Running your own small business is probably one of the most rewarding ways to make a living. It can also be one of the hardest. Unlike having a regular job, there’s no performance review or the pat on the back that comes with it. For the self-employed the indications of success are less tangible and usually comes in the form of too much work, or too little. It’s a pretty clear indication that you’re getting something right, when you realise that you’ve far too much work on and need to take on your first employee. The realisation can prompt mixed feelings; yes, you’re getting this self-employment right, but then you realise that you’re now about to become that dreaded creature; the boss. There are a number of steps to becoming an employer and some of them are overlooked by many of those new to the process. Here’s a couple of things to add to your “to do list”; as if you needed more!
Stating the obvious
The obvious stuff that you’ll probably be aware of comes in the form of advertising the fact that you need a new employee. Next up is the short-listing process, followed by the interviewing process and finally the selection process. None of these steps should be overlooked and all should be given time. Time is something that most self-employed people will find themselves short on a frequent basis; but don’t sell yourself short in this case. The wrong choice when it comes to an employee can be disastrous and far more time consuming than even the most rigorous of selection and interviewing processes. Using a good selection process can result in creating a very short list of interviewees, which allows you to give adequate time to the interviewing process. The long and short of a ‘good selection process’ is to advertise as widely as possible and consider all applications carefully; don’t just get your cousins, sister-in-laws, half-brother’s step-son in. It rarely works out.
Are you fully equipped?
One factor that can be easy to overlook when you’re focussed on getting the day job done, is the equipment factor. This depends completely on the nature of your business; cake bakers will find themselves potentially short of a cake tin or two once a new master baker comes on board, unless they plan ahead. In the same way, no plumber’s mate is much use if he’s a wrench short of a toolbox. For some businesses the additional equipment involved may be minimal; an extra computer and desk. For others a range of safety equipment, clothing and tools may make the list a little longer. If you’re employing somebody else, there are usually regulations involved and any safety requirements must be taken seriously. The costs of employing a new member of staff can add up to more than just wages.
Pay Day Ready?
When it comes to wages you’ll also need some brand new, shiny software. It’s called payroll software and it’ll need to be in place and working from day one. Generally new employees will join you for at least one basic reason; they’re looking to earn a living. Payroll software comes in all shapes and sizes and, like all accountancy issues, it may not be an area you are familiar with. You should certainly chat to your accountant about your needs and plan ahead to ensure the right software is in place. If you have an existing accounting software package it should have a payroll add-on and it’s worth using this. However, shop around for the best deals and for the right software to suit your business needs and the regulations.
Hopefully hiring your first employee will be a smooth process. Ensuring that you have appropriate equipment and payroll software in place when they start can be overlooked, however, having these in place before your employee starts can make for a smooth transition as your business grows.