There is an trend sweeping across super small companies everywhere - unnecessary interns and hirings. There seems to be a new one in my feed every single day.
"OMG! We are so excited to announce the coolest intern in the world. This chick is going to rock it in the studio." - Said in your typical white girl voice!
And by we do you mean you? And by studio do you mean weird extra bedroom?
Now I know that all businesses should try to appear and speak in a voice bigger than they are. So phrases like "we" instead of I, and "office" or "studio" instead of weird extra bedroom make sense. I get that. I've been there.
If you don't have enough business to make that small something your full time job, then you don't need an intern or to hire anyone else. You know what is a million times more impressive than having a high school student do a few things a week - HAVING A SUCCESSFUL, PROFITABLE BUSINESS SO YOU DONT HAVE TO WORK ANOTHER PART TIME JOB!
So often I see these young bucks who say they will do whatever it takes to make their business successful - excccccccept the hard work that it actually takes. They think saying things like they "have an intern" is all of a sudden going to knock their potential customers socks off and they will just throw money at them because....well....they have an intern!
Brooke and I have had a few interns over the years, all for our photography company, and they were great. Really they were! But we ended up having to spend so much time with them that it distracted us from doing what we actually needed to do. It's not like an intern shows up day one and is fully equipped to do every task set before them. Often, instead of pushing your business to the next step they actually take you back three steps, because you spend so much time teaching.
At some point we might try internships again, this time at walk in love., but only when we are absolutely ready for them and feel they will actually help our company grow. I suggest you do the same. Do as much of the work by yourself as possible and only hire someone when you absolutely have to. Push yourself to work as hard as you can as long as you can, so that you can understand every in and out of your business before you bring someone on to do it.
The second you add someone to your small company your job instantly splits into two. You become responsible for everything you have to do and everything they have to do. Be super smart and picky about adding anyone to your team and I would advise to wait until you absolutely have no choice. Having a profitable business will always be more impressive than having 15 part-time employees or a slew of interns.
Currently at walk in love. we have three people working, two full-time and one part time. We've shipped over 9,000 orders this year alone and with only three people on staff! How awesome is that? We don't add people just to add people. We add people because we HAVE to. Right now we can handle the necessary output with a small staff and that works better for all of us. We don't have people standing around on the clock waiting for a job. We don't fill our staff's days with busy, non-important work. We are efficient with our time and do all the things that matter and do them well. I've actually heard people say, who work for smaller companies, "That's definitely a more efficient way to do that.. but if I adopt that method, I'll cut my hours in half. And I'm only part time. So, I'm going to keep doing it 'this way' so I can log more hours." How unfortunate is it that your employee, or summer intern, might actually be dragging out their work simply because they are part time and aren't given enough to do in the first place! Make sure you really, really need someone. And then when you do get to that point, get the right person.
I'm sure we, at walk in love., could post an Instagram asking for intern applications and get hundreds of them. Which is so cool! But without a plan for those interns, we are really just stroking our egos so we can say, "Look at us! We have an intern!"
So, again, wait on the intern as long as possible, hold off on the new hire until you absolutely need it. Never forget that having a successful, profitable business will always be more impressive than having an intern. Even if they do bring you Starbucks.