How having employees makes you – and your small business – better

Help wanted grunge red round stampFor many small business owners, hiring a first employee represents a major turning point. Soon, that owner may have a few, or many, employees.

Aside from the clearest benefits of staffing up (getting more work done, having coverage in the office or shop, looking bigger as a company) and the evident downsides (making payroll, suffering the pressures of management) there are some less obvious upsides of working with employees.

Having employees can make you and your company better in ways you may not have considered. For example:

Think you are a good manager? Every day, your employees will judge your actions, even as you evaluate theirs. If you resemble The Office’s Michael Scott (every manager’s fear?), you may see it in their eyes or learn about it when they quit. Conversely, if you are an excellent mentor, guide and, yes, coworker (after all, this is a small company) people will enjoy working with you and may stay for years or for a career. It still happens. Having employees lets you develop and improve management skills over the course of your own career.

Need feedback? Hire the right employees and empower them to work to their intellectual capacity and you will get frequent feedback, ideas and inspiration. Enjoy it!

Want a source of daily motivation? Nothing gets me up in the morning like knowing that I have payroll to make, not just this week but every week – people depend on me.

Need to keep current? Hire the right people and they will often gently nudge you – or perhaps just tell you bluntly – when you need to update a process, product, approach, or viewpoint.

Want to improve at meeting business goals? Hire people with skills that complement – not mimic – your own.

Desire to be a better person? Work with others. Understand what they need, value, fear, and want. Exercise compassion. Use good judgment. Know your limits and grow your potential to work with a team.

It’s a great feeling to be able to provide jobs. As a bonus, you give yourself and your business many important gifts when you employ and mentor a team.


Michelle van Schouwen is president of van Schouwen Associates, LLC, a B2B marketing company based in Longmeadow, MA. The company is known for vSALaunch, its proprietary, modular and scalable system for B2B marketing launches, as well as its expertise in integrated marketing for B2B. Michelle and the van Schouwen Associates team believe that virtually every business is undergoing the tug of change. Having a great team makes a critical difference every day. Contact Michelle at

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