Question: Can you help me decide on working solo versus hiring techs?
Steve’s answer: Only you can “decide”. But I will help you weigh the costs AND avoid one HUGE trap!
I bounce back and forth. At 48 I’m not getting any younger and the aches and pains are increasing. And it would be nice to take time off and know the business was still producing money. So I am leaning toward finally hiring employees.
But on the other hand I dread the problems and issues hiring people seems to always bring. What would you do?
Undecided in Iowa
You have just hit on maybe the biggest question that comes up at every SFS seminar. Employees- yes or no? At different times in my career I was a very successful solo Lone Wolf owner-operator and then later I finished up with a fairly large company. (16 full time employees.) I loved my people … and at times I hated them! How does Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” open? “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”? Just recognize that employees will ALWAYS be your biggest problem. (And yet your workers can also give you the coveted “Personal Freedom”!)
As I freely admit, the number one reason many years ago I woke up and said, “I’m outta here!” was my employees. (And I had pretty good employees.) Nothing can bring more joy than working toward a common goal with quality people … or more grief.
Note: I think what I disliked the most about the “employee challenge”, Undecided, was always waiting for “the other shoe to drop”! Just when I finally got everything running smoothly … BOOM! I got sandbagged with another totally unforeseen employee problem. That’s tough for a “control freak” like me!
On the other hand, remember that without employees chances are all you will ever own is a “job”. In our cleaning and restoration industry it’s tough to build a “real business” without adding employees. As one of my best friends and an extremely talented owner of a janitorial service with over 400 employees once told me, “Steve, all I sell is people.”
IF you decide to build a “Critical Mass” business with lots of employees you must also create a Business Infrastructure that makes is “easier to do it right than to do it wrong”. (Click HERE for the Five Steps to Build a Critical Mass business.) Or…
You can stay small, dramatically increase your prices and work less as you “gracefully age”! (HERE is my Special Report on “Success as a Lone Wolf Owner-Operator!) Either way works. What doesn’t work is to stay long term on the “Road In-Between”! Download this free Special Report HERE on how to avoid this agonizing business model!
PS to Undecided: IF you decide to go the Critical Mass route check out our QuickFIX section for tons of free, ready-to-download Business Infrastructure!