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    5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2007 2:15 PM by CorpCons08

    Is hiring employees a good way to expand a service based business?

    tigerente Wayfarer
      I have a service based business and I am interested in expanding to other fields of my business. I currently run my own dog walking, pet sitting and dog park outtings service. I have been doing this for about 2.5 years and am looking to grow. I want to start my own indoor dog park and pet services (grooming, pet shop and day care) facility. However, in the mean time, I would love to continue to expand my business. What is the best way (cheapest, effective, etc) way of getting employees? I have heard of (and have been) contract employees, is that feasible for a small business? I don't know much about having employees so anything you can share would be helpful. Also, what are the chances of hiring an employee that would be ok with only having work when I find new clients for them? All of my clients are long term and very reliable and I would give the same type of client to this employee. Also, it'd be nice to have someone help me out on my busy days at the park and stuff. Is it possible to get a small business loan in order to hire employees?
      Thanks for any tips!
        • Re: Is hiring employees a good way to expand a service based business?
          CorpCons08 Ranger



          I would like to commend you on your ambitions to grow your business. I am going to try to answer your many questions in order, and I apologize if I skip over any.


          1. What is the best way (cheapest, effective, etc) way of getting employees? You are in the type of business where it seems there is no steady work hours. It might be a good idea to hire reliable college students. They are usually willing to work flexible hour jobs. You can make your own interview process to make sure you get someone who is going to provide the kind of service your clients have come to know. The other option, would be to offer someone a full-time position. They may be able to work down time in your indoor facility doing paperwork or working with dogs that may be there. That full time employee could also have a part-time counterpart that works the flexible shift. It really is open for you to design it as you need. These are just a few suggestions.

          2. I have heard of (and have been) contract employees, is that feasible or a small business? There is a great guide located at ( that outlines everything you need to know about contract employees. Do I think in this particular situation it is an option? Yes, it could be an option for you. The thing you need to remember about contract employees is that they move from one assignment to the next, and really have no loyalty to any one employer. You are a service industry with HIGH customer service goals. Keep that in mind when thinking about this option.

          3. "chances of hiring an employee that would be ok with only having work when I find new clients for them?" To me, this relates back to your first question. I would think of looking for a reliable college student or a temporary work employee who can be "on-call" for you. Temporary employees are harder to come by then college students however. You might want to check your local want-ads or for temporary employees in your area.

          4. Is it possible to get a small business loan in order to hire employees? Yes, and my firm works with small business owners in obtaining this type of financing. If you are interested in having us work with you on this, you can contact me directly at

          Best wishes to you and yours,

            • Re: Is hiring employees a good way to expand a service based business?
              tigerente Wayfarer
              Ok, maybe contract employees wasn't what I was thinking of. I worked as a rep for a pet food company and I recieved paychecks that had no taxes taken out of them and I was able to claim things like mileage and expenses. Independant contractor or something like that it was called. Is that different from a contract employee? If so, that is what I meant. I know absolutely nothing about employees and business stuff sorry! I would have to insure them as well as my business correct? Or would they fall into my insurance claim. I suppose I would have to look at my insurance papers for that.
              I live near a university, so I am sure that I could find some reliable young people that would love to have a flexible after school job to earn an extra few bucks, but how does that work? Currently, my clients all pay me once a month and I pick up the check from their house and deposit it into the bank. Is there a cheap way to send invoices and recieve payments online so that I would not have to entrust somebody to handling money? Also, what percentage of the actual ammount that I charge should this person recieve? I charge between $15 and $20 (depending on the client and number of dogs) for a half hour walk or an hour trip to the dog park. Should their pay be based on how many dogs they walk or how many hours they work?

              I have a million more questions, but alas am running out of time, gotta go to work ;)!
            • Re: Is hiring employees a good way to expand a service based business?
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Tiger, Yes it is always possible to get a small business loan. The bank would like to see a Business and
              Marketing Plan, so that they can see future profits and know the loan will be repaid.
              Maybe the following will help.

              Steps to Small Business Success

              1. Start Smart
              2. Plan Ahead
              3. Set up Systems
              4. Seek out Sales
              5. Aim for Growth
              6. Leverage Opportunities


              1. Start Smart.
              Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
              for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
              for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
              facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
              meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
              many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
              create your own success.


              Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
              the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
              serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
              than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
              idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your

              2. Plan Ahead.
              People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
              lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
              but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
              taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
              maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
              how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
              focus and increases your chances of success.


              The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
              business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
              The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
              business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
              multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of


              Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
              include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
              mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
              success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
              by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

              3. Set up Systems.
              The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
              system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
              support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
              budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
              the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
              you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
              operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your



              4. Seek out Sales.
              The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
              sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
              everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
              community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
              selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
              as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
              for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
              then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
              know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
              customers, and then broaden from there.



              5. Aim for Growth.
              The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
              are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
              investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
              is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
              want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
              Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
              There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
              important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
              your company.



              6. Leverage Opportunities.
              Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
              business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
              and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
              Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
              potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
              business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
              the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
              for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
              your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
              company's resources.


              Take advantage of good opportunities that make sense for you long term.
              A perfect example is McDonalds. Ray Krock started a small business that
              became a large franchise network with a consistent product, consistent
              systems and an ability to seize opportunities such as the Arch card and
              offering healthy salads to meet the interests of today's consumers.

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