When should we hire an employee?

Maybe only I know the answer to this question because I know more about where my business stands than anyone else. But Im kind of on the fence about hiring someone for the coming Spring-Christmas window cleaning season. This past year was really busy and we found ourselves working like mules most of the time. Often working 6 days a week and sometimes 7. My wife and I run the business and do all the window cleaning. For me the most stressful aspect is trying to answer the phone, give estimates and schedule jobs while also trying to finish the window cleaning job Im on in a timely fashion. My wife on the other hand is getting run down by the physicalities.

Based on 2009’s growth from 08 I think 2010 is gonna be crazy and Im pretty sure another helping hand will be priceless. Id like to have a guy I can send out on his own while my wife and I continue our partnership. Then he can lighten the load for us and do all the plus jobs we cant do.
Im worried about the financial numbers though. Is it really worth it? I dont want to wait until we’re crazy busy to start training someone. Id like to start in March and then have a solid worker for the really busy months.

Im thinking to go ahead with it and start looking for someone. I figure with all the marketing Im gonna be doing we’ll be getting tons of calls.

Anyone have some advice based on experience? What was the decisive factor for you when deciding to hire someone?

What kind of work are you doing. Is it commercial or residential?

Hiring someone as soon as possible is always good in my eyes. It gives you the time you need to grow the business, so it’s actually kind of an investment. You may not make as much initially when you hire someone, but think of it this way. If your spending all of your time actually doing the window cleaning vs. putting the time in to grow the business, your not going to grow as fast. In your situation, you may want to put an office in your home (if you don’t already have one) and have your wife set up shop to answer calls, do the scheduling, bidding, get supplies and do any selling/marketing. You and the new guy can handle the actual workload. If you have too much work for two guys, hire another. Just my opinion.

About 90% residential. Yeah I agree with you Kurt. Ive been reading the E Myth Revisited and I understand the importance of working on the business as opposed to in the business. Im figuring the less windows “I” clean the more marketing,streamlining and development I can do. We’ve got a pretty successful system for bringing in new customers so I figure we’ll just up the ante on that as we continue to grow. Im gonna write up a training manual while on vacation and then buy all the tools for another worker when I get back to the states. Then we’ll get to work on finding and training the right person.(easier said than done Im assuming) A friend of a friend said “When interviewing people for a position, trust your initial gut feeling about the person.”

Get a office person for sure. That’ll give you a ton of time right there. We have a secratary, and 1 other employee under my wing all day. We look at the # of jobs and the dollor amount and set a goal for the office person to schedule… Say $800.00 a day for 2 guys in winter months. Summer time will be different of course. We’ll have another truck going and 4-5 more employee’s, so it’ll be somewhere around 1100-1200 per crew. Always look at the amount it cost you to run per day, per week, with X amount of people…
Good luck and it never hurts to get people to fill out aplications now. The more the better chance you have of finding the ONE…:smiley:

Go to itunes, and buy the audiobook called “The E Myth revisited”.
When you get it, listen to the first 2 installments…it will take you about 4 hours to listen to just those alone, but it will explain it better than I could.

I believe it was Henry Ford’s policy to find the best and brightest person for each position. Do you think the man made the company or the company made the man? He openly admitted there were processes, machinery, and departments that he didn’t even have a clue about. Because he could hire a specialist to “know it for him”.

I guess my point is - work yourself out of a job (in a sense). Eventually you shouldn’t be cleaning windows.

On of my biggest business mistakes was staying a one man band (with a helper) for so long! I know that it is tough to give away money that you could easily put in your pocket but you are selling yourself short.

If I could have done it over again, I would have got out of the servicing end of the business 15 years ago. It really boils down to providing great service with a great marketing plan. With those two things combined, the skys the limit.

Thank you guys for all the advice.Sounds to me like its time to hire. Happy New Year!

Boldog új évet!

How do you know that? Boldog új évet yourself. :smiley:

My parents were both born in Hungary (Mom: Makó near Szeged / Dad: Pest) and escaped to the US in December 1956.

Akkor tudsz magyarul beszelni? My wife is from Miskolc in northeastern Hungary. We’re here now . This is my sixth time , much different than California. En is tudok kicsit magyarul


GEORGE 805 443 9093

Hey thanks George, that would be great. I’ll give you a call when I get back from vacation.