Clients before hire/ income before expense BUT start the interview process now too
Your time is your most precious resource:
1) Increase rates for new customers
2) Find a way to "productize" your knowledge (e-book, presentation, conference calls, webinar?) so that you can sell to others x10 without them taking your precious time.
3) What is your core competency? Focus on that and find others (senior help) to do anything else.
4) Did I mention increase rates? Double your rates.
I agree with kelly. Also plan roles and responsabilities before hiring.
This happened to me about six months ago -- I had a small team, but we landed several clients at once and I didn't have the right systems in place. Nothing blew up, but I was stressed while I tried to do a lot of the work myself and get the right people and processes in place.
If you're pretty confident you can get the clients, I'd start training someone NOW to do the things you're doing, so you can hand that work over and focus on onboarding new clients or doing new work. If you're bringing someone on in a consultant/part-time role, it's less important to rope in the revenue/client first because that new team member won't cost you so much that it puts your biz at risk.
Hi. This is a great question that I hear a lot. This is one of those questions that typically has no correct answer if you simply pick one of the options. Unless you have a huge pot of money sitting around idle, you can't hire senior help without clients and revenues to pay them. And you can't take on new clients without more help or existing clients will suffer (and the new ones won't stay).
The only solution is to find a creative way to do both. You may be thinking, "there's no way I have the time to do that" (or money/budget or whatever else your limiting factor(s) is/are. In my experience, when I talk to people about their specific situation, there are always ways we can think of that allow them to do both.
So my advice to you is to forget the constraints of the no-win "either/or" situation and come up with a genius "and" solution.
Consider carefully what you need/expect from the person you are thinking of hiring and how much time and energy you are willing to invest in both the locating, training and oversight of initially.
As a growing business you must be very conscious of quality control so you have to hire well.
Ensure your reputation is solid before you expand so you attract the right people.
You could consider hiring a contract or freelancer for extra work until you are in a position to comfortably find, hire and train a new member of your team. Contractors/freelancers are also aware of their need to maintain their reputation and deliver good quality product (do not cheap out on paying).
Clearly identify the qualities and that includes traits you believe will fit in well with you and your business. Many growing small business owners have taken a real hit by hiring the wrong person and giving them to much trust and responsibility to quickly. It feels great to be able to hire and give someone a job and great to expand your business. Sometimes small steps with a plan for more is the way to go.
Cross-train your employees.
You are the most valuable individual in your company. No one works harder, faster, and no one produces more than you.
By cross training your new employs, put them on menial tasks while you focus on more productive avenues.