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Reply To: When to hire your first employee

Chip Griffin
February 23, 2022 at 1:28 pm #15282

There’s no simple formula for when to hire your first employee (or even your next employee). Rules of thumb about revenue per employee are not reliable, especially for small agencies.

Generally, you should start with some freelance help. Rather than thinking about a VA (virtual assistant) or some sort of administrative help, consider focusing on getting meaningful client-related work off of your plate. That will generally accelerate your growth more quickly.

If you have a freelancer who is at least half-time, then it is probably the right moment to think about full-time support. Of course, you will want to do a careful analysis of cash flow to ensure that you should be in good shape. A solid cash reserve (3+ months of payroll and other critical expenses) makes the decision easier.

I wrote an article a while ago about hiring your first employee that has some more detail on the types of things that you should be considering, too. That includes looking at some tough questions about what you want from your business in addition to the technical and substantive considerations of hiring.

Chip Griffin founded the Small Agency Growth Alliance (SAGA) to help PR and marketing agency owners achieve their goals.


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