Questions & Answers

Posted by Panama Wayne Deb on 2014-08-22 12:34:00
Title: What do you do when your business does not bring in enough income yet to support hiring outside help...
Category: Operations

What do you do when your business does not bring in enough income yet to support hiring outside help but you desperately need the help because you are doing everything?


Fabio Campanella
2014-08-26 14:33:00

This is the major test in any small business. You cannot turn away customers, but you can’t handle the work.

You need to do several things:

1.       List the activities that you are actually doing and prioritize them. Group them into the following categories

a.       Things that must be done to directly generate revenue

b.      Things that must be done from a regulatory (legal, tax, etc.) standpoint in order to avoid penalties/fines etc.

c.       Things that do not lead directly to revenue or major negative consequences

Stop doing anything you put into group “C”. I bet you that 25% of your days are spent on these items and eliminating them will free up so much time.

However, if group A and B are still overwhelming you need to do the following:

2.       Consider increasing your prices, compare your prices to your competitors, are they too low for the quality of product or service you offer? If yes then increase your prices by 10-20 %. You will lose some customers but if the quality is there they will be replaced with higher paying ones

3.       Cut out time consuming products/services. Unless you only offer one product or service there may be some that you can no longer offer as they consume too much time.

4.       Obtain a line of credit and hire someone. If the orders are coming in very fast and you are in the front line getting them out then consider first hiring some back office support such as a bookkeeper or admin assistant. Your most important aspect is sales and no one is going to be better at that than you so clear up the admin work with hired help first.

Fabio Campanella
Partner, Campanella McDonald LLP 

Sharon Lemay
2014-09-15 12:02:00
Followup question:

What about volunteers? How does this work in Canada?