In the past several weeks, I’ve talked to remodelers who were experiencing challenges with their remodeling business because they didn’t have the support they needed to focus on the most important part of their jobs. Now that business is picking up for many remodelers, it may be time to hire top-quality employees to help.

Hiring new employees is an enormous time, energy, and financial commitment. But to deliver the customer experience you promise, or to grow your business, it’s often essential. In light of the last few years, it may be daunting to contemplate hiring, but remember that a new hire has the potential to change everything for the better.

It may be time to hire if:

  • Bottlenecks are holding up production.
  • You are losing new business because you don’t have enough help.
  • Being a “do-it-yourselfer” is distracting you from your core job duties.
  • Mistakes are being made often or important details are slipping through the cracks — a surefire sign that your employees are overworked and you need more people.

Can you Afford It?

But it’s not enough to know you need the help; you need to consider whether you can afford a new employee. Adding full-time, regular employees includes many of the following costs: wages, workers’ compensation contributions, Social Security tax, unemployment tax, training, office/worksite space and associated overhead, equipment (telephones, computers, copiers, tools); supplies (paper, pens, markers, folders, files); insurance coverage (health, dental, vision, life insurance); short- and long-term disability; retirement plan contributions; bonus/incentives; paid time off (vacation, sick, holiday, personal leave). So when you are budgeting to add to head count, be sure to consider all of the costs associated with hiring.

Also consider whether you can afford to keep a new employee onboard and busy for the foreseeable future. Don’t hire unless sales and revenue can support the new employee. If sales have grown consistently over several months, you have a backlog, and the future looks bright, then build your budget with all of the costs involved to determine how much the business needs to grow to afford the new hire. If the end result looks achievable, go for it.

Go Virtual

If you do decide to hire, hire smart — top-quality people who have the skills you need. You are already too busy to spend your time training. Hire people who are ready to dive in and get the job done right the first time.

If you’re concerned that the plan is too ambitious to allow you to hire a full-time employee, there are other avenues that will provide the manpower you need without the commitment. Many companies, including my own, are looking at virtual employees to keep overhead down. Others are outsourcing some of the work to contractors for shorter-term contributions or to help keep up with demand during crunch periods. Perhaps one of these options might be worthwhile for you. Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage.

More related articles from REMODELING:

Hiring Time: Signing more work and need help? How much help can you afford?

Finding Employees’ Hidden Costs

Hiring, What a Pain in the Neck