7 Tips - Taking the Leap and Hiring Your First Employee
I have been asked so many times how I made the leap and hired help for my growing business. Many of the people in my network are small business owners in a creative industry, and so are mostly working by themselves because they are the talent and so this is a big struggle for us. How do you know you can sustain that extra cost? For so many small business owners, their first hire is someone who will be intimately connected with the ins and outs of their business. How can you trust someone?
It was a HUGE step for me when I hired my first employee, but I can honestly say I don’t know how I functioned without them. When I made that leap, my productivity went up, we were more efficient and way more creative. Here are a few tips I have for making the leap for all you business owners out there:
First, you need to identify if you are a freelancer. If you are, to me that means that YOU have all the talent and you can't really outsource that. To me, you would get frustrated with hiring people to try to replicate something that is so unique to you and what you dot. If this sounds like you, I would suggest outsourcing the things that don't contribute to your craft before you try to outsource what you do to see if that makes a change in your business. For instance, hiring someone to clean your house, cut your lawn or babysit your kids so that you can focus your precious time and energy on what is important to you and what makes you money. If you are busier than you want to be, I would also get good at saying no, or charging more!! If you are looking to grow your business, hire people and start to reach more customers, then read on!
You have to be ready to give up some power. The very first person I hired asked me in their interview if I was ready to give up some power in my business. That question threw me off a bit but it was totally fair. Ask yourself this and be honest about that answer. I never considered the question but after she asked it I totally knew I was ready.
Hire to your weaknesses, not to your strengths. I know I am better at managing an event and seeing the big picture. The people I hire are detail oriented, great with budgets and have excellent communication skills. Know yourself and your strengths and what your business needs for success. You may not find that perfect person, but just identifying those areas will allow you to find a better hire.
Salary over hourly. There is certainly risk to salary but it worked for me. I have found that hiring someone on salary gives you way more buy-in from that person overall than if they were on an hourly wage. At Lux Events, we partner with all our clients and so partnering with my staff is just as important. I trust my staff and know they care about the job they are doing. As long as they get the job done, I don’t care how long it takes them. I would much rather they be efficient and have a 5 hour work day than drag a task out just to punch the clock and be unhappy! My staff work long days in our busy event seasons and so I trust they will take the time off they need when we are slower. It’s also easier to plan out your revenue for the year when when you know what your expenses are each month.
You have to be able to trust the person you’re bringing in. I am so confident in my processes and relationships that I’ve built in my business that even if one of my employees walked away with my secrets, I know they wouldn’t be successful in the same way I am because of the brand I’ve established, my creative ideas and the relationships I’ve built. Have confidence in what you’ve created and know that you are unique!
Delegate. You might have to give up some things that you love doing. Unless you're a freelancer, it’s reality. Some things are time sucks even though you love doing them it might make more sense for you to have someone else take that task on. Concentrate on what creates value for your customers and go do that. A lot of your time now will also be managing your staff! You need to have regular check ins with your staff and manage their workload. Would managing your staff energize you? Although it is challenging at times, I love managing staff. If this sounds like a nightmare to you, maybe hiring someone isn't for you.
Give your staff the proper training and let them know what you are all about! I share my Guide to Success with all my staff (even if they are only with us for 1 setup!) as I think it’s incredibly important for them to know WHY we care about what we do so they can treat everyone they encounter at an event the way I would.
And sometimes...you just have to trust your gut. Give it a shot, you’d be surprised at what you can get done and the more you can dream when you have help. If you have any questions about this or need a little help, feel free to email me, I would love to help: email@example.com. Good luck, you got this!!!