As a retail business owner, you rely on your small team every day.
Sometimes, you are overwhelmed with tasks and opportunities to pursue. However, if you and your staff feel constantly overwhelmed, it may be time to regroup. You may need to look at hiring employees for your small business.
Many small business owners juggle many roles as manager, human resources manager, marketing director, buyer, stylist, lead sales woman, and more. At some point, they drop the ball since there are just too many balls coming at them. Are your employees ready to step up and pick it up? If not, it may be that they are also overstretched and it is time to add to your team.
How do you know if your business is ready to expand on staff? Consider the following five signs it is time to hire more employees. Also, ask yourself a few questions to discern whether it is time to restructure, upgrade systems, or time to add to your team.
Here a few questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you feel overwhelmed?
Are you spending a lot of time doing simple, but essential tasks that you should be able to delegate? The first questions to ask yourself, are you delegating those tasks? If no, why not?
If the reason is because your entire team is busy, then it may be time to add to your team. The Harvard Business Review offers tips on how to perfect the art of delegating. They note that if you feel overwhelmed while you notice employees with nothing to do, that is one sign that you need to learn to delegate.
Running your own small business is more time consuming than working as an employee.
However, when your well-being and quality of life suffers, it is time to consider whether your budget allows you to consider the added cost of hiring an employee.
2. Is your current staff overwhelmed or overloaded?
As mentioned, delegation is an art that may save your business and your sanity.
Perhaps you are looking to offer your staff more responsibility then you notice that your entire team is overloaded. If so, hiring a new employee or outsourcing certain projects may be your only option.
Another sign you are short staffed is if you are frequently authorizing overtime pay. Sometimes a part time assistant or seasonal temporary workers pay for themselves.
3. Are you missing or declining opportunities?
Sometimes when you and your staff are saturated with work, you have to say no to opportunities you would love to take.
For example, you may miss out on the chance to provide outfits for the bridal fashion show even though you would love to promote your shop to prospective brides. You might miss out on that special Chamber of Commerce event because you just can't get away from the shop.
4. Are you ready to manage a larger team? If not, are there changes you can make to become more efficient?
Small retailers usually work within tight budgets so they make an art out of resourcefulness and thriftiness.
Sometimes poor management practices like micromanaging and inability to delegate make an adequate staff seem too small.
Sometimes inefficient systems keep your staff from taking on new higher level responsibilities. Inc. Magazine suggests that you consider whether you are ready to manage more employees.
Before you hire, re-examine your systems and structure. Seek advice from your existing trusted staff. Restructure as necessary and tighten up on inefficient systems.
For example, it costs money to upgrade your Point of Sales system, but a more efficient system may pay for itself by freeing up some of your sales staff time and creativity.
5. Is customer service suffering? Are tasks left unfinished?
Do your team members feel so rushed and frazzled that they are a little brusque with your customers?
Do they have time to give each shopper focused attention? If not, they are probably not selling as much as they could. Not only that, you may be losing out on developing long-term relationships with loyal customers.
Sometimes just one more sales assistant, even for just a few hours a week, can make all the difference.
A lingerie shop is as much a service business as a retail business. Your customers want to find that item that boosts confidence and enhances beauty. Attentive and helpful staff help customers find that perfect item and make them feel special in the process.
If you have one or two staff working during high-traffic shopping times, your staff just may not have time to offer excellent customer service.
The right team and the right sized team makes a difference for any business. Too large a team causes you to lose money, too small keeps you from growing and earning more money. An understaffed shop is the difference between offering a stellar customer experience and a lackluster one.