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When number of orders does not exceed 100 pro month, it seems to work good, generating for us pretty nice amount of extra cash.
Now, when our business is growing (touch the wood!), we probably have to employ some extra stuff soon.
What about your experience: how many peple do you have in your Internet retail business, how is it organized and how many orders are you able to process?
Now with over 1000 orders a month, we have the following configuration. Myself, My wife, and the following full-time staff: A web designer, a customer service officer, a merchandising clerk, and an office attendent.
We are lucky that labour is not expensive in Hong Kong. But we make decisions to hire extra staff very carefully. It is reactive to increased needs rather than proactive to anticipate needs.
Most of my sites are automated for the most part so I dont physically have to do anything.
I do have 1 site which I have inventory for that only sees about 100 orders a month so packing and shipping isnt a problem for me. Most of my time is marketing and sitting by the 800 number answering questions and taking phone orders.
Right now it's me and 1 part timer. I work around 70hours a week or more though but I was doing that at my corperate job 4 years ago.
[edited by: travmed at 8:18 am (utc) on Dec. 14, 2005]
Figure out how many additional sales you have to make to earn the profit to pay someone to do that for you.
As soon as you hit the mark, hire the help.
Then take that extra time, spend half on the 'web' part (increasing biz), and half doing what you enjoy, meaning something other than WORK.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I haven't had her here for a while, and actually I get a lot more done and am more efficient without her. Bored, though. That's why God made Webmasterworld, I guess.:)
With 1 employee, it's usually not that much of a problem. But you can count on each additional employee increasing the management time exponentially, not linearly.