Every entrepreneur who has launched a start-up business, has a story.

A story of success, failure and everything in between.

Every lesson learnt can be imperative for your business’s growth and on the other hand, can be unavoidably detrimental. But one challenge that every entrepreneur faces; is when is the right time to hire employee’s?

You’ll hear listed companies talk about a responsibility they have to their shareholders.

Company lines like ‘We owe it to our shareholders to make these changes and run the business the best way we can.’

Its important small businesses adapt this same mindset. Replace ‘shareholders’ in the above sentence with the word ‘stakeholders’ and you have your employees.

These same employees that trust in you to keep their wage coming through, setting KPI’s and of course enough stimulation to keep them satisfied and loving their job. Keep providing these things and you’ll have the perfect employee!

So when is that perfect time to hire? Hiring too early can create cash-flow problems, an employee who doesn’t have enough work to do, which then results in added stress of management.

On the other hand, hiring too late can leave you with added stress of an unrealistic workload or worse, missing that perfect window to launch your new product or service.

So before taking on the responsibility of having employee’s, here are some guidelines that have helped me as I’ve grown my businesses:

Have you got it in you? Are you ready to put the time into training, management and organisation? Having a start-up business can have you constantly inundated with your workload and the truth is, hiring an employee will only add to that. It’s imperative you’re well prepared. Ask yourself, Do I have the characteristics of a leader? The ability to delegate, to inspire, to communicate and to offer the coaching needed? Your employee is going to need the support and the right training to find their feet. As Richard Branson says, Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.

Do you have the funds to support a long-term employee?

If the simple answer is no, then you should look at other options such as a contractor or virtual assistant. There are going to be many times you wonder where the money will come from, but you don’t need the added financial pressure of an employee from word go.

What environment do I want to create? If you are an exceptionally hard worker, hiring an employee is going to be a very difficult process for you. You are not going to give them equity or profit share, you are going to offer them a wage. A wage implies a fee for time and in most cases that is what you get – their time. You have to find ways to motivate your team beyond instruction to get more out of them in the long run. This could be as simple as offering them bonuses or commission.

Are you setting them up for success? They’re relying on you to pay their bills, put food on the table and save for their future. No employee wants to hear ‘this is about as high as you will go’. It’s just as important to map out your employee’s future as it is your own business. Always have a written plan and the opportunity for your employees to grow. Ensure you have your employees best interest in mind and never over promise.

Hiring employees is a huge decision. If you are going to take this step, make sure you do your homework, plan ahead and be ready so your business can continue to grow successfully.

Katie Stevens is an accomplished entrepreneur who over a decade, has built four businesses and successfully exited in one instance. Katie’s most recent success comes in Minding Her Business where the brand empowers females to get together and support one another at Networking Events. The business produces sell out events and quality outcomes for its attendees. To find out more head to www.mindingherbusiness.com.au