This post was written by Patricia Frame of Strategies for Human Resources, our guest author for our solopreneur blog series.
Many solopreneurs choose to be independent based on their goals. Some start that way and decide to build a bigger business, while others seek to build a company once they realize that they have more business than they can handle.
At a recent Alexandria SBDC seminar on hiring, we discussed how to think about what expertise and services you need and whether that should include employees.
The triggers for adding outside services, consultants, independent contractors, or employees are the same main three:
- Turning away business or work
- Adding new products or services
- Improving customer service for retention and growth
Ask yourself these questions to decide what help you really need to hire.
- Why are you considering hiring an employee?
- What are the main work requirements you need additional help to do? Be specific about both the work and the skills and experience needed to do the work.
- What is the time frame for hiring?
- What is the estimated amount of work to do per week (in hours) or over another time frame (e.g. short-term needs, seasonal needs)?
Once you have thought deeply about these questions, you can more clearly see what type of help you may need. An employee is the best choice when you have a consistent, long-term need to fulfill and the resources to manage and pay a person. Many solopreneurs start by hiring specialized help for short-term or intermittent needs via an independent contractor or by out-sourcing the work to another company.
If you have not, do check out the Employer Checklist on the Alexandria SBDC website under Resources in the HR and Employer Issues section. It will provide steps you need to take and links to government websites needed in the process to become a legal employer.
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