Q & A: What Are The Problems With Staff In A Small Business?

Any small business and start-up business, like SOHO-, SME, SMB-, Micro-, Lifestyle-, Home-, DIY-, Hobby-, Boomer- or Personal business, like professional, contractors, freelancer, self-employed, sole-trader and virtual assistants, at some point will have to think about hiring staff. I received this question yesterday from one of my readers, and in my mind to answer this question you have to look at two areas:

Firstly, the obligation your small business has towards your staff.

Your business has an obligation to your staff, that extents far beyond paying a monthly salary, insurance and taxes – you have a social obligation. Offering work to someone means offering them security of employment, which in turn secures their private lives, mortgage, education for children, and so on. So you should only take on staff, if you really can fulfill all those criteria. If you can’t – outsource.

Another point to consider, is if you have enough work for the new staff member in this position. Staff is not impressed if they get hired to answer the telephone, and then have to clean the floor.

Secondly, finding the right staff.

This is probably easier than you think – as a bootstrapper at least – if you only hire staff, core to your small business, i.e. they need a skill set you can judge easily, because of your own skill set, then you will have a much higher success rate with hiring staff.

If however you hire staff for areas outside your skill-set, and for non-core functions for your small business, it becomes much harder, and your success rate will go down. Here I do and always would outsource, it makes it easy to change or end the relationship, makes you look more professional and reduces the fixed cost structure in your small business.

There are other points to consider, but this is my two pennies worth. ST.

Disclaimer: As with any of my readers questions, I do not have all the answers and here on my blog I can only give you some ideas, since I know very little about your small business. If any of you can add anything here do so for the benefit of my reader, who asked the question and everybody else, leave a comment below – I’d be most grateful.

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