To scale typically refers to the process of a startup allocating and optimizing resources to drive positive results and volume. It’s a process that requires an in-depth understanding of where your startup needs additional resources or personnel and how to use those additions effectively.
One of the most important aspects of scaling is hiring. While there’s much to be said for running a “lean and mean” operation, hiring can open your startup up to new ideas, new customers, and potentially new revenue. So how do you know when it’s time to scale your hiring?
- You understand the difference between needing a new hire now and needing a new hire long term. It’s the nature of some businesses – and even markets – to go through busy seasons and slow seasons. While you may need help in the short term, thinking about the long term may show you that a temporary worker or freelancer may be enough assistance for the time being. You shouldn’t hire until you have adequate work for another person to handle. That said, if you’re frequently forced to turn down new customers or projects, it may be time to increase your hiring efforts.
- You’ve identified a new revenue stream. As an entrepreneur, you’re probably always looking for ways to expand and help your startup grow. But sometimes, that means finding a new type of work that you can’t handle on your own – whether it’s not having enough time or not having enough expertise in a certain field. By scaling your hiring, you’ll have a chance to find the right employee to take on or even own this new work, helping take your business to the next level.
- You have a defined, repeatable sales model. You’ve not only tracked a sale from prospect to lead to customer, but you’ve been able to repeat it with multiple customers. You know this model comes with a certain level of success, and scaling your hiring efforts allows you to teach this model to additional salespeople, potentially increasing sales as you increase staff. Another sign it may be time to scale hiring? When your salespeople are finding such success that you’re running out of inventory or can’t meet customer demand – a clue to up your product manufacturing or development team.
- You and your existing co-founders or team members are on the same page. It’s critical that your startup’s leadership team plays an active role in defining expectations and holding everyone accountable. With consistent communication to define hiring goals and ideal employee traits, you’ll be able to efficiently screen candidates and conduct insightful interviews.
By understanding when to scale your hiring, you can build a team that will help your startup scale as well. Subscribe to our blog for more startup tips and insight. Not a MicroVentures investor? Sign up today.