When you start an online marketing company, you have the luxury of not having to worry about a lot of the things traditional business owners need to. For example, having a brick-and-mortar business requires investors or loans and signing a lease for an office space. It means producing a lot of the product or having the service ready to go. You’ll also need to hire someone to help you run your business smoothly.
For an online marketing company, the upfront costs are lower, you may not need an office space at all and will simply rely on your home office, and you won’t necessarily have the need for any employees or help at the beginning. But when is the appropriate time to pay someone to help you out?
1. Examine Your Schedule And To-Do List
As a small business owner, it can often feel like there’s an endless list of things to do and never enough time to do it. This is where hiring someone can truly help lighten the load and allow your business to grow. But first you need to ensure that you’re operating as best as you can on your own.
Take half an hour to examine your schedule and your to-do list. Write out all the things you wish you could do for your business and the ones you should be doing but aren’t due to lack of time. Then take a look at your calendar and determine if you’re managing your time in the best way possible.
Although it might feel a little silly, block out time in your calendar for everything you do—from commuting to your day job to date night to picking up the kids from school. Don’t forget to add in down time to relax, too! Whatever it is, you should have a place for it in your schedule. Then for a couple of weeks, try to follow your schedule and see if your efficiency improves. Note any times that you get derailed or situations where something takes much longer than anticipated.
At the end of those couple of weeks, you will hopefully have improved your own efficiency but also gotten to see if it’s really necessary to hire someone or if you simply needed a little more time management.
2. You Should Be Able To Afford Someone
Running a solo business online is strange—at first, it might simply be like a hobby that earns you a little extra cash which you can then put directly into your business again for more exposure. But if you’ve been an affiliate marketer for a while you may start to earn more and even have enough to pay yourself! It’s a good feeling to transfer some of that money from a business checking account into your own personal one.
Beyond this, to hire someone to help you, you’ll need to be making enough to pay them. Whether you hire them as a contractor or an employee (more on that below), you don’t want to put yourself into the red by paying $400 worth of virtual assistant services when you can only afford $100. So before you put out a job notice, assess how much you can afford to put towards the person you hire.
Now, as is the case with many young businesses, you won’t be able to pay the regular rate a professional might charge. See if there is a way to barter services or set up a payment plan. If that doesn’t work, then contact a local college for the help you need—college students are often strapped for cash and eager for the experience, so you could get the work you need done at a cheaper rate.
3. Determine If You’re Hiring An Employee Or Contractor
Hiring an employee is a completely different ball game from hiring a contractor. Be aware of the differences and what will best suit your business.
- Has an umbrella of duties they are cleared to perform for you.
- Is required to work a certain number of hours, with the location and time decided by you, the employer.
- Does not need to provide their own equipment (such as a computer).
- Receives an hourly pay or salary.
- Will work for you on a project-by-project basis, with a new contract set up for each one.
- Can complete the work when and where it suits them, with the deadline decided by you both.
- Must have their own equipment.
- Is often paid per project, although can be paid per hour.
Hiring an employee also requires you to file certain tax information for your business with the state. You should definitely claim any money spent on contractors as business expenses, but you do not need to verify that your company is eligible to hire employees or register with your state’s new hire program.
This is not intended to scare you away from hiring an employee, but it should help you to understand the type of person you need to hire and how you can best work with them.
4. Determine The Best Workflow
The best thing you can do for a new hire or a contractor is have a decent workflow in place. Adding someone into the mix is tough—it’s going to change the way things happen in your business, and hopefully mostly for the better! But there will inevitably be a few road bumps along the way, whether it’s communication issues or prioritizing tasks. It will take some trial and error, but welcome this new person with a clear outline of how you’d like the work done and how you two can best work together. The better you communicate this, the more successful they’ll be, and in turn the more your online marketing company will thrive.