Have you said to yourself: I am running out of time in my business and I cannot do it all myself anymore. I think that I need someone to help me with my work, but where do I begin and when should I hire someone to help me?
Before you decide to hire someone to help, you need to take a really hard look at your business to see if you have everything set up properly and efficiently and are actually ready to hire someone. Ask yourself these questions first to help get this part figured out.
- Is my accounting system set up properly so that it only takes me a couple of minutes to create an invoice and I know that it is all going into the right accounts?
- Do I have a logging in system so that I can easily keep track of all of my jobs and I know when each and every one of them is due?
- Do I have a system for scheduling my work so that it flows easily?
- Do I have written instructions for every step or process in my business?
If you cannot answer yes to all of these questions, you are not ready to hire someone to help you. If you hire someone before you have all of this in place, you will not get the most for your money and you will be spending many long hours training someone and fixing mistakes because you have not had the time to train them properly and still keep up with your own work!
I know about this, been there and done that! This is a big step and if not done properly, you absolutely will waste your money.
First of all, the first person that you need to hire is someone to help you with your accounting and if it is set up properly, this would be someone that is very part-time. By that, I mean maybe one afternoon a week at max.
The next person to hire is someone to train to do the finishing of your garments. This is someone that pays attention to detail and is good with their hands.
DO NOT try to hire someone to do your customer service for you. You are the face of your business and you need to stay the face of your business for a very long time. I have seen other people make this mistake thinking that they can do the production part better and faster and someone else can take care of the customers.
Trying to decide when it is time to take on employees can be a very tough decision but after you have the first set of question answered yes and have everything in place that is necessary, the next set of questions to ask yourself that might help you make this decision.
- Do I have so much work that I cannot get it all done within the time frame that I have promised my customers?
- Am I not answering the phone because I already have too much work to do?
- Are the simple tasks that I am currently doing bringing in the amount of money that I need or am I wasting my time doing them when I could be paying someone a lower wage than what I want to make per hour?
- Am I not getting my invoices out on time and that is at the very completion of each job?
If you are answering yes to any of these questions then it is time to hire someone to help you.
What Can You Offer The New Employee?
Now that you have established that it is time to hire someone, you want to take a look at what you can offer someone in the way of compensation and benefits. This is very important and you must have it totally in place before you start talking to potential employees.
If you are not financially in a position to offer a high paying wage when this is a requirement for the position, then you must be ready to offer some extra benefits to compensate for the loss.
Determine what you can offer in the way of benefits.
- Are you in a financial position to pay a good or competitive wage?
- What type of benefits are you willing to offer to attract the type of employee that you are looking for?
- Do you offer any vacation time with pay? If so, how many weeks?
- Do you allow sick days off with pay? How many?
- If they do not take all allowable sick days or vacation, do you compensate them at the end of the year for this time?
- Do you offer or provide health insurance? Is this deducted from their wages or do you provide it free of charge? How much is deducted? What type of plan do you offer?
Where to find a Good Employee
If you are looking for a part-timer to help with your accounting, talk to your accountant. He or she may know of the perfect person for you. You may have to pay them a high dollar per hour but you are looking at very few hours per month if you have your QuickBooks set up properly.
If you are looking for someone to help you with your production, Word of mouth is the best way to find a new applicant but this does not always work out. Current employees may know of someone that is looking for a job. Tell your friends and family that you are looking for a well-qualified employee. A word of caution: Do not hire more than one person from the same family. I have found through experience that this can cause issues.
I have had an excellent response by running ads on Craig’s List. However, this does not work in all parts of the country. This is something that can be done for free and it is simple to do. I created a simple ad that has worked in the past. You can place the ad on Craig’s list and see how it works for you.
Title: Embroidery Machine Helper!
Body of ad
- Some sewing knowledge required!
- Must pay attention to detail!
- Must be able to understand and use a ruler!
- No embroidery experience required!
- Part Time but may work into Full Time
|Reply at 455-555-5555 or email to email@example.com
One of my students hires only Graphic Artists from the local college. He starts them out on an internship to see if they are going to work out before he actually hires them full time. They have a very good understanding that this is only a trial period and they will get hired if they can do all that is expected and is a good employee as far as attitude and his or her ability to work with others.
Place an ad on a bulletin board in a grocery store. Housewives or retirees are great prospects. They may not be able to work full-time but would work out great as a part-time employee and would usually give you their 100% while on the job. They usually have good organizational skills and work ethics. Housewives or home sewers usually have a lot of experience with bobbins and threading needles. Good dexterity is very important.
What questions to Ask In The Interview
Before you start your interview process with each applicant you need to know the right questions to ask. A new applicant does not need to have experience in the embroidery field but there are basic skills that are required before they can even be considered. As a matter of fact, I always hired people that had no experience. It is very hard to retrain someone that has learned bad habits. It is easier to train them from scratch, so to speak!
- Do you have previous sewing experience? This is not necessary but it does help. They would already have basic knowledge of threads, needles, scissors, thread tensions and possibly machine maintenance.
- Do you have any computer knowledge? Not a requirement but it also is very helpful and shortens their learning curve if this will be a tool that they would be using.
- Do you have small children? In some states, you cannot ask this question directly so you will have to be careful. If so, who takes care of your children when they are sick? This should not be held against them, but it needs to be addressed up front.
- Do you know how to read, write, count and use a ruler? This is very important especially if it is a person that does not speak the same language on a daily basis. They will be required to read and write to fill in production reports.
- Can you stand for long periods at a time?
- What are your hobbies? Let them explain this to you.
- What do you consider your strengths? What do you feel you are good at?
- What do you feel are your weaknesses? What do you feel you are not good at?
- Would you be willing to tidy up at the end of the day?
- Would you be willing to clean and maintain the equipment that you will be using?
- Can you carry boxes full of garments?
- Would you be willing to move at a fast pace when the pressure is on?
- You must be willing to learn, listen and take orders. Does any of this bother you?
- Can you take constructive criticism?
- Do you have specific work hours that work better for you than others?
- Are you looking for Full-time work or Part-time work?
- Are you looking to advance in your position?
- Are you willing to be trained on a continuous basis?
- Why did they leave their last job?
- How was their boss or supervisor to work with? (If they talk bad about their former boss, this may not be the type of person you want to have in your place of business. They could be poison for the rest of your employees)
Having an in-depth conversation with your applicant following these questions will tell you a lot about this person. These questions can be part of your application process on a questionnaire that they can fill out. After reviewing their answers and you feel that this is a person you would want to hire you can then schedule them for an interview. It will save you a lot of time in the hiring process. It is not necessary to keep bringing them in for a second or third interview. This is a waste of your time and their time.
If you have decided to hire someone to help, make it clear at the end of the interview, that this will be a 30-day trial and have a specific list of tasks or procedures that you expect them to master.
Give them a clear job description and let them know that they will be evaluated on this description and specific list of tasks at the end of that 30-day trial.
To get yourself organized, and set up your processes so that you can be ready to hire someone to help you, Click here to start the 9 Steps to a Profitable Embroidery Business! This is extremely important and will help you get on the right track! Without this, you are wasting a lot of valuable time!