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“Must I employ people for my business to grow?”

I am often asked this question by owners of project-based businesses. On the surface, it seems such a simple equation: things are going great and I’ve got more work than I can cope with = get more people to fulfil it. Jobs done.

As things progress, the chill of a cold reality blows in: Do I really want the hassle? Permanent or freelance? How will I afford the wage bill? What about the extra admin, an office, IT, Health and Safety, Public Liability? Is now the right moment? Will the clients be happy without me on the job? Will the people I get to do it, run off with my clients? Can they do it the way I like to do it? The questions keep on coming.

Of course, these are very important questions, but they are “functional”. Plenty of people like you have been through the same pain barrier and there are ready-made solutions that will satisfy them. What no one else can do for you is answer the really BIG question:

“Am I ready to be employed by my own business?”

Exploring this first is so vital because it can reveal your “why”. If the answer is “yes” then get ready to serve your business as well as your clients and you can start planning the resource to satisfy what the business – as opposed to you alone – needs to thrive. If the answer is “no” then maybe get some help to free up time for you to grow by doing more of what you do. Neither answer is wrong and whichever way you go, there are an almost limitless number of ways you can get there.

Growth is not a numbers game per se; it’s a mindset. If you want to be a champion, rather than a victim, of your own success, make a plan for the kind of success you envision, don’t hang your hat solely on the project-driven needs of the people you serve today.


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