As a new business owner, one of the first decisions you'll have to face is
whether to hire someone to help you. And, of course, there are other related
decisions: if you decide you need someone for 40 hours per week, should you hire
one full-time employee or two part-timers? And so on.
Employee expenses are often the largest single category of
operating expenses for a small business and can make the
difference between profitability and going out of business. It
is also difficult to hire and fire employees, both
psychologically and legally. The small business owner should
consider applying "just-in-time inventory" planning to
employee usage as well, utilizing part-time employees or
single-project contract labor (e.g., from temporary help
agencies) to obtain additional help exactly when and as long as
The way to start figuring out your employee-related costs is to project your
staffing needs. When you think about your need for employees, remember to take
into account nonworking time, such as vacations, absences, and employee
turnover. For example, what happens if you hire one full-time person and he
wants to take a vacation? What will your new business do while he's on vacation?
Included among the Business Tools is a projected
staffing schedule. The worksheet is an Excel 5.0 template.
Because it's a template, you can use the worksheet over and over
again and still retain an original copy of it.
The worksheet is set up to be used for projecting and
completing your new business staffing arrangements for a weekly
time period. All you have to do is put in your employee names
and the hours to be worked and it will show you and your
employees at a glance the weekly staffing arrangements. This
tool provides an example and a template for a weekly staffing
Once you've downloaded the worksheet, feel free to modify it
to fit your own needs.
For a detailed explanation of employee hiring, including specific steps to
take in the hiring process, see our discussion of recruiting
and hiring. For some tips about low-cost alternatives to hiring a full-time
employee, see our discussion of choosing
a staffing method.