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Questions to ask when a business makes its first hire

The old business adage of “location, location, location” is certainly important. But location is only part of a successful business. Timing is vital, whether that means getting a head start against potential competition or striking while the iron is hot with a timely idea. And financing will steer any early decision-making.

The first steps for any startup should focus on the business plan and the core foundation. This includes choosing a business model, filing legal paperwork, and understanding local and federal rules. A great concept and a strong business model will get things started, but growth requires the help of others.

Who is hired and how their job role is defined will impact a company’s trajectory. Good help makes a business sustainable over time.

Questions before growth

The business plan is always changing, but it must always remain in focus. Shifting markets and a changing landscape will require adjustment, but as the business grows, it is important to remember the core goals and structure put in place to achieve them. After all, the business structure does more than guide growth; it protects against avoidable pitfalls.

Hiring new employees is an exciting, but also risky, time for a startup. The rewards include professional collaboration, new ideas and a greater capacity for expansion. But inaccurate cost analysis can be hard to overcome. Changing markets may eliminate the need for help or redefine roles, and personality clashes are an ever-present concern. The wrong timing may lead to net loss instead of gain.

To reduce risk, it’s important to ask the right questions about the future of the business, how employees can help, and what additional resources may be required with an expanding staff. An employee costs much more than their contractual wage. There are employment benefits, workers’ compensation coverage, payroll taxes, and other matters that cost real time and money. A helpful article shared by the Associated Press summarizes these concerns in six core questions:

  1. Is help really needed?
  2. Does hiring fit within the budget?
  3. Is the hiring compliant with regulations?
  4. Does the company have the right infrastructure?
  5. Does the position reinforce the company’s goals?
  6. Are you ready to delegate?

A strong foundation provides stability

Change is a constant, but it is possible to grow a business while simultaneously building safety nets against unforeseen circumstances with careful planning and due diligence. New hires provide essential skills to help a business grow. The key is to remain focused on the business’s primary objectives while avoiding overextension.

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