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How to Know When to Hire More People for Your Growing Business

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Deciding when to hire for your business can be such a tough call – On the one hand, you want to keep things as lean as possible while you’re growing, but on the other, you don’t want to wait too long and miss potential opportunities because you didn’t have the proper staffing in place. If you’re wondering how to know when to hire more people for your business, ask yourself the following questions.

What Is My Goal for this Business?

Perhaps you’re a photographer who runs a small studio in your town. Is your aim to keep your business local and fill your days with more clients? Would you like to take more clients on, but feel hampered by the time it takes to manage the business end of things (ordering supplies, marketing the company, answering phones, and tracking finances)? Would you like to train more photographers to work for you with the goal of opening another location in a neighboring city? Do you want to franchise your business with studios nationwide?

If your goal is to keep things small, hiring might not be the answer. If the execution of your work and ability to plan strategically is hindered by the day-to-day elements of the business, outsourcing might be a good choice. Small business owners often outsource tasks like bookkeeping and facility cleaning/maintenance to open up more of their time. If your goal is to grow your business into something larger, hiring could be right for your company.

Will Hiring Help Me Make More Money?

Obviously, there is an expense related to hiring employees. Before you start hiring, you should determine how these new employees will help you improve your bottom line and open up new revenue streams. For example, if you run a branding agency but have no graphic design experience, hiring a graphic designer could help you land more clients and book larger jobs. If you run a restaurant, perhaps hiring more help in the kitchen will enable you to turn tables faster. If the demand for your products or services is more than you can handle, hiring could help.

Am I Prepared to Take a Short-term Hit for Long-term Success?

Onboarding new employees can be tedious. There might be a steep learning curve and you may see a negative impact on profit to start. But once the employee is up to speed, their work should help build your business and increase profit. Make sure that your business and your personal finances are at a point where you can withstand this initial hit before you make hiring decisions. If you’re confident hiring is the right choice, but you just can’t afford it in the short-term, consider a small business loan or alternative financing.

Is My Business Growth Permanent, or Are We Just Experiencing a Surge?

If you feel like you need to hire because you just don’t have enough hands to juggle all the work coming your way, analyze whether that influx of demand is here to stay or if it is possibly just a fleeting surge. Surges in business can come seasonally, because of some external factor (e.g., a story about your business in the news), or for no explicable reason at all. If you’re not sure that the increased interest in your business is permanent, it might be a good idea to start off by hiring contractors for a set term. That makes it easy to renew contracts down the road or end them if the need is no longer there.

How to know when to hire more people is a challenge faced by many growing companies. Outsourcing or working with contractors can be a helpful bridge when you don’t know if you should take the leap and hire employees. Though hiring and dealing with employees can be difficult, it is often well worth the trouble in the long term.


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