Too small to grow, too big to handle alone

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Walter Loubser, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Walter Loubser

    Walter Loubser
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    Hi there

    Im new here and this is my first post. Ill try keep it as short as possible

    I have a 4 year old IT support business, which I have very slowly and gradually built to the point where I make enough to sustain myself comfortabaly.

    I would love to grow the business, but at this point, employing a suitable person, meaning to be able to do the job without alienating my clients, will literally take my "salary" away.

    I have spent time on training a "cheaper" employee about 3 times but this always ends up in them leaving, obviously because I dont pay enough.

    Im really at a loss. Will I just have to rough it for a couple of months without a "salary" while paying a decent employee. Or just be content that I can provide decently for my family

    Any advice appreciated in advance.

    Walter
     
  2. Yellow Room Learning

    Yellow Room Learning
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    Hi Walter

    I have had a similar dilemma now for a while and have just made the decision to take on my first recruit. For me the decision was about freeing up more time which I can spend generating new business. It's a real chicken and egg situation.

    My advice would be to run the business super efficiently for a few months so you can put cash aside to cover your own and the new person's salary for a few months and then take the plunge. By employing somebody you should increase productivity and therefore any hardship should be short lived. Obviously there are other options such as investments or loans but appreciate that's not for everyone.

    Also you could offer shares in the business to a real high quality candidate in return for a lower salary but dividends when available.

    Good luck whatever you choose.

    Ben
     
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  3. Walter Loubser

    Walter Loubser
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    Thank Ben

    I will most definately give that my best shot. I habe had partners in the past, needless to say theres about a 10% chance of it working the way both parties foresaw. So not keen on that route

    My marketing skills are more or less non existant, so I think perhaps along with saving for a buffer, some marketing resources at that point might be a good combination ?

    Thank for taking the time to respond

    Walter
     
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  4. Yellow Room Learning

    Yellow Room Learning
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    Yes, you might need to pick up some marketing skills yourself or outsource it. You can get some relatively low cost marketing activities from freelance sites like 'People Per Hour' for example. Be careful who you use though, look at the ratings and only use them if you are 100% confident they won't cause more harm than good. Adwords is also a good way of getting quick results but does require quite a bit of work and some money to get going. Word of mouth is always best - maybe put in place a referral scheme where your clients get a discount if they refer you to their clients/associates/suppliers etc.

    All the best
     
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  5. Brooke Harper

    Brooke Harper
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    If I'm in your situation, I'd work extra for a couple of months and try to save as much as I could to cover my and my family's expenses and try to live at a lower cost lifestyle. Once you have enough and can afford to give way for your employee's salary, then go hire your first employee. Productivity should go up and in a matter of months, you should have an idea of having an employee is worth the cost or if it's better to do it yourself. Good luck!
     
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  6. Azaliagirl

    Azaliagirl
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    Hi Walter. Consider hiring an employee as a subcontractor. Depending on how your business is structured, the individual could work from home, if you're offering IT support. There are several software programs available to monitor hours on phone and or online. If its hands on, you could offer space and have the potential employee come in, not hourly but by the job: he has his own key and sets his own working hours, plus he has his own tools. When we set up shop, we eventually had three locations, and all employees were required to supply their own tools (items disappear otherwise). It took us three years to move our company out of our house into a commercial building: offering computer repair. Once we did that, we had to hire. Do not forget to check out the competition in your area.

    Patricia
    Dundee Internet Services, Inc.
    mailinglistservices.com
     
  7. snegyK

    snegyK
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    Hi there. I guess I will not bring something very new to the table, but partner seams to be the best option here. This will bring fresh capital for the venture which is very beneficial by itself, plus will give you another person who is really looking into developing the company and having the job done. It will be great if you could work in an office or a separate area in your home and meet regularly to discuss all pending items and strategies. With that said, do not limit yourself to someone who lives in your town/community - the "work area" can be a skype call away and working with someone who is allocated elsewhere can even be good for the business due to his relations in another place (you can expand easier with this). Hope this helps.
     
  8. YaaliInventory

    YaaliInventory
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    Hi,
    Why not hire an employee from different country, you can check for freelancers. I mean for example, find an employee in a country which has less value for money. If you're from UK, you can pay some euros to India based freelancers,malaysia based freelancer. They will do your work for that money you're about to offer, they might ask for more, thinking you could give more. Make cut and right decision incase hiring a freelancer. So the work can be done at a less cost.
    Just an example, one of the bangkok top E-commerce company had it's marketing team in korea, web development team in India. And still much more countries which has lesser money value then their country.
    Another known example, Amazon client support, Customer support. India ranks in first place because many UK,US companies make their customer base as india, so they could pay less as the money value is less in india compared to UK.
     
    #8 YaaliInventory, Oct 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2017
  9. rf-harris

    rf-harris
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    Now, that's a real dilemma and it happens with lots of people at some stage of their professional life. If you really want to grow then you have to hire some good people and invest in them so even you don't earn a lot for yourself for couple of months you have to bear with it.
     
  10. Aaron Harden

    Aaron Harden
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    You are at the first break point where business thrive or stagnate. You need to do two things. First you need to expand your work hour to 7 days a week and 10 hours per day. That is 70 hours of revenue generating time a week. Once you get there you can bring in an employee and off load 40 hours to that person and cutting yourself back to 30 hours of revenue generating time. Take the other 10 hours (or more) to build the client base. Second thing you have to do is be ok with cutting your income level 25% when you bring in that new person until you build the business out. Good luck

    Aaron
    Top Notch Window and Gutter Cleaning
     
  11. Ali Imam

    Ali Imam
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    Hi Walter, This is a very common problem. You may have heard the quote; "you get monkeys, for the price of peanuts". If you don't have good employees, you can't really grow or make much profit. So, get some good employees, whether you have to compensate them with your own pocket, or lend money from others. As a company is as good as their employee. Best of luck.
     
  12. Infoexposure

    Infoexposure
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    That's terrible he could run at complete loss or face bankruptcy. That simply spending more than you earn, I will suggest he hire a freelanceer from countries with lesser value in money or continue at his present capacity until he strong enough to fly
     
  13. abdul kadir

    abdul kadir
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    Hiring the right people can be quite complicated. Some people may just seem perfect for the job based on qualifications, attitude, the way how the interview went, etc.. But their work in the end of the day would not match the value the promised to bring.

    Improve your current marketing skills would be one of the best options I would say. Google AdWords has helped a lot to grow many of the companies I know and Google supports them fairly in a good way. A well-experienced person would do a better job at handling this software but you can start off at the initial stage. Online tutorials, free and paid, are available to help. The correct usage of Adwords and Analytics and good implementation of SEO on your company website, etc can take your company to heights. Even though you can give this work to freelancers in other countries, I would trust a guy whose efforts are done right in front of my eyes more.

    If money is an issue for you, you would have to work on SEO (ie. search engine optimization) but it would take 6 months to 1 year to bring more leads and business.But worth a try.
     
  14. Salifu

    Salifu
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    You can start a side business to supplement your current income. I am a strong believer in the power of YouTube and even though i keep recommending it, i still come across situations like these where i think a person needs to try it.
    Since you are in IT, you can teach on YouTube and once you build a following there several ways to make additional income with it, like having sponsors for your channel, YouTube partner, patreon, or affiliate marketing. Bear in mind that it is possible to combine all the above mentioned monetization methods to create a healthy income.
     
  15. Olivia Caitlin

    Olivia Caitlin
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    Yes we are also facing the same problem skilled persons are demanding very high pay and training a begineer will increase your cost. so i prefer to stay with few experienced employees and rest of the interns which help me save some money on salary .
     

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