3 Signs You’re Ready For Your First Employee

As a solopreneur architect, you’re used to doing things your way. You’ve built your architecture firm all on your own, and are proud of how far you’ve come. Yet sometimes, you find yourself overworked, stressed and overwhelmed at the amount of responsibilities that fall on your shoulders. So you ask yourself: Should I hire someone?

Hiring your first (or next) employee is an exciting step in any business owner’s journey, but it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In this article, we’ll explore some considerations and signs that it might be time to expand your team. 

While you certainly can hire a freelancer, this article will focus on part-time or full-time employees, not freelancers.

Two women sitting, one has a clipboard and is interviewing the other.

3 signs to look out for

Sign 1: Burnout

There’s no bigger red flag that you need help than burnout. If you find yourself failing to meet project deadlines, working excessively long hours, or sacrificing personal time, this is a clear sign that your workload has become unsustainable and it’s time to hire someone. And if you feel that the quality of your work is suffering… Run, don’t walk to create that job posting!

Sign 2: Consistent flow of leads

A steady flow of high-quality leads that you couldn’t possibly fulfill all by yourself is a great problem to have – and most definitely a sign that you should seek help! Hiring an employee will provide you with the ability to take on more projects and ultimately increase your revenue. If you find yourself saying ‘no’ to potential clients because you don’t have the capacity, now’s the time to make that hire.

Sign 3: New skills

Having another architect has the power to round out your firm’s capabilities. As your practice grows and clientele expands, you may find that certain projects demand a skill set that’s outside of your expertise. This is where an employee with a specialized skill set or interest could be a real boon to your firm.

The hidden benefit behind hiring an employee

Beyond easing your project workload, hiring an employee offers a distinct advantage for any architecture business owner—it provides you with the time for strategic thinking.

As a solopreneur architect juggling many roles, from project management and client invoicing to networking and design, strategic planning for your business often takes a backseat. 

Hiring an employee can free up your time substantially, enabling you to focus on key aspects of your firm’s growth. While it might seem like a significant financial investment at first, consider the long-term benefits. You’ll be able to nurture client relationships, explore new opportunities, and expand your practice, all of which should pay back your employee’s salary and then some.

Woman looking at a computer

Next steps

So you think you’re ready for the big hire?

Recognizing the right time to hire your next employee is the first step. When you find yourself overwhelmed, facing consistent high demand, needing a diverse skill set, it may be the perfect moment to expand your team. 

Remember that hiring should be a strategic move that aligns with your long-term business goals, and with the right timing and considerations, it can be a rewarding step in your architecture business.

If you’re looking for additional guidance, we offer an eight-week program for architects who are looking to learn the business fundamentals so that they can lead impactful, sustainable and profitable practices. To learn more about our DAPS program, click here.