This is an extremely big topic to discuss. So we are going to focus on just a couple of areas for right now to give you a good base to go from.
How many employees you will need in your restoration business completely depends on the services that you are going to offer.
If your services are contents and structure cleaning, you will need a crew of 5 to 7 people to clean, inventory and pack a job in a good time frame. You can start out with just 2 or 3 employees of your own and hire temps to fill out your crew at first. Just be sure that your temps are always supervised by a trained certified Team member.
A good labor pool for this kind of sometimes sporadic and temporary work I have found to be college students and stay at home moms. Not only are they usually very hard workers they can be grateful for any down time that you may need to afford them as they arenâ€™t usually needing or wanting fulltime all the time work.
Your Team will need to be much bigger and diverse if you are planning to go further with your restoration services and do reconstruction work. However it doesn’t have to be as you can use sub-contractors for many aspects of the construction process. But just like using temporary labor for cleaning you will need to be sure and keep control of your job so that you can ensure the quality and timelines are kept up with. Having 2 to 5 carpenter/emergency type technicians is average.
It is also very important that especially when you are first hiring your Team and growing your business that you hire Team members that can be versatile and cross trained. For instance you may have an Emergency Specialist that is also a Cleaning Specialist. Or you might have a Carpenter that is also an Emergency Specialist. Just be careful that you don’t frustrate your Team by pulling them back and forth between too many types of jobs so they feel like a yo-yo. That is why you need to think about this aspect when you are interviewing potential new Team members and look at their personalities and what type of environments do they operate well in.
You may be going from a one person show to having a Team. So there will be many things for you to be thinking about and preparing for. So there are several administrative house keeping things that I want you to be thinking about.
For instance the additional accounting needed. There are federal regulation pertaining to employer criteria and there may be some at your state level as well. There are a couple of ways you can go about handling this aspect.
You can hire a CPA or Accounting service to handle all of your payroll setup and required filings or if you are a do it yourself type entrepreneur you can set things up yourself. It really is not difficult just can be a little time consuming to learn in the beginning and to get things setup initially.
If you are the do it yourselfer I highly recommend that you use an accounting software like Quick Books for payroll. Not only is it inexpensive for small employers but it is brain dead simple to learn and use. Contact your local state employment agency to find out rules or laws that you may need to adhere to. You should also find out if your state has any small business employment tax workshops you can attend. They are generally free of charge and can be very informative about your state requirements.
On a federal level you will need to setup an Employer Identification Number with the IRS for. Then you need to file an SS4 form setting up your 941 account.
Make sure that you have an employee handbook and mission statement for your team to follow as well. I feel this is really important even if you only have one or two employees. You can write your own employee handbook quite easily in a Word document. It doesn’t have to be a ton of pages just write down some basic guidelines for your team to follow in regards to hygiene, safety sexual harassment and conduct on the clock. It’s important to start off on the right foot by letting your Team know what you expect of them. And this will give you a starting point that you can expand on it as your Team grows.
Having very clear and written down job descriptions is also very important to have from the get go. Again this doesn’t have to be a huge document but you need a starting place for your new Team members to be able to have a clear picture of what they need to be doing in their job performing.
Having these few simple guide lines setup i.e.: employee handbook and job descriptions will help you hire the right people for the job.
Here is an excerpt from my Firehouse Manual that talks about hiring your Team and getting started on the right foot.
1. Do Background Checks: If you are on a preferred program list they require that you do these checks on every single employee before hiring them. If a potential employee has any felonies, assaults, thefts or sexual assaults on their record you are not supposed to hire them. If you have someone on your staff with this kind of record you can actually be removed from their program permanently. We follow these rules in our company across the board because itâ€™s just a good practice.
2. Hire Only A+ players: We refuse to work with anybody except the best people on the planet. If you keep your expectations high they will rise up and meet them. Do multiple interviews and always check references. But most importantly ask them about their goals. Do they even have any? What do they enjoy doing for work? Try to connect with them on a level that allows you to see a little of who they really are and you will see very quickly if they are a right fit for your company. Be frank and open about you expectations and requirements of the position they are applying for.
3. Have Uniforms: Clean and Professional every single day! Project the image your company wants your client to see.
4. Training and Your Dream Team: Creating a dream team is not impossible. In fact many companies have theirs already in place. First you need to decide what you dream team would look like. And you need to be willing to invest in it. The return is far greater than you can imagine.
5. Weekly and Daily Meetings: Communication is the biggest complaint we hear from staff and the easiest thing to do. It takes consistency and a can do attitude. Meetings where you and your team get together on a regular basis and communicate about the little things can make all of the big things work better.
6. Dream Manager Program: Do you have a dream? Do the people you work with or your team have dreams? I am sure they do even if they don’t know it. Part of building a great team is connecting with each other and finding out what is most important to them. What are their aspirations? Their Dreams? Tony and Mary Miller created a program called The Dream Manager that can help you help those you work with come to life and really start living full on again. It’s a great program.
I hope you have found this information helpful on getting you on the road to hiring your first employee.:)
Do you have any other questions for me? If so comment below and l will answer them here.