Your business is growing in ways you’d never even imagined. You’re keeping all the balls in the air (so far), but you have this nagging feeling that it won’t be long before you drop one. Managing all the day-to-day operations leaves you little time to focus on getting your business to the next phase.

Hiring an employee is the solution, right?

That’s the dream! But we’ve all heard stories of how this can go very wrong. Employees who need their hands held at every step, take initiative in all the worst ways, or create more problems than they solve. If you want your employee to be a valued asset who helps you manage your time, you’ll need to do some preparation and planning before you hire.

Read on to learn how to help your new employee be successful, become a better employer and manager, and nail your time management.

Before you hire: Your time management game plan

Your life as a manager starts now, before you’ve actually hired someone. 

Planning and strategising at this phase will streamline the hiring process, help you efficiently onboard the new employee, and help them assimilate to the job, all of which will save you time in the long run. 

So before you start typing that job description, take a moment to develop your game plan.

What does your time management look like right now?

Make a list of the tasks, operations, and workflows that keep your business running. You’ll use this to build a clear job description for your employee.

Jot this on a whiteboard or on sticky notes, type a list or make a sketch. Capture it all in one place — the point is to leave nothing out! Even the smallest task belongs on your list. 

Now begin to organise and categorise what you see. 

Marketing — pitch emails, social media, networking events. Financials — tracking expenses, payments, invoices. Client relations — phone and digital communication, troubleshooting, cultivating referrals. 

What can you automate or streamline with technology? Could you invest in scheduling software to simplify your social media or email marketing? Have you looked into software, like Clear Books, to help you centralise your finances and make payments and expense tracking a breeze?

Making the most of automation is a great first step in improving your time management. Then it’s easier to see exactly what that new human you’re about to hire can do for your business.

What slows you down? Identify how future employees can help

What’s a business-related task or workflow that you don’t love to do? Or something you’re not actually that good at? 

Now that you’ve reduced your task list, start circling the remaining categories. You’ll begin to see the skill set you’re looking for in your employee. 

If you labour for hours over every email you send, you need an employee with writing skills. If you hate calling around for the best bid for a contract or product, you’re looking for someone with patience and persistence (and probably a sense of humour). If your tax return gives you nightmares, you’ll want someone with bookkeeping skills.

By automating some of your business processes, streamlining your operations and procedures, and getting specific about what you need your employee to do — your time management will fall into place and you’ll have the space you need to focus on your next stage of business growth.

time management

After you hire: Take time to train

You’ve found that perfect someone (you hope!) thanks to the work you did to hone in on exactly who and what your business needs. 

Now what? 

Training, training, and more training! 

There’s nothing worse than having to go back over your employee’s work and fix mistakes. Investing the time now to guide your employee so they can get things right first time will ultimately save “future you” a tonne of time (and hassle). 

Your employee will appreciate this too — they want to get it right and succeed in their new position.

Let your fledgling fly!

Once you’ve trained your employees, cultivate their independence. After all, a confident employee will be far less likely to knock on your door looking for obvious answers or reassurance.

As hard as it may be, gradually step away from looking over their shoulder to check that they’re performing tasks to your specifications. 

One gift you can give your team — and yourself — is a troubleshooting guide. 

Remember that list of tasks, workflows, and operations? 

Use that to build a quick reference guide for troubleshooting. Share your special tricks to clear pesky paper jams from your printer, briefly outline common workflows, and let them know about any client quirks they might come across.

It’s also a great idea to include the support details for any software you use.

For example, Clear Books users (and their employees, of course!) can access free support in the form of guides, FAQs, and community forums — but most importantly, our support line where they can reach a real human. So your new hire can get help with those invoicing or payroll questions without having to disturb you.

Now that your employees are trained and completing tasks with confidence, you have the time to keep your eye on the big picture and focus on the next phase of growth for your business.

Ready to gain even more of your time back? Clear Books payroll makes it easy to pay your employee with one click, calculating payments, taxes, and deductions. Start your free 30-day trial of Clear Books payroll today!

Clear Books Online Accounting & Payroll Software

Clear Books is an award-winning online accounting & payroll software for small businesses. 

Clear Books Payroll makes it easy to calculate pay, produce payslips, track employee absences and report to HMRC. Save time and pay all your staff at once with our click-to-pay feature in Clear Books.

Clear Books was launched in London in 2008 and offers a free 30-day trial with free ongoing support and bank feeds. We’re rated as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot.

Get a free 30-day trial of Clear Books Payroll software here.

Posted by Clear Books