People are the most important aspect of any business as, without people, no business can move forward. When it comes to fashion businesses, some of the most important people needed are family, friends, mentors, customers, and employees.
Having the right employees in your fashion business can boost productivity and increase your income drastically. Since people are the most important asset of any business, you need to know when you need them, how to treat them, and, even, how to fire them gracefully when the time comes
For fashion businesses, hiring an employee too early can negatively affect cash flow and hiring one too late can lead to losing customers. So, when is the right time to hire an employee?
9 Signs It’s Time to Hire Your First Fashion Employee.
1. You are Turning Down Jobs.
Every startup fashion business needs customers and cannot afford to turn away any customer that fits into their ideal buyer persona. When you turn away clients, new or existing, it affects your relationship with them and pushes them to your competitors.
If you keep turning down jobs, you will not be able to retain customers in your brand.
The fact that you are getting many requests from clients is a great sign of growth. If you can not handle these clients, however, it could greatly affect your business negatively.
If you then realise that you cannot meet up with all your client orders and deliver on time, it is time to hire your first employee.
2. Your Customers are Complaining.
Customer complaints should be taken very seriously by fashion entrepreneurs. If your customers complain, it means that they are not ready to leave your brand yet and just want a problem fixed.
When your customers begin to complain that they cannot reach you, your customer service is slow, the quality of your fashion products is diminishing, and so on, it is time to hire your first employee.
3. You can Create a Full Job Description.
If you can sit down and create a full job description that is not all over the place, then it is time to hire your first employee. You need to make sure the work you are hiring the employee for is specific and enough to keep them busy and productive.
Also, if you are spending too much money outsourcing the same work to various workmen, it is time to get someone in-house that can handle that task. While outsourcing is great, hiring someone can be much more cost-effective.
4. You Need Someone with a Specific Skillset.
As a startup fashion entrepreneur, you are most likely a jack-of-all-trades and you handle every aspect of running your business on your own. Being one person, you can’t be an expert in every field.
When you identify an area you are not so good in, it might be time to hire your first employee. It could be hiring someone to handle your finances, or your marketing efforts, because, in the long run, your lack of expertise will show.
When I stopped my pharmacy job and started fashion fully. Even though I didn’t have a shop space yet, I needed a tailor to help me sew my outfits so I hired one.” – Omowunmi Sowunmi, Creative Director Owunmi Clothings.
While you might be reluctant at first to hire an expert in a particular field for your business, it will benefit you eventually.
5. Your Fashion Brand Is Not Growing.
Many of the things we have listed here can hinder growth in your fashion business. When you realise you do not have time to come up with growth strategies for your brand or to focus on growing it, then it might be time to hire your first employee.
You need to identify the things that are stopping you from growing and see if hiring someone to help would solve the problem. Things like marketing, selling, and creating new products can be handled by others while your work on building your business model.
6. Their Work will Generate Income.
When thinking of hiring a new employee for your fashion business, you have to consider how much money a skilled employee will bring in. If you will earn more money by hiring a skilled person than you will spend on their salary, then it is time to hire your first employee.
For example, if you hire an expert marketer who will follow up on leads and bring in new paying client or a tailor who will help get products ready faster, then it will be well worth it. You need to ensure that whoever your new employee is, they bring in substantial money one way or the other.
7. You Have Found a New Way to Generate Income.
Fashion entrepreneurs can venture into many things to generate new sources of income for their brands. If you have identified new sources of income that you cannot tap into because you do not have the time or expertise for it, you should hire your first employee.
For example, if you are a ready-to-wear designer who wants to venture into bag making you will need new hands to help with this new line of business you hope to venture into.
8. You Cannot Take a Break.
Taking some time off work is not a crime. You need it. While working hard is important, you are not a superhuman and you need to take breaks and rest.
Sometimes, you need to disconnect from work and just find time to relax and enjoy yourself. This can help you clear your mind and become more productive at work.
If the daily running of your fashion business does not allow you to rest, it is time to hire your first employee.
9. You Can Afford It.
No matter how many gaps are in your fashion brand, if you cannot afford a new hire then you cannot hire a new employee. You need to ensure that your fashion brand is making enough money to pay salaries and still turn a profit at the end of each month.
If your employees do not get paid at the right time, there is a tendency that their morale will be low and productivity slow. So, you need to make sure you can afford it.
If you can, however, afford to hire someone, see it as an investment in the future of your company and take the leap.