How to hire employees for small business: 7 signs you’re ready to employ help

How to hire employees for small business: 7 signs you’re ready to employ help

Amy Beardsley
By Amy Beardsley
Apr 5, 2024
7 min read

Entrepreneurs can’t be everywhere at once, and many would like to bring in an extra set of hands. Sooner or later, most founders will need to know how to hire employees for small businesses.

If you’re wondering if it’s time to bring more workers into the fold, ask yourself these seven questions to determine if now is the time:

  1. Is your level of customer service slipping?
  2. Are you saying no to new business?
  3. Do you have a good work-life balance?
  4. Are you overwhelmed at work?
  5. Do you want to bring more tasks in-house?
  6. Do you want to explore new revenue streams and opportunities?
  7. Do you want to take on a more strategic role?

Small business owners have a lot on the line when hiring an employee. The position you hire first depends on your skills, the type of business you’re in and your payroll budget. Follow some pro small business hiring tips, such as creating a clear job description and waiting to hire until you find the right person.

Before hiring an employee and committing to payroll tax, benefits and paid time off, make sure you have enough work to justify the spend of someone new on staff. 

Also, consider this: You might be better off hiring an independent contractor vs. an employee until your workload increases or becomes stable enough to support a full-time employee position.

If you feel you’re well-resourced enough to take the plunge, ask yourself:

1. Is your level of customer service slipping?

To grow your business, you need to meet or exceed customer expectations. For a small business, hiring employees can be essential to keep up with customer service. Your customers may go elsewhere if you’re unable to respond quickly to their issues. 

According to Hubspot, it’s cheaper and more profitable to retain your existing clientele — repeat customers are 300% more likely to spend more with your company.

2. Are you saying no to new business?

One of the most obvious signs of needing more help is if you’re turning down new business. This could mean several things — either your services are in high demand, or you’re overbooked because you simply can’t do everything on your own anymore. 

Either way, hiring someone with similar skills to help out is an option For example, if you need help for a few hours a week, a part-time employee can take just enough tasks off your plate.

3. Do you have a good work-life balance?

You might have started your business because you liked what you did and wanted to be in charge of how much or how little you worked. But if you’re working long hours every day of the week, you might be setting yourself up for burnout (or worse). 

A NEXT survey found that nearly half of small business owners are working more hours — 40% of owners report feeling frustrated and stressed with the state of America’s workforce.

If you’re at a point where your productivity has plateaued, and there are no obvious improvements to make, consider bringing someone else on board. You’re not just a business owner; you’re also a human who needs to enjoy life outside of work.

4. Are you overwhelmed at work?

You might be ready to hire more help if you and/or your employees work long hours, feel overwhelmed, and complain about the workload. Unhappy employees can wreak havoc on company morale or quit suddenly — leaving you in the lurch, which can be bad for business.

For example, suppose you own a busy food delivery business. If you’re understaffed, your staff might experience intense stress trying to keep up.

Hiring is about more than finding someone who can get the job done. It’s also about finding the right person for your team and ensuring that they work well with you and your existing staff.

5. Do you want to bring more tasks in-house?

Outsourcing might make sense when you’re getting off the ground. But you may want to bring some tasks in-house as your business starts making money.

Taking on an employee could save you money or improve the quality of your work, or both. For example, to bring marketing in-house, consider hiring a marketing specialist or an administrative assistant to help with advertising or social media management.

Before posting a job listing, think about which aspects of your business can be done internally and what makes sense for your company.

6. Do you want to explore new revenue streams and opportunities?

Many small business owners need employees to unlock new ways to make money. You might want to expand your business to a new location or launch a new product or service.

If you sell products, you may add a new product line. If you’re a fitness trainer who works with clients one-on-one you may want to offer group classes or online fitness classes.

7. Do you want to take on a more strategic role?

You probably didn’t start your business because you thought it would be fun to ship orders, answer phone calls and keep the books. Most business owners build their company based on passion or an area of interest. But tedious day-to-day operations can prevent you from expanding your business growth.

If this is true for you, hiring a new team member can help. Your employee can handle the tasks that keep your business running while you take on more big-picture thinking.

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NEXT specializes in small businesses, and we can help ensure you have just the business insurance coverage you need. We offer general liability insurance, workers’ compensation coverage, commercial property insurance and more.

You can get an instant quote in about 10 minutes, then customize your options and access your certificate of insurance immediately.

Start a free quote with NEXT today.

Amy Beardsley
About the author

Amy Beardsley, insurance expert and contributing writer at NEXT Insurance, is a content marketing writer who specializes in small business coverage. Leveraging her background in the legal field, Amy brings a deep understanding of laws, regulations, and compliance requirements to her work. As a content marketing writer since 2016, she has contributed to publications like Legal & General, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, Insurify, and NerdWallet. Her work has also appeared in CNBC, Kiplinger, and US News. When she’s not writing, Amy enjoys playing cards with her family and experimenting with new recipes.

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