Sooner or later, you're going to need help running your business. Good news: You can find that help without going to the expense of hiring permanent, full-time workers.
For starters, consider hiring an intern--a high school or college student who will work for little or no pay in exchange for valuable work experience. You'll need to identify specific projects for the intern and guarantee you can spend the time necessary to train the individual and evaluate his or her work, because most students take internships for school credit.
After you draw up a detailed description of your internship, promote it at the career placement center at your local high school or college. The National Society for Experiential Education in Raleigh, North Carolina, provides information on starting internship programs; call (919) 787-3263, ext. 21.
Local high schools and community colleges are also good sources of inexpensive part-time workers, but you'll need to accommodate students' class schedules and be willing to spend time on training. That includes tasks as seemingly simple as answering the phone and taking messages.
Senior citizens can bring a wealth of experience to the job and often prefer to work part time. Check with senior centers in your community and your local branch of the federal Office for the Aging (listed in the government pages of your phone book).
If you need individuals with special skills--but you don't need full-time help--independent contractors might be just the solution you're looking for. A one-person advertising agency, for example, might not need a full-time graphic artist or photographer. Instead, the agency owner could use independent contractors for photography, design and artwork needs.
If your business relies on skilled work, consider starting your own work apprentice program. It will mix practical classroom instruction with a year or more of on-the-job training. You'll be working with entry-level talent you can train and eventually hire full time as your business grows. Jobs for the Future can help set up and evaluate your apprenticeship program; call (617) 742-5995.
Burnes Consulting, (530) 346-8188, firstname.lastname@example.org