What Roles Should You Hire First as A Small Business Owner?

Small business owners often juggle several roles at once as they navigate their business operations. Depending on the concept, a team of one may be enough to run things efficiently. However, if you have been running solo for a while and want to take the next step to grow your business, have time constraints that prevent you from taking on a full-time role, or know from the get-go that you want a small but mighty team to help you navigate the products and/or services your business offer, then you may be considering which roles to hire first.

Before you begin, it is important to consider your budget. Of course, you want to hire the right person, but if you have some budget constraints, which is often the case for many small business owners, you should ask yourself what your business can realistically afford right now. Research the typical salary of specific roles you’re considering and go from there.

After determining this, consider whether you should hire full- or part-time employees. If your business would benefit from having a consistent team to carry out day-to-day operations, it is crucial that you allocate your budget toward those roles and potentially have a smaller team that possesses more skills than a larger one.

Don’t feel you need to hire a team quickly. Consider your options and ensure you feel comfortable with the individual(s) you bring on. Below are some roles you might consider bringing on first as you build your team.

Marketing Officer / Social Media Coordinator

Whether you want to strengthen your branding, start advertising, create more content, boost print marketing, or build your presence on social media platforms with organic marketing, hiring someone who can help navigate this terrain for you can be a great way to attract more attention to your small business and give it a more professional look and feel.

You may want to hire a marketing professional first to join your team if you need help developing your brand image or creating more engagement with your small business online and are unsure where to start. Hiring someone in a full- or part-time position can help ensure they are fully immersed in your business’s story and message and are committed to growing with you. With your direction, they can be your brand messenger and will be responsible for crafting material that shines a light on the products/services you offer.

Customer Service Representative

Building strong relationships with your customers is key to creating a long-lasting, loyal customer base. These relationships can start with creating a positive experience for customers from when they first engage with your small business and the subsequent times after. That is why hiring a rep who can engage with customers, whether in-store, online, or both, can be extremely helpful. Responsibilities may include responding to any potential online reviews, following up on customer inquiries, creating customer accounts, maintaining customer records, responding to customers, etc. The nature of the role should align with your business and factor in responsibilities that you cannot take on.

Because this individual would engage directly with customers, they must know the ins and outs of your small business to answer questions effectively. They should also have the necessary people skills to create a positive first impression and nurture relationships. It may take time to train this individual and/or create a manual to guide them, so it is important to consider this when hiring for this role. However, this can be a great first role to hire if you find you do not have the time to engage with customers effectively on a consistent basis.

Chief Financial Officer or Bookkeeper

If the financial side of running your business is not your strong suit, hiring someone to take care of this can be a great time saver. A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will typically manage all aspects of your business’s finances, which includes formulating a financial plan, analyzing monthly finances, ensuring financial goals are met, reviewing past financial performance, etc.

A bookkeeper, on the other hand, can help you keep track of your transactions and accounts, organize financial records, create profit and loss reports, monitor expenses, help you file taxes, and more. Having someone to stay on top of all the finances that come in and go out on a daily basis, which can be significant as you start your small business, can help ensure you avoid late payment penalties, make tax time much smoother, and give you peace of mind that you have an accurate financial record from the jump—saving you any potential financial headaches!

Although it can vary depending on your business, hiring a bookkeeper can be a more cost-effective option, especially when you have immediate financial tasks that need handling. However, if you’re looking to have someone on your team who can offer financial strategy and inform you of the best next steps for your business, hiring a CFO can be beneficial.

Sales Associate/Representative

If you have a brick-and-mortar retail store, hiring someone who can be on the floor, welcoming customers, assisting with making a sale, and handling the transactions may be where you want to start in the hiring process, especially if you want to take a step back from that responsibility. If your small business is heavily service-based, for example, and requires generating leads, a sales representative can be there to manage those efforts and help drive sales.

Hiring for this role right out of the gate can be necessary, as it can offer you the monetary means to grow your business. However, it is important that you carefully consider the traits and skillset you’re looking for this person to possess, as they will be representing your business and, ideally, building a rapport with potential customers. Their efforts directly affect the customer experience, consider this when hiring.

Administrative Assistant

As a small business owner, you likely navigate through countless emails and phone calls. Whether it be ongoing communication with vendors, ordering inventory, planning potential meetings, attending industry conferences, and much more in between, having a team member to take these responsibilities off your plate can save you time and help run your business more efficiently. If your small business includes an office space, having someone to manage those tasks could allow you to spend more time in a customer-facing role rather than staying behind the scenes.

When hiring for this role, you may want to consider going the virtual assistant route, if that makes sense for your business. Rather than having a team member come in, they can work from anywhere and provide the assistance you need on a part- or full-time basis without factoring in commuting to your store/office and requiring space.

Creating a team can be an exciting time for small business owners as it means you are taking steps to grow your business. The UPS Store is here to offer support with our Small Business Solutions that can assist in your growth. Visit a location near you to speak with our knowledgeable team and learn more about our business services.

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