A single proprietor can only run a business for so long. Eventually, every business owner has to hire employees. Before you do so, you should consider the real costs and struggles of hiring new staff members.
The Market is Saturated
With US unemployment holding steady at over eight percent, there is certainly no shortage of eager employees out there. This might lead some in management to believe that the value of the average employee has dropped, but the reality of the situation is that hiring has become far more of a chore than it has in the past. A small business might now receive a hundred applications from qualified applicants when it once only received a dozen, and figuring out what skills are necessary has become harder than ever. As such, it is important to make sure that those in management positions understand the real needs of the company when hiring.
The Cost of a Great Employee is Going Up
Even though there are more available employees on the market, the actual value of a good small business employee is on the rise. Many of the best and brightest potential employees have recently been laid off from higher-paying jobs, and most will be looking for a paycheck that is at least close to equal. That means that the average salary your employees will expect is actually on the rise, even if few of them can choose to be picky. There may not be another job waiting around the corner, but the best potential employees that you can hire do expect to be paid well.
The Downside of a Small Staff
Though employees are a business expense, it is important to remember that having a small staff is not always the most cost-effective way to run a business. There are some tasks that simply take longer for a small core of employees to accomplish, and the reliability of their work may suffer during that time period. While you may not want to pay two people to do work that might be able to be done by one, there are often situations in which it becomes cheaper - two people working cash registers, for example, might be able to clear out a long queue in less than half the time of a single cashier, thus reducing the cost per hours significantly.
Hiring is not an easy task for any small business owner. You should make sure that your management is ready for the struggle, and you should remain aware of the expectations of employees. If you properly staff your business, though, you may find yourself saving money in the long run.