When owning a business there comes a time when you start to get a bit overwhelmed. Or someone in your business becomes overwhelmed. But when is it time to hire someone to help out? Do you do it immediately or wait until the wheels start to fall off?
Making this decision is always hard because you don’t want to invest in someone and then the next month, there isn’t anything for them to do. One way to ramp up yet stay lean is to look to part-time staff as your answer.
Our organization has had great success using part-time staff in a variety of roles, with benefits for both us and the employee. For example, we’ve always had an interest in the local schools, so we often invite an intern to work with us. If you plan on using unpaid interns, make sure they are working in their area of expertise as there are now legal ramifications if you don’t. We have always paid our interns to keep them engaged. They can let you know when they are available and when the semester is over, they can move on. Or they can stay, depending on their schedule and your need.
We have also found moms make fantastic part-time employees. They typically come with a great resume and need something to work around their children’s schedule. If you are able to offer flexibility it’s a win-win: you get a valuable employee and they get to stay current with their skill set. Moms often work hourly and you can budget accordingly.
Rates vary on both of these scenarios because what they are getting in return is equally as important as the cash. But pay them right as they are a great asset to your business.
Part-time workers can give you the flexibility to set schedules that may be cyclical or spotty in your business. They also can serve as the perfect test ground to know when you are ready to bring on a full-time employee. But you may find you prefer the option of patching together a few part-time people instead due to the greater flexibility, fresh perspectives and cost-savings.
Either way, ramping up gradually with interns and part-time employees can help keep you moving forward carefully, without spinning your wheels.
This article may be reprinted when the copyright and author bio are included. ©2011 Catherine Lang-Cline, Portfolio Creative, LLC.
Catherine Lang-Cline is co-founder and owner of Portfolio Creative, a workforce innovation firm that was named a fastest growing company in by Inc. magazine in 2009 and 2010. Portfolio Creative helps companies streamline and innovate their creative workforce to save time, energy and money. www.portfolioiscreative.com.