Starting your own business is a lot like packing a snowball and rolling it down a hill: for a while it seems like nothing’s happening, but then before you know it, your snowball has gained speed and momentum and has grown into something much larger than what you started with. Unless you have a team that can help you handle what you’ve created, you might end up getting run over!
Knowing when to get help can be difficult to gauge, but here are a few thoughts from us to help you when you find yourself thinking you might need it…
1. You own your business!
Not visa versa. As a business owner, you have signed up for longer hours and more responsibility. But that shouldn’t mean that your business becomes your Frankenstein and winds up dictating what you can and cannot do at the expense of your family, friends, and lifestyle values. If it starts feeling like you’re a slave to your business, take a look at things to see what areas you could let go of or what tasks you could allow another person to help out with.
2. You are only one person!
No matter how hard you try, no matter how many hours you put in, you will still only ever have 24 hours in each day and 7 days in a week. Even as the most productive person on earth, you would still be limited by what you will be able to accomplish and there comes a point when you become the roadblock limiting your own progress. This business may be your baby, but it also needs to grow or else it will turn stagnant.
Knowing your limits is paramount to success. If your business’s growth has come to a standstill, it might mean you need more people to help carry the vision farther than you can alone. This might be just the sign you need to show you it’s time to lighten your load by letting someone else shoulder some of the weight for you.
3. You are in business because you’re strong in a particular area.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and decide to get help to offset the areas that aren’t utilizing your time effectively or efficiently. Spending your time on your strengths ultimately allows you more growth potential and reduces frustration at the same time.
4. Do your homework and plan ahead!
Whether it be interviewing your network to find another business that can pick up in your weaknesses, or developing an internship program, hiring part time or temporary help, or you have enough to fill a full time position, resources and options are many. Interview and research to find the right plan for you and your business.
Start by gauging the amount of ongoing work you need done by the one-time, get-it-done-now projects that come and go. Then decided if your tasks are easy enough for someone to walk in and handle (filing, answering phones, etc) or if you have to train for the position (specific client accounts). Can you afford to train someone to do a job that is temporary (temp agency or internship) or are your time and resources worth finding someone who you only have to train once and can stay the course? Planning ahead will help you know when the time is right.
5. Now is the right time!
Figuring out where to start when you need an employee or another expert in your corner doesn’t have to be overwhelming. But trusting that there is awesome assistance available in today’s market should eliminate much of your intimidation – there are plenty of ways to find good help!
One of the best assets you have is your network. Start sharing your need – you never know who might need a job. Talk with other business owners and see what has worked for them. If there are colleges in your area, look into what employment programs they offer their students. Explore the options a local employment agency would give you. And don’t be afraid of internet postings, either. If you don’t know where to begin to look for employees, a few fantastic resources are handsfreeteam.com (by our friend Deanna Maio), linkedin.com, elance.com, and SBA.gov.
Knowing when to call in backup and build your team, can be a tough call to make as a business owner. Sometimes you might need to stretch and maintain between needing to add an employee and not being able to support that need. Ultimately though, step out confidently, take a leap of faith, and trust your ability to find a person who will add to the success of your business.
Remember, you don’t have to go it alone!
© 2011 Propel Businessworks (SET). All rights reserved.