One of my small business clients was a recruiter. He and his senior recruiter did all of the client negotiations and recruiting. Their time was worth $80 per hour. Unfortunately, they were unable to handle more work themselves as administrative work bogged them down. The solution was to hire help. The "Catch 22" was that meant time to do employee training.
It may seem at first ridiculous to tell you to increase your small business profits by spending money and time on employee training. In truth, it's one of the smartest things you can do.
Reasons to Hire Help
- Ensure a higher level of customer service
- Free you up for more productive work*
- Obtain skills and expertise you lack
- Avoid feelings of overwhelm
- You limit your business' growth
* My client above lost at least $60/hour doing work he could have hired done for $20/hour or less
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses - forcing yourself to do tasks rather than hire someone else to do it is the most expensive labor cost you have. You miss opportunities while you slug away at a job you could have assigned to someone else. Some jobs only you as owner or executive in your small business can do.
Finding time to do the employee training is a challenge for many small business clients. Here are some tips to make it as painless as possible:
Steps before You Hire an Employee
- Know the skills and talents you need
- Know what you want done
- Develop standardized procedures for each task
List of Training Materials for Your Employees
- Policies and procedures
- Visual aids
- Training videos
Visual aids include pictures and diagrams for the various steps of a process and for quality checks to ensure it looks right when finished.
Training videos show or explain how to do specific activities. They are needed for jobs that are different from what the prospective employees would typically know. The other factor affecting this is how much you want to save on payroll by hiring people without advanced experience and training.
Solutions to Providing In-house Employee Training
- Contract a consultant to prepare materials for you and to do the training
- Find people trained by government programs to have the skills you need
- Hire someone who has solid experience doing what you want done so you have minimal training to do
- Use technology to minimize the effort to produce training materials, like voice recognition so you can dictate the material
- Buy off the shelf procedures then customize
There are so many reasons not to limp along doing everything yourself when you have a small business. You actually cost your company money by not doing the higher value, and therefore more profitable, work that only you as the owner or executive can do. Invest the time and money in employee training then enjoy the rewards from offloading the work someone else can do.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor :
- Small Businesses