Oftentimes, small-business owners have such a passion for their craft, they try to do everything themselves. How do you know it's time for a small business to start hiring, outsourcing work or delegating?

Jason Fisher Owner,


This is a common question I get from small-business owners. This is great news, as it indicates your business is doing well and you might be close to needing to make a change in order to continue growing in the future.

Often, the key indication that the timing might be right to either consider hiring or outsourcing is the very fact that you're asking the question. If you find yourself having difficulty keeping up with everything, especially in terms of sales, then I think that's a good sign that it's time to think about getting some help.

The next question, then, is whether to hire some help or outsource some of your tasks. Both of these can take considerable time and energy, so it's important to keep that in mind before pursuing either one. Hiring can be as simple as placing an ad on a job website (e.g., Monster) or in a newspaper, but then you'll have to read through all of the applications and résumés you receive and find time to interview your top candidates.

One thing I always like to stress is to be clear on what exactly you need this person to do. From there, you can figure out what qualifications candidates would need in order to do these tasks effectively.

Regarding the outsourcing option, you'll need to do some research on firms that can do what you're interested in having them do. Once you find one you think will work, I would encourage you to sit down with them and be clear regarding your expectations. If you get a bad vibe or they seem like they might be difficult to work with, I would keep looking.

Whatever you decide, good luck to you in continuing to grow your business.

About the author

Kevin Henderson is an assistant professor of management at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.