Ever hear the saying you are the five people you spend most of your time with?

In much the same manner, the people you surround your business with, and the people you choose to help you take your small business to the next level, are going to have a huge impact on how that business runs.

In small business teams, it can be difficult to know when the time is ripe for bringing on a new employee. Moreover, it can be a challenge not only to choose the right person, but also to onboard them in a way that will benefit all parties involved.

Here’s our guide on recognizing when you need to expand your small business team and pulling it off with as few hitches as possible.

Signs you need to expand your team

The first sign you need to hire someone new might seem fairly obvious: you have more business coming in. However, there’s more to it than that.


Employee burnout is the most urgent sign you need to bring someone new aboard. In fact, you should never let an employee actually burn out – you should do what you can to prevent it.

Burnout has become a common ailment of the modern workplace. Fortunately, we now have more resources than ever to recognize its signs.

And contrary to popular belief, it can harm not only your employee’s mental health, but it can also be detrimental to your business. Unless you want to be the guy who fires someone for being unwell (a state which your business has caused in the first place), you will prevent this. In case the above is true, please leave this article now. There is nothing for you here.

When you notice your people are nearing burnout, take action and hire someone new.

High-value teams doing low-level tasks

When your A-players start doing all the menial tasks you could easily outsource to someone else, and this starts to affect their A-game, the time is ripe to bring someone else onto the playing field.

This should be someone who can handle all the low-level stuff, rather than someone who can play at the highest level. After all, if your A-players are spending too much time doing D-level stuff, they won’t be sticking around for much longer. And losing them can have a detrimental impact on your revenues.

Customer service is swamped

If your customer service team is drowning, the time has come to:

  1. a) bring someone else on board over there and
  2. b) look at the requests they are receiving, and see what’s wrong with the business in general.

Even if it’s just a matter of increased sales, the fact that so many people have questions means you at least need to add a FAQ page to your website.

If they are mostly coming to you with the same issues, fixing them should become priority number one.

You are turning down great opportunities

When you turn down a great prospect just because you can’t handle the demand for the first time, you’ll begin to question your clients and employees, which is only natural.

But if it happens more than once, you need to start onboarding more people because clearly, good business wants to come your way, but you can’t accommodate it due to staffing issues.

You are in need of a specific skill

This one is a no-brainer: if you’re looking to open a new department, start a new service, sell a new kind of product, etc., you need to have people on your team who can handle that specific service. Don’t expect everyone who already works for you to take on a bit more instead and yourself to manage the work between them.

Dedicated workers are always a better choice than multitaskers, so take to the job boards instead.

Now that you’re ready to onboard someone, here’s what you need to bear in mind:

How to expand your team

Find the money for it

The first thing you need to take care of is finding the funds to hire someone new.

This might not always be easy, and turning to alternative sources of funding can be the best solution. There are different ways to finance your business, so do your research and take the time to choose the option that makes the most sense for your situation.

Screen your candidates well

Knowing what you’re looking for can be difficult. After all, you want to write an ad that will attract just the right talent.

First of all, make sure you’ve considered the position well, and then sum it up so as to attract the kind of people you want. You might even look to invite an HR rep to help you out with this specific process.

Expand your infrastructure

Your new hire will need more than a paycheck. You also need to set them up with a space to work, all the equipment they need to do their job well, and let them have access to all the internal documentation they need to fit in well.

Onboarding is the most important part of any employee’s life cycle, so do your very best to execute it well.

Tools of the trade

Now that you have more people on board, you will also need to monitor them differently. If you didn’t have a system in place when there were just the two of you, the more people you have, the more challenging it gets to know who is doing what and how.

Invest in an employee management service or come up with your own system. Just make sure it works well and that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

Wrap up: Make new plans for the future

Now that you have more manpower, it’s time to adjust your growth strategies – after all, as your human resources development, it’s easier to start planning bigger projects.

Take into consideration what your team is best at, how you can best distribute their skills, and think of the services and products such a team can produce. Once you have that, doing a market and competitor research should be straightforward.

Put your plan to good use, and guide your business to the stage where you again notice the signs an expansion is in order. Then repeat ad-lib.

Author Bio: Natasha is a web designer, lady of a keyboard and one hell of a tech geek. Natasha is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, digital marketing and technology trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.