If you are at the stage where you are thinking of taking on help, I salute you. It’s a brave step to make and I know how hard you must have worked to get to the stage where you need extra hands.
Amy of Coco Crafts recently asked me how I went about finding people to help me run my business so in this post I’ll talk a little about some of the issues I considered before hiring people and how I went about looking for them.
Issues that I considered before taking the plunge:
- Trust – it’s very scary when you run your own business to give up some of that tightly held control and admit you need help. Of course it’s scary for a good reason; you care dearly about your business and you need to feel that anyone who works for you will consistently pay attention and care as much as you do. Also you need to feel that you can trust them with your ideas (and everything else…) and that they won’t slope off and start up a business based around what what you do.
- Expense – wages do form a large percentage of expense for any business. In the beginning I tried to put off hiring folks for as long as possible because I felt I couldn’t afford to pay wages (let alone a decent wage). So for quite some time I was doing everything myself. About 5 months before I eventually took on help I was getting seriously tired and ratty (Al says I was even scary at times!) Something had to give, I couldn’t manage everything on my own. When I finally hired folks it took about 3 weeks for us to settle into the new rhythm and it’s given me and my business a new lease of life. I should have done it way earlier than I did. The extra expense has proven to be a worthwhile investment.
- What roles – what did I need help with? Did I want help with packing, sewing, production, design, IT, book keeping, website maintenance etc. etc. etc.?
- Personality – when you have a small business I think it’s even more important for a team to get on well with each other. There are less rooms, less departments and less roles and that equals less privacy from each other! Even if you don’t work in the same building it’s still a huge bonus if you get on well with each other so you can more easily communicate roles, duties, how you like your tea and which donuts you all prefer
- I’m sure there are other issues to consider dependent on the type of business you run. Can you think of any to add?
How I went about looking for my team:
I think I’m very fortunate with my team. I can honestly say we all get on really well, we are happy, enthusiastic, conscientious and we want this small business to do well And we all make a decent cuppa. I’m thinking that most of you folks would be looking for a crafty person to help with production. Here are a few places you could try looking:
- If you have a blog why not ask folks out there (who are local to you) to see if they are looking for some craft work. I’m a convinced that most all crafters are lovely people and far less likely to be weirdos. This belief has served me well so far.
- Look for help on craft forums.
- Do you have any regular customers that you have struck up a nice relationship with. It doesn’t hurt to ask… Actually, this is exactly what I did for one of my team and she’s absolutely flipping wonderful!
- Ask if you can put up a job notice on kindergarten, school or supermarket boards. There could be mum’s and grandmas out there who would love to knit or sew for a bit of money for a few hours a week.
- Try looking for local sewing, knitting, pottery, jewellery making etc etc. classes /colleges in your area and ask the teachers if you can ask the students if they’d like a crafty job.
Good luck in your search!
Are you at the stage where you are looking for extra help? Or how did you go about employing your team; share your experiences with us