself
in a new way. Let’s be frank: You’re not going
to learn to be a great boss overnight. But you
can learn those skills just as you’ve learned
other skills in building your business. C
The right time to hire is when
you want to grow your business
;is is the ;rst of four articles on the subject of hiring that author and entrepreneur
Rhonda Abrams will be writing exclusively for ;e Costco Connection in 2011.
Look for her next article, on 10 hiring do’s and don’ts, in an upcoming issue.
By Rhonda Abrams
WHERE DO YOU see your business in a
year? Three years? Five years? If you want to
grow—serve more customers, create new
products, make more money—you can’t do it
When I started my first business, I didn’t
want to have a boss and I didn’t want to be a
boss. I waited too long—way too long—
before hiring my first employee. I used to
spend hours going to the post office, inputting data or running errands instead of working with paying clients. Hiring my first
employee was a great decision: It helped me
grow my company and grow as a person.
Think about why you went into business. It probably wasn’t to do administrative
tasks. With an employee—the right employee—you’ll spend more time on what you’re
good at (and make money doing) and less
time on grunt work. That’s just one benefit
of hiring an employee.
Having employees enables you to achieve
several desirable goals:
Serve more customers.
Produce more products or services.
Add additional skills and talents.
Spend your time on money-producing
Use your time on the things you do
best and like to do.
Make money when someone else
Bounce ideas off someone else.
Grow your company.
Few things make such a difference as hiring. Consider this: In America, more than 20
million businesses have no employees. If just
1 percent added an employee, 200,000 new
jobs would be created! You can be part of that,
while helping yourself and your business.
How do you know when it’s the right time
for you to hire? Perhaps, like restaurants,
hotels and many tech companies, you need
employees the day you open your doors. Or
you’re so busy that you turn away work or
can’t handle routine tasks. I’m always amazed
by how many self-employed individuals don’t
have time to get out their invoices.
If you’re thinking about hiring, or have
hired recently, consider the following.
Figure out your needs. First things
first: What, exactly, do you need an employee
Rhonda Abrams has started four successful
companies. A regular contributor to The
Costco Connection, she currently heads
The Planning Shop, a publisher specializing
in entrepreneurship and small business
Get a free copy of
Hire Your First Employee
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guides you through
such as taxes and
laws, payroll and
benefits, and also
the practices that
will help make
you, your employ-
ees and your business successful. For
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