First time business owners tend to have difficulty transitioning from a solopreneur to an entrepreneur. Whether it's fear of having enough funds to support a team or an overwhelming sense that no one can do what you do better than you, hiring that first employee can be a scary step. Your company will never become what what it's truly capable of and run without you until you build your team. To help ease the heartache of delegating your responsibilities, here are five things to keep in mind when hiring your first employee.
1. Figure out your financing first.
Having concern about the capital it takes to hire someone is a warranted worry. Take an honest look at your budget and confirm you can carry another employee and afford the taxes and healthcare costs that come along with a new hire. It's also important to remember that an employee is an investment. This person is unlikely going to show up on day one fully ready to tackle their position. They will need training and guidance, which will require your time and money. However, over time they will become a valuable asset to the business.
2. Understand your needs.
What do you spend the most time doing? Break up your day and group similar tasks together. Use that information to hire the appropriate employee to take over those time consuming tasks. For example, if invoicing, vendor agreements, and bills are the biggest demand, hiring an accountant could give you a huge chunk of your day back. Each business is different and each individual excels in different ways. Assess the needs of your business and determine what tasks you'd most like to delegate before hiring someone.
3. Clearly state roles and responsibilities.
The reason certain chains can expand or franchise so easily is because they have a strong employee operations system in place. Each position has defined roles so that if an individual does not meet those requirements, they can easily be replaced. Create a handbook that can serve as a guide to your new hires. It should include details about their position, as well as information about your company's culture and the standards you uphold. If problems occur in the future, you can reference the handbook in relaying how the employee's actions were contradictive to what your business stands for as a whole or what their specific position entails.
4. Look at the potential (not just the past) of your applicants.
It's natural to want a candidate with a lot of experience and education but it shouldn't cause you to overlook the less qualified, hardworking applicant with a ton of drive. Seek an individual that has a genuine interest in your business and what you do. If passion is what piqued their interest in the position, their loyalty and dedication to your company's growth could be more beneficial than a relevant degree.
5. Rather than hire right off the bat, request a trial run.
One date isn't enough time to determine if someone is marriage material and one interview shouldn't suffice for long term employment. Request that your winning applicant agree to a 30-day trial run before offering them a permanent position. This will give you both a chance to see how you work together and determine if the position is the right fit. Schedule a performance review at the end of the test period where you can either extend an official offer or let them go.