Whether to Hire an Employee or Not

Business & entrepreneurship, Personal finance

I’m now almost four months in to my new business.  As my last post indicated, sometimes business is slow.  But so far, the profits have increased steadily each month.  I am currently the only employee of my professional services business.  I don’t have enough work where I could afford someone full-time, but I might be able to hire a secretary 10-20 hours per week.  What worries me is that I don’t have a large enough sample size in terms of my business.  What if the work dries up?  The last thing I would want is to bring someone in and then later have to let them go because my fledgling business takes a bad turn.

There isn’t enough work yet where I’m incapable of doing everything myself, but I am starting to find it annoying coming in on the weekend to do secretarial and other administrative tasks.  The biggest reasons why I would like to hire someone, however, are as follows:

1) Sometimes people see me as less professional because I do not have a support staff/a secretary/assistant.  My profession is the type where one is expected to have a personal assistant.

2) Sometimes I feel that I could focus more on marketing my business if I didn’t have to spend so much time on administrative tasks.

3) Sometimes I’ll be out of the office for a few hours, and during that time the telephone rings straight to voicemail.  I worry that prospective clients may hang up during that time.  I also worry about not having someone at the base of operations if I need something faxed/emailed to me when I am working remotely.

Another concern for me is the extra red-tape/paperwork involved in having an employee.  It’s a definite downside to not being the sole worker.  I’m also not the best delegator so I worry how productive it would be for me to even have a secretary/assistant.

Finally, I like being solo.  I like that I can do what I want (when I want) without feeling judged.  I’ve worked in enough places to know that even if you are the boss, employees will be looking to you for guidance and direction.  There’s a certain amount of pressure that goes along with that–even though I believe it’s what’s naturally occurring anyway.

The Economy

In this economy, it would be really rewarding for me to be able to provide even a part-time job to another person.  That’s one of the ultimate goals (of mine) for owning a business.  But because the economy is so bad, I also don’t want to have to let someone go if my business slows down.  Finally, all my instincts are those of a boot-strapper, working hard to build up something from nothing.  It terrifies me to increase the expenses right now, so early in a business and when I’m trying to keep expenses to a minimum.


I know there’s not enough information about my specific business to ask your advice, but I would love to hear your thoughts on when a business knows it’s time to expand.  When is the time to bring in a new employee?  As always, your thoughts are greatly appreciated and personal stories are always welcomed as well.




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