Contrary to what some say, managing an online business can be extremely stressful, and at some point, you’ll most likely need to hire employees for your online business.
With an online business, you still deal with all the complexities a normal business deals with (think about what your current employer does for you that you might take for granted – pay your taxes, organise your HR department, pay your rent on time – the list goes on).
If you’re making the transition from being an employee to an online entrepreneur, you’ll find that you most likely have start-up costs that you’re paying for out of your own pocket, and your pockets aren’t bottomless.
You’ll also have two arms, and only so much time. You can only do so much.
As your business progresses and you gain traction, you’ll increase your revenue BUT more than likely you’ll also be increasing the amount of work that needs to get done to match this growth in revenue.
Like me, you can try and juggle the increasing workload yourself, but in doing so, you’ll sooner (or later, depending on how much personal reflection you do) realize that you’re being the bottleneck to your online business’s growth.
Trust me, I went through this.
I was building up this website BeyondBeaver.com by writing articles, designing the website, sharing content, and a whole lot more, while also running a web agency.
I soon realized that I couldn’t keep up with both projects, so I looked to hire employees to do certain tasks for my web agency.
Below are a few things that I feel helped me realize when the time was right for me to go and pursue a helping hand.
These are the signs I saw which told me I was being that annoying thing.
1 – No time for growth; only survival
Managing an online business as an entrepreneur takes a LOT out of you. It requires a LOT of actual work and effort to perform the service or create the product, and also requires a lot of decisions to be made. Combine this with customer support, software bugs, and things just not working, and you can soon run into quite the headache.
There have been several times where I’ve compared myself personally to friends and family at a similar point in my life and wondered if the enormous amounts of time behind the computer were all worth it.
Was all this stress of starting my own business worth all the work I was drowning in?
But I was thinking like this because I was IN my business and on working ON my business. I was designing the websites, I was supporting my clients, I was fixing bugs. My client list wasn’t going up, so I wasn’t making more money, yet I was still doing work.
Sometimes a fixed salary looked like a better means to an end.
When I eventually hired someone to take on some design and development work, I could then spend less time doing the things that provided growth.
I could call leads, write better proposals, set up a social media strategy – all the things I was too busy to do before.
I had time to think and plan.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Delegating may be hard, but it is extremely liberating.” quote=”Delegating may be hard, but it is extremely liberating.”]
Sometimes you just need that time and stress-free period to breath and look at things in a different perspective. Analyze your customers and competitors. Plan the way forward.
As you thrive and reach success, you’ll also face challenges along the way. The most annoying thing about challenges are they occupy your time. To overcome them, you’ll need to dedicate your time to thinking about how to resolve them and this time not being spent on the important things like finding new ways to grow your online business.
TAKE AWAY: Sharing work and responsibilities is not a negative sign. Delegating tasks to someone else allows you to strengthen your online business by allowing you to focus on the things that will grow your business.
2 – When quality is suffering
We’re human. When we get busy and need to get through lots of work, inevitably we quicken our pace and the quality of our work suffers as a result.
When the quality of your product or service is suffering, it may be a sign that you’re ready to hire someone else to do that task.
Now, there are many reasons the quality of your online business’s products and services may deteriorate.
It might be because you’re too busy, so you’re not replying thoroughly to every support ticket you get. Maybe you’re not offering that one-on-one support you promised your clients before your business started its growth.
Whatever the reason, hire someone who can maintain the quality of your product or service.
[clickToTweet tweet=”There are companies who let quality suffer over quantity” quote=”There are companies who let quality suffer over quantity”]
For me, personally, I had been designing websites for about 7 years and was finding it hard to start new projects. When I did, I would usually do them quickly and reuse the same fonts and layout. While they still looked great, I felt as if I was beginning to design the same website time and time again and I felt the diversity of my websites was suffering.
So, I hired a designer. They were fresh to the field, ready with eagerness and ideas. They also had the motivation to impress me.
From thereon, I wasn’t stuck doing designs with no motivation where I felt the quality of my websites as suffering, and I had more time to focus on the things I needed to be doing (marketing) and the things I enjoyed more (writing tutorials, how-to articles for clients, etc).
TAKE AWAY: Whether you’re run down from doing a task yourself, or you just have too many tasks to do, the quality of your work is unnecessarily suffering. Look to hire someone who has the motivation and time that you are lacking to perform tasks to standards your business should be operating at.
3 – No time for yourself
[clickToTweet tweet=”All work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Delegate!” quote=”All work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Delegate!”]
This is a big one for me. I’m a perfectionist and I feel like I need to work hard. For me, sitting at the computer for 14 hours can fly be very easily, and doing this for 6 months each day is exhausting and unnecessary.
The funny thing about working so much is that you don’t see anything wrong with it at the time. I remember I moved my computer from our bedroom into the loungeroom so my girlfriend could go to bed without my screen lighting up the room.
Thinking back on this, the work I was doing back then actually didn’t get my any closer to where I wanted to be, both in a personal sense (personal development) and a business sense.
I could have easily gone to bed at 10 and not 2am. But I thought it was necessary that I keep working.
I could have also hired someone from places like Upwork.com to ease my workload.
This is all easy in hindsight, but I have learned the hard way, after missing out on many important things and putting stress on some important relationships in my life, that it just is not worth it. Kick your feet up and focus more on productivity if anything!
If you’re not getting the time to spend it doing the things you like, the see what tasks you can hire for. Automated tasks are the easiest.
Also, (something I want to write about more in a separate post) try working fewer hours, hire for some tasks, and see if you really don’t do as much work. I’ve lately been trying to work half as much as I was and, in the two weeks I have been doing this, I have NOT noticed any less production from my business.
