Many small companies are run by just one person who does everything. While there are benefits to having a small business where you’re in sole control, there are downsides as well. In particular, you’re limited in how much you can accomplish when you are the only pair of hands.
At some point, if you want your company to grow, you may need to hire your first employee. You’ll want to be certain you are ready before you do that, though. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide if bringing on a new staff member is something you should do in 2024.
Do you have enough work to go around?
The first big question to ask before hiring an employee is whether you have enough work for everyone to do. If you’re currently happy with the hours you’re working and getting everything done, then you’d want to hire someone else only if you think doing so would expand the work that needs to be done (like, for example, if you could open a new location and bring in more customers).
Otherwise, if you don’t have enough tasks for your new employee to do, you’d end up wasting your time or theirs, since someone would be standing around doing nothing.
Do you have a specific job description in mind?
Hiring someone makes sense when you have a clear purpose of exactly what they will do. For example, if you run a bakery and you want to spend more time in the kitchen mastering your desserts, you might want to hire someone to run the cash register for you.
You need a clear job description in mind both so you can decide if bringing someone new on is justified and so you can attract the right candidate. After all, it does you no good to try to hire someone when you can’t tell them what their job tasks will be. No one would apply, and you’d have no way of interviewing to know if candidates were a good fit if they did.
Hiring an employee means you’ll have a lot of extra expenses coming out of your company’s bank account. You will have to cover half the cost of your employee’s Social Security and Medicare taxes, which collectively add up to 7.65% of the salary you pay your worker. You’ll likely also have to buy workers’ compensation insurance coverage, pay into unemployment insurance, and provide some workplace benefits. And, of course, you’ll have a new salary to pay out to your employee.
You must be prepared for all of these expenses and make sure the company has enough profits — or will have enough after you bring on the new worker — to cover the costs of your staff member and leave you enough to support yourself and grow your business.
Do you understand the labor laws that will protect your employee?
Finally, you need to make sure you understand all of the legal protections in place so you don’t accidentally break the law. For example, you need to know about workplace safety regulations that apply, as well as about minimum wage laws. You may want to consult with a professional to ensure you have a good grasp on all this information.
If you are comfortable with the rules and regulations, you have work that needs to be done, and you can make enough to cover your employee costs and still let your business thrive, then you may just be ready to hire your first staff member in 2024. Ideally, it will turn out to be a great business choice — as well as the start of a valuable new professional relationship for you both.
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