Where do you see your business in one year? Don’t know the answer? Then it’s time you formulated a business plan that clearly maps out your business’ future. When your direction is clear, you will know if expanding your staff numbers is the answer to achieving growth and the type of staff you need to succeed in attaining your business objectives.

If your business analysis revealed that you can afford a new employee then great! Get hiring!! Oh, wait. What will be the purpose of your new hire? Will they be taking over the mundane $25 per hour tasks that have been absorbing too much of your time so that you can concentrate on the $300 per hour work that will take your business to the next level? Or is outsourcing some work the best solution to focusing your energy on building your business for another fifteen hours per week? If an examination of your business demonstrates that you can increase revenue by 40 per cent by allocating a portion of your work to someone else, then the answer to engaging others to undertake work for you is a no brainer. You just need to know the right course of action that will best enable you to achieve your future business goals.

If you have concluded that you definitely need to hire more staff, you need to also be mindful of other factors. If you work from home, will your new staff member also work from your location, or will they work remotely? If you have an office, how many more staff can it accommodate before you outgrow the premises? More staff and a larger office can mean an increased demand for parking, maybe even another company vehicle, and an increase in rent. You’re not just adding to the amount you pay out in wages each week, you may also be increasing other essential business costs thus your bottom line is likely to be affected in more ways than one. Getting the balance right is very important as growing too fast can result in the ineffective management of your cash flow and send your business crashing head on into bankruptcy. I’m guessing that isn’t a future goal within the pages of your business plan, hmm?

Your business examination should also extend to your industry. Trade may have increased across the entire business sector, but is the boom here to stay or is it to be short lived? Putting off hiring can restrict growth and damage customer relationships, but if you delay too long you will also fall behind your competition. In the face of a short term influx, the consideration of short term hires for specific projects is a smart avenue to pursue.

Whether your business is small or large, there will be numerous questions to ask yourself when considering a new hire; Are you becoming a burnt out entrepreneur stuck focusing on survival rather than growth? Is the quality of your work suffering? Are you ready to let go of control? Can existing staff take on more responsibility? Is it expertise rather than staff numbers that you are lacking? Can you temporarily work with another business to offer a full suite of services to your clientele while you continue to build your assets? Remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat so if adding to your staff numbers is not financially possible, utilising existing resources in other ways may be the answer you’re looking for. You just have to be clever in your thinking.

For many businesses, making that decision to hire another employee can be an agonising decision. After all, increasing your overheads can be risky if you’re not confident that the business is going to grow. Thus there are two questions to ask yourself; What has happened that has me contemplating expanding my staff numbers and where do I want to take my business? Knowing when to expand your staff numbers is a matter of understanding your business needs both now and in the future. Recognising that the addition of a new employee to your business is an investment in your future, from which you can expect a return, you will equally realise that you should only make that investment if your business goals demand an expansion. But as always, the key to succeeding is hiring the right people. The right people can grow your business and have you looking for yet another hire in next to no time. So I ask you, where will your business plan be taking you in the next twelve months?

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