Something that many businesses and nonprofits struggle with is determining when they should make their first hire.Let’s be honest. You had a great idea for a new Jewish nonprofit. Thankfully, people have responded positively and you are overwhelmed by the response you are getting to your programs and events.
Inasmuch as your classes are a hit, we all know that you can only reach a milestone of being a successful organization by counting every penny. Despite the financial challenge, you are beginning to think about adding another staff member.
After all, there’s only so much time in your day, and between your family responsibilities and the fact that you are teaching all the classes and creating all the flyers for your events…there are simply not enough hours!
BUT…expensing another full-time salary is intimidating, so you might consider hiring someone part-time or outsourcing work to today’s global village.
What should you do?
The most important thing to keep in mind is this: Your organization will be best positioned to blossom if you are able to work from your place of strength and delegate to paid help the work you are weak or less interested in.
In order to decide if it’s better to hire an individual or outsource to a firm or virtual assistant, ask yourself the following three questions. Then weigh your answers against the pros and cons of each option.
Question 1: What is my place of strength in the organization? This will tell you what work to keep for yourself, whether it’s the number crunching or creative engagement; the rest is what you delegate. It’s important to take note if you are delegating more general tasks or specialized services.
Question 2: How involved do I like to be in my organization? Do you like to be very involved and directly manage all aspects of your mosad, or do you have more of a hands-off approach where you’d like results but don’t want to participate in the process?
Question 3: What types of outsourcing have worked best for me in the past? As a one-man-show you’ve probably hired help before (i.e. graphics, web-building, accounting). On those occasions, did you utilize the services of an individual or a company? How did it work out for you?
Have your answers?
Now match your needs and preferences to what each option can offer you:
The pros of a private hire are loyalty and dedication, the ability to be as involved as you’d like in the work process, and a scalable solution as employees grow with you and your organization. You will have the benefit of never losing sight of the tasks while maintaining expertise as you delegate work since you’ll be doing the training, even occasionally taking over when your employee goes on leave.
You can hire at a low wage and train your employee to grow with you, thereby giving you the best long-term cost-effectiveness. This option best suits the preferences of small nonprofits managers who need general administrative help, are able and willing to train and manage their employees, and appreciate the personal dedication and services of an individual (while being able to forgive the occasional absences of employees).
Using a virtual office offers very different benefits. An outsourcing company will take its delegated tasks completely off your mind and out of your hands. They have a ready, trained team that doesn’t need any input from you on how to get things done and never needs a vacation. While more expensive per hour than hiring and training an employee, it will come out cheaper if either of the following conditions are met:
1- The services you need require specialized skills (i.e. payroll, graphics, call center).
2- You are able to bring in significantly more income by focusing on your own work and fundraising and not spending any extra time managing other tasks. This option best suits someone who is very results- focused, has a high income-per-hours-worked ratio, does not want to be involved in the minutiae of their organization and to whom reliability is paramount.
Finally, take into consideration your tech ability. Services such as Toggl (time tracking and invoicing), TimeTrade (automatic appointment scheduler), Trello (project manager), SendLtr (email automation) and Drive (file collaboration) are but a few of the low and no-cost technology options you can take advantage of to reduce administrative help overall.
This post has been modified from the original as it appeared in Mishpacha Magazine, August 2015. Estie Rand is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and business consultant specializing in helping small business owners and nonprofits bring in more money with less headache. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your business and nonprofit related questions in areas of marketing, profitability, growth strategies and more.