Last month, we used a spreadsheet to calculate how much a lead carpenter should produce in a month. Change some variables, and you can also use the spreadsheet as a quick way to determine how much additional labor you need to hire to handle growing sales. In the following examples, we'll assume a revenue growth goal of \$500,000 (to a total of \$2 million) and the same "givens" as last month: overhead of \$440,000 and an employee pool of three leads (at \$35/hour), two carpenters (at \$25/hour), and one helper (at \$15/hour).

All small jobs. If most of the new work consists of small jobs, a single lead carpenter could probably handle each project on his own. But the spreadsheet shows that, all things being equal, his productivity limit is about \$350,000.

Mixed-skill jobs. If, as is more likely, the new work varies in size and complexity, you will need to consider hiring a lead plus a lesser-skilled carpenter. The spreadsheet shows that these two additional employees can handle about \$433,000 worth of new work.

Changing overhead. Adding two people brings the crew total to eight, which raises the question of whether the company can function without also adding a production manager. Such a hire may increase overhead by, say, \$100,000, but with the increased revenue, overhead percentage drops to 27% (\$540,000 &#247; \$2 million). If this nine-person team works as efficiently as the eight-person team, the company could pick up about \$20,000 in additional net profit.