This State of Small Business Report indicates 2016 has been a productive year for small businesses, who are intent on hiring the staff they need to expand:
- 71% of small businesses expect a revenue increase in 2016
- 27% are investing in employee productivity measures (e.g. training)
- 50% plan to hire employees this year (Up 12% from 2015)
- 35% plan to hire three to five new employees
Your small business may be part of this upward trend. The question is, how do you know your company needs more employees? Hiring staff is a big commitment.
There are key indicators you need to look for to know when it’s time to take the plunge and invite new team members on board.
1. You Turn Down Work
This is one of the clearest signs you need help. Clients want to hire you and you can’t take on their interesting, profitable projects because your business is already stretched too thin.
Here’s what that might look like. A Napa Valley winery grows its reputation so well orders are flooding in. They can’t keep up with the demand: they are producing as much as they can with the number of cellar workers currently on staff.
The manager recognizes the need and contacts a wine industry staffing agency to bring on enough new hires to support a larger client load. The new staff is hired and onboarded in time to capitalize on the increased interest in their brand.
2. You’re Lacking Specialized Skills
You have enough employees to keep up with day to day responsibilities. The problem is, you’ve received more and more client complaints lately. The feedback centers on how your employees can’t deliver what your customers need. This is often the result of a lack of specialization. So while you may have enough employees in general, you don’t have key staff members with the right kind of expertise or training.
Let’s go back to the wine industry for an example. A small winery wants to improve its tasting room experience. Customers aren’t receiving enough assistance, and it’s affecting sales. The owner runs the tasting room, and the salespeople aren’t trained to do much more than sign customers up for club memberships.
The winery’s trusted staffing agency helps them hire a tasting room manager who can refine the tasting experience and educate the sales team. The owner is relieved of the task, tastings are exceptional, and sales go up all from one, smart hire.
3. You Never Catch Up On Paperwork
This may seem minor, but it is a serious red flag you’re understaffed. You never get around to sorting through client files, invoices, and past orders. When you do catch up, you’re taking precious time during evenings and weekends to finish it.
You might need to hire an administrative assistant to handle your paperwork, or you may need to bring on employees to take on sales, client accounts, or management so you can do the paperwork yourself. Temporary staffing is a low-risk strategy for deciding which roles will lighten your load.
4. Your Current Employees Are Burned Out
What the two stories above leave out is the experience of the winery employees. They are just as likely as management to feel the repercussions of turning down and disappointing clients due to a lack of staff. You know your employees feel the strain of being understaffed when signs of burnout pop up:
- Slip-ups due to a lack of concentration
- Star employees are losing confidence
- Negativity is spreading among your staff
- Absenteeism, sickness, and fatigue are on the rise
Whether you currently have two employees or 200, remedy burnout as soon as you notice it. Nothing will relieve your tired staff better than unburdening them of work by handing it over to your skilled new hire.