When most people start a small business they are on their own. They handle both the money making business activities and the administrative activities. For a while most small business owners are able to do both jobs; however, as the company grows and becomes more complex their ability to juggle money making and administrative tasks declines until finally they decide to hire an assistant.
When Should You Hire an Assistant?
There are many tell tale signs that you need an assistant for your business. The most telling sign is that you simply cannot keep up with your administrative duties because you are trying to handle your money making business activities. You may find that your paperwork is piling up, that your bookkeeping software is months behind and you have a stack of mail on your desk that is two feet deep. When this happens it is time to hire an assistant.
Another sign that it is time to hire an assistant is that you find that you are spending more time on administrative tasks than you are on money making activities. For example, after examining your appointment book you see that you spent 30 hours on paperwork and administrative tasks and only 20 hours on money making activities. This imbalance is costing you money because your are losing the hourly rate that you would get if you were working for a client or selling products on work that could be done by some one for a lot less money.
Hiring an Assistant
You have several options when it comes to hiring an assistant. The first option is to hire your spouse. This option works well because it offers tax savings and it also provides you with an assistant that you can trust. Your second option is to hire a temporary assistant to help you catch up with your paper work as needed. This option is a great one if you have a seasonal business, or if you only occasionally need extra help in your office. The third option is to hire a permanent assistant. A permanent assistant can be hired for a few hours a week, a few hours a month or even full time, depending on how much help you need.
When you hire an assistant you need to take steps to ensure that you hire someone that will be able to do the work, that will show up to work and that you can trust. To get all of these qualities you will need to be selective with your employee candidates. You need to check references, you need to interview each candidate and you need to test applicants for keyboarding, 10-key and computer use skills. Fortunately, your local job service can do most of this leg work for you and for free.