Extract from Kochie’s Business Builders
January 28, 2016, 7:00 am Aidan Parsons Kochie’s Business Builders

A big step in a small business is hiring someone. Get it right.

Everyone in business starts out as a sole trader. We go from working in a job for someone else to working in a job for ourselves.

We sit in this space and hustle away, working our fingers to the bone knowing it is all worthwhile because when we work harder, our bank balance looks healthier.

Then sure enough, the work piles on, your time gets less and in comes the first big step in becoming a business – your first employee!

You know that you need to hire someone, but how? When is the right time? How do I find them? Will it break my business? These are the questions you will find bouncing around your head as you lay awake at night.

Here’s what you need to know:


When a business is looking to hire their first employee, quite often they are in the space where they have too much work for one person, but not enough for two.

This can be confronting because if we are really honest here, paying a full time employee will risk taking food from your table to put on theirs.

This is where scaling becomes so important because it manages the financial risk. Consider the following suggestions when looking to scale:

– Incorporate a commission structure where appropriate.

– Use internships if applicable.

– If the role permits, hire a VA to measure workload at a lower cost point.

Through modifying the scale at which you bring in an employee you modify the risk. However, be aware, the quality of employee you may attract will be impacted.


A major component of hiring an employee is the associated costs. You must know:

– The impact of an employee on current profit margin per sale / contract.

– The associated costs of hiring an employee (insurance, extra space, licensing, advertising).

– The impact on your personal income and if it’s manageable at the moment.

– How you can balance financial risk until your employee is performing optimally.

Make sure you know the answer to each of these questions. The last thing you want is to be paying your employees while your own bank account sits in the red.


This is hands down the most important part of hiring an employee, but often is never considered. How will they affect your brand?

You as a business owner have worked so hard to develop your reputation in the marketplace, and right now you are about to allow someone else to trade with your name.

This has to be done carefully! Think about it, you are risking not just your current cash flow but all future jobs. Your new employee must strengthen your brand.

We advise everyone looking to hire at any stage to complete the following:

– A brand statement information package as part of the hiring process.