You’ve got a great product idea that you are trying to get off the ground. It’s too much work to go it alone, and you need some help. Hiring — specifically figuring out how many people you need to hire and when — is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process.

How Much Staff Should Startups Have?

“The number of people you have in your company at any time is a very important part of getting the company building process right,” explains prominent VC blogger Fred Wilson. “Too many and you will slow things down, burn through too much cash, and increase management overhead for no real benefit. Too few and you will be resource-constrained and unable to grow as fast as you’d like.” In many cases, figuring out the perfect number of employees is easier said than done. So how many employees do you need, and when should you hire them? Let’s take a look.

Understand your business needs

Hire people who are qualified to get specific jobs done. In order to do that, you need to understand what your startup requires to get your ideas off the ground. Do you need a software engineer? A graphic designer? Evaluate your needs and hire accordingly. Then, decide whether you want to hire temporary or part-time employees, or full-time employees. Depending on your needs, you may also want consider hiring consultants, contractors, or virtual resources.

Keep the team small at first

In general, it tends to be advantageous to keep your team smaller from the get go. The rule of thumb is to hire slowly and wisely to help keep costs down. But even if you can afford to hire more people, it may not be a good idea in the beginning. “Team dynamics are easier in a small group,” explains Wilson. “They get harder in a larger group. Things don’t happen as quickly in larger groups. More management overhead is needed. All of these things work against you as a startup trying to get somewhere before someone else does.” The bottom line? Don’t rush to hire. Always take your time to ensure you’re making the right choices.

Consider the future

When you do finally hire, you must do so with the future in mind. Where do you see your company in five years? What will it be doing? How large will it be? The answers to these questions will help you guide your hiring decisions.

Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with strengths in software development, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and industrial design. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.