The neverending cycle of work can often cloud your perspective on where your business is at in its development. You can get so caught up in the day to day you miss opportunities to expand. As a business owner, it is key that you make sure you stay open to where your business is going. By doing that, you can make the right decisions to help it grow. One of the most significant decisions is knowing when you are ready to expand your team. For those of you who do struggle to get out of the day-to-day, we have put together a list of signs that it is time for you to break that cycle, then take the time to expand your team and get your business growing.
Working Serious Overtime
The reality is when running any business there will be a significant amount of work to get done. You will often have to put in long hours to complete projects and meet clients needs. However, when that overtime starts becoming the norm, you are in danger of becoming counterproductive. If you have started working 50 hours plus on a regular basis – studies have shown this will actually have a negative effect on your work – perhaps it is time to think about adding to your team?
The Quality of Your Output is Falling
Another key telltale sign that you could do with more help, is when the quality of your output is falling. As the work rolls in, you will naturally begin to limit the hours you can spend on each project. Of course, this has some real benefits in terms of learning to manage your time. However, at some point, that balance will shift. The workload will increase to a point where you are not even spending the minimum amount of time on any of the projects to deliver them to a good standard. This will lead to a lower quality output and only serve to damage your hard-earned reputation.
You Are Missing Key Deadlines
One potential way you could ensure the quality is in your work is to spend more hours on it. However, this could then lead to missing client deadlines. Once this begins to happen, you are in danger of losing the trust of your customers. This would be a key indicator that you may need to expand your team to deal with the workload.
Stress is Eating Away at You
The chances are you began your business to do something you love or provide a service you believe in. However, alongside that, there is always an element of stress. Whether that is balancing your workload or meeting clients deadlines, it is an accepted part of the life and often a great driver of action. However, it can get out of balance. If you find that your stress level is dominating your thoughts, hindering your output and generally affecting your health, it is time you took on a little help.
Affordability is No Longer an Issue
This is a sure sign you are ready to expand. If everything in the business is progressing well and you find the bottom line increasing nicely, you are at a point to expand your team. If you can afford the extra help, it is a very good indicator it is time you took it on.
The Industry is Growing
Whatever business you are in, it is key to keep an eye on your industry. If you see that is beginning to develop in new areas and expand, this could be a great indicator that it is time for you to grow your team. With the new possibilities that the industry expansion will throw your way, you need to ensure you are prepared and have the right people in place to take advantage of any changes.
Increasing Non-Income Generating Activities
With any small business, there is going to be paperwork to do. Whether it is filing key client documents, filling in financial spreadsheets or just keeping on top of emails, clerical duties will always be a part of what you do. What is important about this is to stay aware of how much time they are taking up in your day. If you find you are constantly performing admin tasks at the cost of more value-adding and/or billable work, it is definitely time you hired some help. This is one of the quickest areas that any business can get some help in and free up your time to focus on growing your income.
One of the potential pitfalls of having too small a team is losing clients. If this begins to happen it is absolutely essential you look at what is going wrong. In doing this you can identify areas you need support in, perhaps that is customer service or simple administration duties. Whatever it is, make sure you look at how you can enhance your team to meet your clients’ needs and keep them happy.
Turning Down Work
If you are in the extremely lucky position where the work just keeps rolling in, then you are definitely on to something. However, if you find at any point that you begin to turn down work then that is a sure sign that you need to expand your team. If you can add that extra support to your business then you can take advantage of all this new work and not turn away such lucrative opportunities in the future.
When you are working in your business and focusing on your clients you can be forgiven for missing the signs that you are ready to grow. However, by putting these nine signs at the forefront of your mind you will know when you come across one that it is possibly time to take on some extra help to ensure your business keeps growing.