Staffing needs for a new business are totally dependent on the nature of the business itself. Many businesses operate successfully with a sole proprietor working from a home basement. Other businesses, such as a new restaurant, will demand a labor pool from day one. Determining staffing needs requires projecting the scope of the start-up business’s operations and needs. At a minimum, your business will need an operating staff as well as other essential services such as IT, accounting or legal.
Know Your Optimal Staff Needs
Determine the critical staffing needs for your type of business. How many of those people must be full-time employees or can the business operate using temporary, part-time or freelance employees? Consider what other kinds of services your startup might need that could be outsourced by independent contractors like a bookkeeper or technology management.
Analyze the ideal operating situation for your particular business at full capacity. How many people will play management or supervisory roles and how many people will be hourly or annual employees? This is your optimum staffing number. Use this information to estimate startup wages and salaries.
Estimate Staff Levels
Estimate the peak operating hours or days for your business and what levels of staff would be needed to handle the business at peak. Have an idea of the ideal time each job takes to effectively complete. Simple math calculations will give you an idea of the number of people needed and when.
Consider a slow business ramp up with just essential personnel to start. Know that you can turn to temporary employment agencies to beef up your staff during peak times. This is an option that you should exercise to ensure your business is able to handle demand.
Operating at Less than Optimal
Remember that many businesses fail because of too much growth too soon. Consider subcontracting or outsourcing if your startup is lucky enough to have more business that it can handle. This is where your network of business contacts, friends and family can work to help you manage your startup's growth.
Determine how you can most efficiently launch your start-up business from a staffing perspective and still be effective. If your business deals directly with the public, such as a new beauty salon, you will need to have a sufficient number of operators working or patrons may be turned off because of long wait times. Even if you have an idea of how many people would be optimal, new businesses seldom approach their optimal staff level at startup.