Business - Creating a Wonderful Environment - What Are Your Staffing Options?

Business Solo Professionals



Operating as a solo professional can be time and energy draining. In fact, you may not have the skills or ability to operate the business on your own or may decide that it is better for you to focus on earning more money by focusing on your clients and hire others to do the rest. There are several options for you to consider regarding how the administrative part of your business will be run.

Not having staff means that everything falls in your lap. You will need to have a myriad of skills and energy in order to see the clients and also do all the ordering, bookkeeping, scheduling, and what seems like millions of others tasks that keep the business running efficiently. This is especially important if you are ill or away from the office for travel or other reasons. At one point, I found myself calling clients from Jamaica because I didn't have staff to return telephone calls!

When you don't have any staff, you risk the chance of losing income because of the time demands or errors. you also probably don't have all the latest information for government payments and income tax submission. The biggest risk, is that you will burn out and then you will either be ill for some time or not be able to continue with the practice.

Project Contracts are a good way to get tasks done when specific expertise is required. Asking another professional to give you a quote for the work will help you to decide if you want to invest in this manner and allow you incorporate the costs in your budget. You can arrange an hourly rate or project rate. For example, I hire an accountant by the hour to do all my government work (sales tax, payroll submission and annual Income tax). She charges me by the hour for the first two and on a set fee schedule for the annual submission. When I wanted to have my library books sorted, categorized, computerized and shelved, I hired a woman by the hour to do this.

Regular Contract Hours - I have tried all types of arrangements for office staff and find that hiring for a flexible number of contracted hours at an hourly rate is best for me. This way, I can adjust the hours that I need my assistant according to my needs. There are no employee benefits so I have slightly increased the rate that I would otherwise pay. Also, I save on paperwork because this is a contract rather than an employee payroll case.

Part-time Staff - If you are hiring someone as a part-time employee you will need to define what part-time means and what, if any benefits are included. It is best to put this in writing and have it available to share with the prospective employee at hiring.

Full-time Staff - This is probably the most costly way of hiring and can be the most wasteful - especially if the employee doesn't have enough to do during the day. S/he would likely expect employee benefits and paid holidays as well as sick leave. If they do not have all the skills you might still need to hire a project contract person.

Before you hire anyone, you need to know exactly what needs to be done. Then determine what tasks you will do yourself. At this point, consider hiring someone who is best suited to complete the rest of the tasks.

When your business is operating smoothly and the work is getting done in an efficient and timely manner you will enhance the environment and be better able to experience each day as a wonderful adventure.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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