For example, I am currently working to finish my online video course Getting Started with Beaver Builder, a course which teaches you how to use the most powerful website Page Builder for WordPress Beaver Builder. There’s a LOT of great content to include in the course, and I wanted to have a deadline by Cyber Monday (which has just passed us), but I was working too many hours per day trying to film all the lessons AND also run my web agency. I have since outsourced the design of a website for my web agency while I work to complete the course, saving me time and headache.
TAKE AWAY: Try hiring someone from Upwork.com to do some tasks and try working fewer hours. See if you notice any loss in production from your business, and also see if your revenue takes a hit. The chances are, you’ll be the same as you are currently (if not better) but you’ll be working less.
That’s the goal, right? Why you’ve started your online business? To have more time and flexibility to do the things you want to do, while also running a business you’re passionate about.
At the end of the day, we’re all in this online business space because it will allow us to do what we want when we want. Freedom.
BUT, as I am still learning, I don’t think there will ever be that time in your life where you think: “Hey, now is the time to put my feet up”. We’re never fully satisfied.
My advice based on overworking myself in the past is that you should kick your feet up along the way, and don’t think overworking yourself now is a means to an end.
The end will never come, and you’ll be like a hamster running in a wheel. Around and around, without that final piece of satisfaction.
4 – When passion loses its flame
If you haven’t yet read my post 10 ways you can turn your passion into a profitable online business, I suggest you do so after reading this post here.
As we’re slaving away at our 9-5 office cubicles, something one day clicks.
“Why am I sitting here inside all day working hard to earn someone else more money?”
When you have this moment, you’ll look at starting an online business, and the business will be based on offering products or services in an industry you’re passionate about.
When you start this online business endeavor, you’re full of motivation because you love the subject.
Write a blog 2000 word blog post on a related topic? Sure! Easy. You love what you’re writing about.
Fast-track sometime down the track, after some headaches, money wasted and high-stress periods, that burning desire can sometimes dwindle away.
Your everyday tasks become routine and mind-numbing.
Writing those 2000 word articles has become repetitive and you can’t stay focused. What took you two hours to write now takes a day. You spend 8 hours writing this blog post, but then there are other things to do, like customer service, and marketing.
So you work longer hours.
And then you get even more run-down and what you were once passionate about leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you hit the sack each and ever day.
This is where you don’t want to get with your online business.
TAKE AWAY: Get help from people before you lose the passion. You are the one who has started your online business and you are the vessel that drives the vision of your business. You are very sensitive and extremely valuable to the company, and without your passionate drive, your company will suffer and stagnate.
Protect yourself, and your passion, and hire people who can share the brunt of your failures and partake in your successes. It’ll really help!
5 – When you’re already turning down work
If you find yourself turning down jobs, or not replying to prospective clients who are suitable to your business, then you have outgrown your current workforce and need to employ someone else to do some tasks so your business can continue its growth.
When you say NO to suitable clients, you’re really saying NO to revenue.
For me, this happened with my web agency. I was a one-man team, and I would get some requests for quotes come through while I was working on some projects.
Something that I personally need to work on is multi-tasking. I get fixated on completing one task that the other tasks I need to do fail.
With the web agency, I was missing out on opportunities because I was not getting back fast enough to potential clients. I was deep in creating websites for those who had already paid.
What this meant was that, once I had finished a project, there was often a lull between my projects while I tried to land my next one.
A web agency is a game of numbers, and although your existing clients are your best clients, more clients = more recurring monthly revenue.
So, by not responding quick enough to the emails I would get while completing a project, I was not giving myself the opportunity to build my client base and thus build my revenue.
Now, I am moving down a path of focusing more on the sales side and delegating the design and development.
TAKE AWAY: If you’re turning down the clients you’re trying to land because you’re too busy, hire someone. By not increasing your client base because you’re too busy working on clients who have already paid, you’re limiting your revenue. Your business needs revenue to survive and you DO NOT need to turn away clients. Try outsourcing tasks and hiring others.
6 – You’re getting too many complaints
Clients and customers are reflections of how well we are doing on our business.
Why? Because your existing customers are the first people to tell you if your business is not performing to the level expected by the market.
If you find yourself getting a lot of positive feedback, don’t take it for granted. Monitor it closely and even ask your customers how you can better serve them and their needs.
If you find your customers are getting agitated easily, or are (worse) leaving your service or abandoning your products, review your customer service to see how you’ve been fairing.
Customers can complain about many things. The product or service undelivered on the promised value. Answers to questions took too long. The product has not kept up with competitors in the market.
Whatever the reason for your customer complaints, it is usually a sign that you need to spend more time on the things that matter. Chances are, you can hire people to do some of the stuff you’re doing while you drive the vision of your product back onto the course it needs to be traveling down.
TAKE AWAY: If you find that you’re getting lots of complaints, see if you can offload some of your tasks by hiring staff so that you can then spend time reviewing your business, identifying the problem, and then working to fix it.
Customers talk, and the voices of your customers are amplified by the multiple communication channels available today. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Email, or even in person, the word about your business will spread fast. You need to contain any bad feedback as soon as possible, and to do this, you need to ensure your time and effort are both available to do so. Hire before the bad word has spread and it’s too late for your business to recover.
Conclusion – hire employees for your online business!
So, with all above-mentioned points, are you thinking that you need to hire someone today?
Please let me know in the comments below.
What you should do next
- Comment below and let me know if you’re looking at hiring staff to take on some of your work load.
- Read this related post: 10 ways you can turn your passion into a profitable online business