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Many entrepreneurs and new business owners are tremendously keen to start hiring employees as soon as possible. It’s not much of a surprise. After all, a company office full with staff appears to be more professional than a solo operation run from your mom’s spare bedroom. But should hiring be on your list of priorities? The truth is, probably not. The second you start hiring, it opens up a different can of worms altogether, and your business will change overnight. Here are a few of the common issues you might experience.
First and foremost, your business needs to be a decent position before it hires its first employees. The costs can be enormous. You will have to pay your employees a wage, of course, and also top up their National Insurance, which adds a significant amount to their wage packet. There are company benefits to consider, too, or you are unlikely to entice the hottest talent through your doors. Then, there are the added costs, such as office space, equipment, investment in training and health and safety – the list is endless. Is your business robust enough to handle all of that?
Let’s say you have an excellent start to life in the business world, and garner a lot of interest after you launch. It makes sense to hire people to continue your healthy growth trajectory, right? The uncomfortable truth is that there are no guarantees. You could hire an office-load of individuals, but what happens if your sales start to stall and your early success is unsustainable? You are left with dozens of full-time employees on contracts, but no sales to sustain their wages. Oops.
Hiring people is complicated, and needs a lot of time, care, and attention. As HR and employment law specialists Ellis Whittam note, ensuring legal compliance in the way you manage your people and their wellbeing is not a simple task. In fact, while your thoughts of employing people might include super sales people or a marvelous marketing team, there are good grounds to suggest that a human resources team should be your first hires. While starting a business is easy when you are a solopreneur, the second you start employing people, you will need to be up to scratch on employment law, contract law, health and safety, holidays, disciplinary proceedings, and a whole host of other things. Are you truly ready for that?
Finally, if you intend to hire people, then you have to be 100% committed to your project. While you might feel like that now, it’s important to project how you might be feeling in six months, a year, or five years time. Your employees will be relying on you, and the moment you hire someone, your options become a little less flexible. Of course, that might not be a problem if you are a hard-nosed business person. But if you have a heart, it might well turn out to be…
None of this is to say you shouldn’t hire employees whenever you are ready, of course. But, you have to think long and hard before taking the plunge. Good luck!
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