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Are you ready to hire your first employee?

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We could make this really simple and say you need to hire someone if you have a pile of crap on your desk that you don’t ever have time to get to. But that might not be the best indicator. If you are anything like me – I hate paperwork! I would rather clean a toilet in a public restroom. Okay, not that bad, but… Are you ready to hire your first employee?

The truth is that you need to be able to identify the signs and decide. Do not let the fear of hiring someone sway your decision. That is normal so, suck it up, buttercup. Everyone with employees has gone through the anxiety of hiring a first employee. You need to get over it.

Are you ready to hire your first employee?

First, determine if hiring someone will make money. This is the only factor that matters. Sounds simple enough but it requires a deep dive into your business to determine the outcome before you pull the trigger. If bringing on a new hire will result in your business losing money to payroll then you are not in a position to hire. I’m not talking about it taking a minute to get going but bringing on this new person should be generating additional cash within at least a couple of months.

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Are you ready to hire your first employee?

Turning away business is a great indicator that an employee is necessary. You are ready to hire if you are a service company and bringing on a body to run your route will enable you to manage those repair calls that are coming in. If you are not taking on new customers because there is not enough time in the day, but the requests for service have your phone ringing off the hook, you are ready to hire (unless the reason is your time management skills suck).

This brings up a great point. If YOU are the reason, you are getting backed up and it is not due to you having more business than one person can manage, the solution is just the opposite. If this is the case, you need to downsize until you get your sh*t straight. Find a mentor or enroll in a coaching program. There are plenty of people in your industry that are willing to help either for a fee or free. Once you have improved upon these skills we can get back and hit it hard and heavy.

See here: Pool Service Coaching Program

Hire a temp

If you are still not sure that hiring will result in increased income you can always ‘try it out’. Contact a staffing company like manpower and have them send a laborer. You can request that they send the same individual for a period of time – this way you are not training someone every day. Get them to the point where they can take over your existing route and then see how this impacts your business.

If the addition of this person has freed your time and you are able to grow your business, you have proven that you are ready to hire your first employee. Finding that you have nothing to do, or you suddenly have a lot of free time is not good unless you are at least breaking even after the staffing fee. Remember the confirmation of the need is in making more money.

Make more money

Breaking even does indicate that the need exists, but it also means you need to get off your ass and kick it into high gear. Hiring someone to make the same money you have in the past is a pain in the ass. Employees can be a pain in the ass. I cannot see why anyone would want to take on Human Resources responsibilities and payroll unless it was because it generated money.


Rudy Stankowitz is a 30-year veteran of the swimming pool industry and President/CEO of Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants