Is there ever a right time to take on staff?

I am sure there comes a time in every sole practitioner’s career when the question arises- “should I take on one member of staff now?”. I have now arrived at this stage.

I have an intern with whom I will be coming to some arrangement. She is a great help. I am thinking of a higher level staff. An experienced and/or qualified accountant who does the accounts and tax.

Last couple of days I have been in new client meetings, handling client queries and also dealing with my paperless journey – coming to an end soon. I really have not had the time to deal with preparing accounts and tax returns. I am now very behind.

The key question is – If I only did client relationship management, marketing, strategy and systems. Would I get sufficient number of new clients to justify the salary of another person? I am not sure.

Of course there is the option of sub contracting. I have not tried this. My main worry would be that sub contractor would take away my clients. I know an employee can do this and far more steal my ideas and systems. How can I protect against all this?

The intern is a part qualified ACCA. Should I invest more of my time training her on accounts and tax production? Use her in the future as the one who does all the day to day?

I understand business life and life general is about making decisions when you do not have all the information. All I am trying to do is outline  my thinking and trying mitigate my risks.

This is a very early stage thinking process. One think I have learnt is not to go into a solution mode till I have explored the issue fully. This is the start of me exploring the issues.

Do you have any views on this?

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