🖊 This article was last updated on November 26, 2019
Being a solopreneur is a rare privilege. You get to run your own business, build a brand from the ground up and do it all single-handedly. Because you started off solo, you may feel like you have to keep it that way. And many solopreneurs want to keep it that way because they think adding more team members will affect quality or create problems.
However, if you are serious about growing your business, you will inevitably need helpers. If you are not sure whether or not you need one right now, you can use these telltale signs and symptoms to determine this.
You Are Getting Little Sleep
For most solopreneurs, the whole idea of going at it solo is to get more out of life – to be your own boss, to have more time for family, and to enjoy life more. But if you are getting little sleep, waking up tired and always thinking about the tasks that still need doing, you are stretching yourself.
These are all indicators that it is time to hire helpers. You may be able to keep things afloat on a little-to-no-sleep routine but that is not sustainable. Ultimately, your health will begin to suffer and it will directly impact the quality of services you provide to your customers.
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Customers Are Complaining
As a solopreneur, you typically handle all aspects of your business. This is both the blessing and the curse of being a one-person company. You may be great at generating sales but not so good at dealing with customers. Or you may be great with ideas but unable to handle accounting tasks such as invoices.
The feedback from your customers is a loud and clear proof of how you are doing. If you are covering all bases, your customers should be happy and leaving good reviews. But if your customers are saying negative things about you, you need to step back and take stock of the situation. In many cases, you may want to hire another person to deal with the more routine tasks and focus your attention on customer relationship and happiness.
Customer Demand is Overwhelming
Companies grow over time. No matter the kind of brand or company you run as a solopreneur, if it is successful, the sales or orders are bound to increase in volume. And no matter how many aspects of your business you automate, the order volume will reach a point where you simply can’t handle it on your own.
A telltale sign of this is when you are unable to respond to customers in a timely manner, ship orders on time or keep your customers happy. Remember: if you are not able to meet customer demand, you risk the reputation of your company. Potential customers will turn away and go to your competition instead. So it is vitally important to identify the point where you can no longer process the demand and need to hire another person.
Your Business Isn’t Growing
So you have garnered success as a solopreneur and have a lot of orders on your hand on a monthly basis. That sounds good. But in many cases, you become so busy with the current orders that you don’t time to bring in new leads and sales. This is visible in your business growth chart which registers a flat line at this point i.e. nearly the same volume of sales month after month.
If your business isn’t growing, it is stagnating. You always need to pay attention to marketing and other creative aspects of the business. If you can’t find the time to do so, you need to hire a helper. A helper will free you from the more routine chores so that you can focus on marketing, sales generation and other areas of business development.
You Are Getting Tired of It
When you start off as a solopreneur, you really enjoy every aspect of your business. After all, you have built your business from scratch, so you value everything about it, from sales to marketing and from packaging to shipping. But do the same tasks long enough and you get tired of them. You may find that in time, packaging the products or generating invoices feels tedious.
This is when you want to hire another person to do the job. A helper can free you from the more mundane tasks and let you focus on the more interesting ones such as brainstorming ideas, charting business strategy and forging strategic links with other businesses.
Your Personal Life Is Getting Affected
When the business grows, a solopreneur’s tendency is to allocate it more time and energy. This adversely affects your personal life and you consequently have less time for yourself, your family and friends. When this starts to happen, you should know that you need help. You may feel that only you can do various tasks in the best possible way. But think about this: if your business tasks begin to compromise your happiness and personal life, it is simply not worth it. And if hiring a helper can remedy that, then it’s a solution that makes perfect sense.
Automation Is No Longer Enough
One of the reasons why it is possible to be a solopreneur in this age is technology. A variety of automation tools such as an estimating software now make it possible for you to handle business tasks such as invoicing, job scheduling, customer management and more. It is indeed possible to do on your own what once required ten or fifteen people. That being said, even the greatest degree of automation will ultimately need more hands to operate. So instead of focusing on automating more of the tasks, you might consider adding more persons to the business.
You will naturally need to put some time and effort into finding the right helpers. It is important to let go of the perfectionist in you when taking on more team members. You want to hire people with the general skills and qualifications your business needs – anyone with the right skills will grasp all the specifics in time. So don’t rush the process and gradually offload the tasks. Let the new people onboard evolve to meet the business requirements. If you do this right, it will free you for more high-level tasks, enable you to allocate more time to your personal life and ensure customer satisfaction more effectively.
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