Before I became a business owner, I always marveled at the sheer number of microbusinesses in Maine, specifically those with one employee (the owner).

“They could grow if they could hire help” I thought, kind of naively.

This month, I hired my first employee. This was a needed and welcome change but I realize now what a huge step and financial risk it is to go from one to two people. Suddenly, I needed office space and equipment, workers comp and liability insurance, payroll services… I spent money much quicker than I made it this last month. And I’m really hoping my huge financial gamble pays off.

In addition to the financial stresses, I’ve also had to get organized and create systems: an employee handbook, email accounts, a shared calendar, file sharing, etc. The stuff that worked great (or at least ok) living in my brain and on my computer now suddenly has to be out there for someone else to share, add to, etc.

I ran into a fellow business owner a few weeks ago who was very skeptical about my hire. “You can’t expect to do twice as much work now.” he said, trying to be helpful.

I certainly don’t expect my employee to put in 60 hour weeks, lie awake a night worrying about money, etc. That’s my job. If someone would do that besides me, I’d worry about them!

I do hope this will allow my company to move into that next level. Because if it’s a question of turning down work or being able to do more, I bet you know what I’d rather do.

Has anyone else went from a one man or woman show to a multi-person business? What advice do you have for this transition?

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