Congratulations! Your startup is beginning to make waves. But how do you know it’s time to grow your team? Here are some telltale signs that you’re ready to stop being a one-person army and start building your empire with a little help from someone else.

1. You’ve Mastered the Art of No Sleep

If your daily routine has become a loop of work, coffee, more work, and an occasional half-nap where you dream about work, it might be time to hire. Operating in perpetual beast mode isn’t sustainable. If you find yourself missing deadlines or coffee has replaced 40% of your blood, consider delegating to save your sanity (and your health).

2. Your Clients Think You Have a Team Anyway

When clients start asking to speak to your sales department or your HR person and it’s all just you, it’s a sign. If your customer base is growing faster than you can keep up with single-handedly, it’s time to turn that faux “we” into an actual “we.”

3. You’re Turning Down Work

Turning down opportunities because you’re already stretched too thin? That’s like saying no to free pizza because your plate is too small. Hiring your first employee can increase your capacity and let you take on more work, which means more growth. It’s time to get a bigger plate.

4. Revenue is More Predictable Than Your Coffee Order

If your startup’s revenue has become stable and predictable (unlike your “sometimes it’s a latte, sometimes it’s a triple-shot espresso” order), then it’s a good sign you’re ready to hire. Having financial stability means you can afford to pay someone else without sacrificing your ability to invest back into the business or, more importantly, pay your rent.

5. You Have the Legal and Practical Stuff Down

Before you put up that “Help Wanted” sign, make sure you’ve got the legal and practical bases covered. Do you have an Employer Identification Number? (If not, use this EIN filing service). Do you understand your obligations under labor laws? Have you figured out payroll? Ensuring you’re prepared to take on an employee from a legal standpoint is as crucial as having the work for them to do.

6. Multitasking Isn’t Cutting It Anymore

If your daily multitasking is starting to look like a circus act, it’s time. Maybe you’re handling marketing, sales, accounting, and customer service, and you’re just one step away from juggling flaming torches. Hiring your first employee can help you manage your workload better, allowing you to focus on strategic moves rather than just staying afloat.

7. The Thought of a Day Off Doesn’t Sound Like a Myth

Remember weekends? Those magical two days people use to relax? If the idea of taking a day off sounds as mythical as a unicorn, but suddenly seems possible with an extra set of hands on deck, it’s definitely time to hire.

Find the Right Fit For Your First Employee

Hiring your first employee is a major milestone. It’s exciting, terrifying, and could be the best decision you’ve ever made—provided you’re ready. So, take a deep breath, review these signs, and decide if it’s time to welcome someone else into your startup life. Just remember, it’s like getting a roommate; it has to be the right fit, or else you’ll be hiding your favorite snacks and regretting your choices.