Q: How do you know when to hire a manager (or a few managers) to oversee day to day activities?
A: When your days are getting longer. “If I see a trend in my work schedule where I started to end my day at 6, then 7, then 8, then 9, etc., I know it’s time to bring someone else in to take care of the little things I’ve been handling that are now adding up. I make a list of these items, as well as other things that don’t need immediate guidance, but more of my final edit or approval, and hire for that.” Rob Fulton, AudioLumin
When business development slows down. “The big sign for us was when we had a hard time continuing to focus on our business and strategic development. Software development, customer service, operations and order fulfillment were pulling leadership away from identifying new opportunities and building relationships to make them a reality. We hired more people to help, and it freed us to focus on those strategic relationships.” Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell
When you start a new phase of growth. “There are many lagging signs telling you it’s time to hire someone to handle day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, by the time you see the need, it’s way too late. The best time to hire a manager for day-to-day activities is before you start your next phase of growth. Make an operations manager your first hire, and you’ll see productivity increase while you’re growing.” Omer Trajman, Rocana
When you feel overwhelmed. “You’ll likely find yourself trapped in a perpetual hamster wheel, focused on tasks that are not a good use of neither your time nor skill set. At this point, it’s time to bring in the help to allow you to focus on the big picture.” Reza Chowdhury, AlleyWatch
When more and more mistakes are being made. “When you’re stretched for time, the quality of work (and work-related decisions) will suffer. Because you can’t fully focus, mistakes will be made that will start to cost the business. That can’t happen. And when it does, this is when it’s time to step back and bring in managers and additional hires.” Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
When you’re only fixing, not creating. “You know you need to hire help when you become a fire fighter — in other words, when you spend most of your days running from crisis to crisis just trying to put out work fires. Look at how you are spending your time: How much of it are you spending creating versus fixing? If you have become a fixer and not a builder, then it is time for you to hire help.” Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People
When you find yourself repeating tasks. “An important sign it’s time to hire a manager or outside resource is when you start to repeat yourself. As the founder of a company, each day should be different, from pitching new partnerships to securing investments. If certain tasks are repeating each day such as updating QuickBooks, social media posting, or client management, it’s time to move those tasks off your plate and on to someone else’s!” Kim Kaupe, ZinePak
When you know someone can do it better. “There are probably a lot of tasks you can do and do relatively well. It comes down to knowing what you do best and what someone could be doing better. As the founder/leader of a company, you’re likely best served in leading, managing big-picture operations, pitching, etc. Bring on someone who can not only maintain, but enhance day-to-day operations.” Matt Cheuvront, Proof Branding
When you aren’t focusing on the fundamentals. “It’s when you realize the business is managing you and not the other way around; that’s when it’s time to hire some help. It can be tough, but a founder needs to delegate the less important functions that still have to get done so they can free themselves up to focus on the key fundamentals of the business.” David Herzka, David Fin
When you’re trying to do everything. “Most entrepreneurs suffer from the belief that they can do it all. Recruit and hire people you can trust, who are willing and able to step up into management roles. It is typically easier to promote a manger from within than to find one externally. Promoting from within also provides a greater likelihood of success and helps ensure your company culture remains strong.” Mina Chang, Linking the World
When you’re unable to stay on top of employee progress. “If you find that you are unable to stay on top of each individual employee’s projects and daily tasks, it is time to bring a new manager on board. It is important to give each employee time, attention and someone who can work with them and check on them periodically. Hiring a manager to do this will give you the ability to focus on running the business as a whole.” Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com
When your time distribution is uneven. “It is time to hire a manager to oversee employees when the majority of your day is spent managing each team. Once your company is rapidly growing, there is a lot more to manage than your employees — like expenses and legal matters. Once you are completely overwhelmed on a day-to-day basis by solely managing employees, it is time to invest in someone who can give them direct guidance.” Jayna Cooke, EVENTup