When Even your Dog Growls at You!


Just a few weeks ago I noticed that the light fixture in my kitchen was cracked (have no idea how that happened) and I needed to replace it.

So my wife and I decided that it was probably about time that we looked at replacing some of the other fixtures as well.

We went to the local Home Depot store and purchased 5 other fixtures and headed home thinking that there would be no trouble finding a local electrician to install them properly as my expertise is limited to changing the bulbs when they burn out.

Well, I was wrong again!

Not being a “trades” guy, my concept of this adventure was to get home, pick up the phone, call an electrician, and tomorrow one would magically appear on my doorstep and install the 5 new fixtures.

Haha, dreamer, we know that didn’t happen.

Here is how it unfolded.

I got home and immediately hit the phones. After seven calls to electricians and not one single live answer, I slammed the phone down in frustration.

I had left messages with all of them to get back to me.

That got me thinking, “hmm, would it not be better if one of these sole-preneures went out and hired their first employee so they could begin to build their business bigger?”

Ok, I realize that some of these guys/gal electricians may not want to go any further in business than to just be a one-man/woman show.

That is all right by me but then I thought that maybe they do not know when the time is right to take that big step a hire their first employee or how to do it right.

With that in mind, I decided to do my research and compile some tips to consider in respect to hiring your first employee.


You have to want to build your business.

I know that this sounds like a no brainer but it isn’t. Some people just do not want the hassle of dealing with people. All they can handle is themselves and that is OK as long as this is what you want.

It is a dangerous thing to start building a business, hiring people and all that, if you do not have the attitude to meet this challenge. If that be the case just stay where you are and work all by yourself.

Understand the value of an employee

The first thought that most people have goes directly to how much this person is going to cost. You have to pay them a salary, and all the federal expenses that go with that.

This is bad thinking. You need to understand the value that this person can add to your business.

Think of things like the value of them reducing your workload, the more leads that can be worked and the revenue that this will bring. The ability for you to catch up on bookwork, bookkeeping and the like that has been sitting on your desk for months. Perhaps they could actually be a live person to answer your phone when you are on a call and satisfy the need of a customer like me who is looking for a real person to speak with.

How much value to you is that?

Create a working profile

Too many times people hire employees with just a work profile in their heads. This is wrong and leads to confusion.

Take the time and put the job description on paper.

This is a very critical step as it will help you understand the full picture.

The truth is that this person that you hire needs to understand all the things that go into the job. Things that YOU want to be done, how YOU want the jobs completed, and what YOU expect and require.

Remember that if this is a full-time position, you need to know what they will be doing for 8 hours every day. This will be a disaster if you do not have this on paper.

In actual fact, this step is the beginning of your first SOP ( standard operating procedure ) document.

Choose the right time to hire

You want to be aware of the clues that will lead you to hire your first employee. Clues like:

  • You have so much work that you are turning down new business.
  • Your clients are frustrated that you are so busy that you do not have time to service them properly.
  • You have a real need for specialized skills that you do not have yourself.
  • You have found a new source of revenue however you can’t do it all yourself.
  • The paperwork on your desk is so high that you can’t see over it.
  • Your kids have forgotten what you look like because you never see them.
  • Even your faithful dog growls at you when you come in the door.

Now to complete my story, it took three weeks before I could get someone to come and install all my new light fixtures.

They look fantastic!

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