/ practical advice

Thinking About Hiring an Employee? Read This First.

Most small business owners like you handle everything in the early days. Accounting, ordering, shipping, inventory management, marketing... the list goes on and on. It's not unusual to feel overwhelmed and find yourself wondering, “Should I hire an employee?” Keep reading to learn about the pros, cons, costs, and legal considerations involved in hiring an employee.

Pros of Hiring an Employee

  • You can share your to-do list with someone
    The biggest advantage of hiring an employee is obvious - you'll have someone to help you. You won't feel as overwhelmed and will be able to reprioritize what you focus your time on. You might even be able to take a day off once in a while!

  • You no longer have to be a jack of all trades

    By bringing someone in with a specific skill set that compliments yours, you can round out your team and fulfill specific business needs. You'll also be able to take on more of the things you enjoy and can pass off things you don't care for.

  • Collaboration breeds innovation

    As they say, two heads are better than one. When it comes to brainstorming and problem solving, this is definitely true. With someone else invested in the success of your business, you can come up with streamlined processes and new ideas.

Cons of Hiring an Employee

  • It can be hard to trust a new hire

    As a small business owner, your business is your everything. That's why it's so important to make sure whoever you hire is trustworthy. Before you offer a position, run a comprehensive background check and call at least three references.

  • Your personalities may not mesh well
    If you're a sole employee looking to hire your right-hand man or woman, it's critical that you get along and work well together. Consider offering a trial consulting period to make sure your hire is a good fit before you bring them on full-time.

  • Training takes time

    There already aren't enough hours in the day, so how can you possibly onboard someone new? You have to find a way! Create any necessary cheat sheets or how-to docs before you make a hire and be prepared to dedicate time to training.

Legal Considerations

  • You have to pay employment taxes

    As an employer, you have to pay state and federal employment taxes. Talk to your legal advisor and make sure you understand your financial obligations. Also, make sure you have the appropriate tax forms on hand.

  • You need insurance

    You'll likely have to obtain workman's comp insurance for your new employee. Review your state laws, research what you need to do, and make sure you've fulfilled all the requirements to be compliant and avoid fines.

  • Benefits and more

    Are you offering any benefits or employee incentives? Will you pay an hourly rate or salary? Will your employee get sales commission or company stock options? Decide what you're going offer and include all the details in your offer letter.

Whether you want to hire soon or you plan to wait a while, make sure you're well informed and legally prepared before you bring someone new into your business.

Never file another sales tax return.

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