Is Your Small Business Understaffed?
Dan Levenson August 01, 2017
As a small business owner, you wear many hats and perform many duties over the course of a normal business day. You might need to be a negotiator, a salesperson, a marketer, and a handyman—all in the space of a few minutes, much less a few hours!
The staff you choose for your small business are critical in helping you meet your business goals and ensuring that you have the help you need day to day. Sometimes, however, you may opt to not hire more staff in the interest of saving money—and as a result, your business suffers.
So, is your small business understaffed? These signs may suggest that you need more employees to help meet your needs.
1. You’re turning away business or your turnaround time has grown long enough to deter potential new customers.
If you have more business than you can handle, it’s a huge red flag that it’s time to hire more employees! Feast is always better than famine, but your business can’t continue to grow when it exceeds the workload that you and your current staff can handle.
Not only that, but if you’re turning new business away due to a lack of resources, hiring a few new staff members may actually increase your income rather than taking away from it, as you’ll be better equipped to take on new customers or clients.
2. You’re doing tasks yourself that other people could do faster, better, or more efficiently.
Sure, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to do yourself as a small business owner, especially in the early days of your business. As your business grows, however, you’ll have to learn to evaluate the work you’re doing and hand some of it off.
Could someone else do it more effectively? Are you spending too much time struggling with tasks would be better handled by someone else with more experience? Keep in mind that your time is valuable and will only become more precious as your business grows. Increasing your existing staff might help your workday flow much smoother.
3. Your customer service or product quality is decreasing.
Your customers may be used to receiving a personal touch from your business. As your business grows, however, you will have less time to spend on each customer individually. And if you’re producing goods faster and faster to meet demand, your quality may also decrease as a result.
Don’t find yourself trapped by this cycle! Instead, hire the staff you need to keep providing high-quality goods and/or services to your customers.
4. You’re more stressed—and so are the members of your staff.
If you and your current staff are constantly running around feeling as though you’re laboring under a heavy load, it could be a result of understaffing.
Take a look at your workload and the workload being carried by your staff. Is it excessive for any or all parties involved? If so, hiring more staff will significantly reduce workplace stress and make your small business a better employer for everyone—not to mention a smaller source of stress for you.
5. You’re missing vital details in the effort to keep up with your workload.
When was the last time you updated your software? What about your passwords? Have they been changed recently? Small businesses are now more at risk for cybersecurity attacks than ever before—and those aren’t the only details that you’ll start to miss if you’re constantly overworked.
Fixing your understaffing problem is the best way to be sure you’re keeping up with all those important details that will help your business flourish and stay safe.
Understaffing is a serious issue that can cause a great deal of harm to your small business. Fortunately, it’s not too late to correct those problems! It’s time to increase your existing staff and make the changes that you need in order to help your business continue to serve your community.