The XYZed has scoured the internet for the most popular questions asked by self-starters – and now we’re answering them. Dr Richard Laferriere, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne University helped us determine when it’s time to bring someone new on board, and how to find them.
Being a self-starter means doing a lot of day to day work you might not have been across when you were working for someone else. Like finances and budgeting. Or ordering stock. Or being your own IT department. So, how do you know when it’s time to bring on some outside help?
When the time is right
“The signs should be fairly obvious,” says Dr Laferriere.
“You have less time to do what you were doing before. As you get more interest and customers or clients you will find there is not enough time to service all of them and someone else may be needed for the volume of work you are bringing in.”
This work may not actually be directly related to servicing your clients and customers, but may relate to managing the administrative side of the business, marketing the business, or managing the books and finances. If you find these kind of tasks piling up, you’re not enjoying doing them, or if there’s just not enough hours in a day, it means you should bring someone else on board.
“The other important thing to look at is the amount of revenue and profit you are generating. This needs to justify the expense of hiring someone,” says Dr Laferriere.
“While you may feel you are busy enough to bring someone in, the business may need to be a lot busier to justify hiring someone or investing in software and tools to increase productivity.”
Finding your deficits
“If you have reached that point where you are ready to bring someone in, it should be based on the skills and abilities that you need in the business,” says Dr Laferriere.
“We are all great at some things but not others, and you need to be able to recognise this. There are many skill assessments out there that can be taken which can give you a picture of what you need.”
Dr Laferriere recommends going back to your business plan and get a sense of what you are delivering, and where you need to dedicate more time and resources to keeping the business growing and functioning optimally.
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You also need to think about what skills will complement your own, what type of person you want to be working with, and who you can afford.
“Look at your current pricing strategy and see if it needs to be adjusted before you bring someone else in. I would also look at the expectations of your customers and clients – get a sense of what they want and when they need it,” says Dr Laferriere.
This can create a greater competitive advantage and lead to an increased level of services on offer to potential customers and clients.
There are many ways to find a new employee. Posting your own listing with online career and job sites, using a recruitment firm, reaching out to your personal network of friends and family – all of these can lead you to a pool of prospective people.
“All work, but all of them have pros and cons – from the price, to the quality of applicants and the type of job seekers that they attract,” says Dr Laferriere.
When it comes to bringing someone new on board, Dr Laferriere believes that looking to the employees of the future is a great place for self-starters to focus their time and effort.
“A great place to find someone is through universities and their career services,” he says.
“Young people have amazing talent, and are looking for practical opportunities to build their skills in ways that fit with their study. University students are always full of enthusiasm and energy, and really want to work towards something they can help grow.”
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