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The Boss of You

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HR for the Self-Employed: Questions?

March 10th, 2009 by Lauren · 5 Comments

A number of different influences have inspired me to write more here about HR for the self-employed. Partly it’s that that’s where my head is at a lot these days — we’re hiring & managing more employees at Raised Eyebrow than ever before, and it’s got me thinking about what work I really, truly want to do vs. what stuff I’m willing (or more than willing) to delegate. I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about the shift from being a two-person company (which we were, for the first five years we were in business) to a soon-to-be-seven-person firm, and the various phases we’ve been through in terms of managing our own careers, and trying to advance those of our staff.

In The Boss of You, we devoted an entire chapter to treating yourself like your most valuable employee — but I feel like I could write a whole book on the subject. As entrepreneurs, we drive ourselves hard, and we don’t always reward ourselves accordingly. I know a lot of self-employed gals (and guys) who could stand to buy themselves a drink once in a while and bask in their achievements — but they’re usually too busy planning their next project to take a breather.

This isn’t just about rewarding yourself, or avoiding workaholism, though — it’s about all the things your dream HR manager might help you with, were you working for a company with plentiful resources and unending support for its employees’ career aspirations. I’d love to see small business owners be more systematic about things like planning their raises, evaluating their job satisfaction, ensuring recognition of their achievements, and looking after the nuts and bolts of decent employment benefits. In other words, let’s take care of ourselves the way we would if we still had annual employment reviews (and had fabulous bosses)!

I’m in the process of collecting ideas for blog posts on this subject, and I’d love to hear any questions you may have along these lines. (Questions about hiring & managing employees are also welcome, though I’ll probably hold onto those ones until I’ve made some headway on writing about managing your own HR needs.) If you’ve got ideas, drop ‘em in the comments, please!

Tags: HR for the Self-Employed · Thoughts

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 DE // Mar 10, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    hmmm, not sure if this is on target – but one question I would have is when do you make that first hire? Is it when you know you have enough work for them? Or when you are overworked (but maybe unsure if you’re going to have enough to pay for them!).

    I feel like that first hire is really intimidating because I feel I have to have significantly growth to pay for them…

  • 2 Lauren // Mar 11, 2009 at 6:59 am

    DE: Totally on target, and in fact, one of the questions we are asked most often. Actually, we wrote a little on the subject during our blog book tour last year, but there’s lots more to say — especially about the financial side. Will add this to the list — thanks!

  • 3 Tara // Mar 11, 2009 at 8:21 am

    My big HR question is about insurance but you’re in Canada, right? So probably not a big question for you!

  • 4 Lauren // Mar 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Hi, Tara — fire away! We are in Canada but we have plenty of US friends we can hit up for answers. :)

  • 5 Kristen Rask // Mar 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    I think a big one for me is saving money. Now that I feel a little more secure with this “i own a business” thing and see that I could do this for awhile, I need to start planning for my future. But where to begin?