When you are making enough income to justify hiring them and when the workload is large enough that you need the,. However I also think it's good to be prepared for them by having workflow mapped out so that you can get them focused on doing the work productively right from the beginning.
There is no better time to hire. If you have a need and find the right candidate, and can afford, hire. It would be a great human investment in the long run. Do not wait till the last moment as employees play a significant role and are the assets of an organization. Pradeep Berry of financial and Auditing Consulting Services Inc@ email@example.com
When you have:
1. The cash to pay that employee's salary and benefits
2. When you have thoroughly documented that job's responsibilities, AND documented your new role as manager over that position. The goal is to make 100% sure your new employee produces work that is equal or better in quality and performance to what you would provide to your customers.
3. You are ready, willing, able, and have the time to train and manage the new employee to the level you've defined your job descriptions in #2 above.
4. When you have learned about Human Resources. There are rules to the types of questions you can ask when interviewing potential employees. Also, have you thought about the culture you want in your company? And, before you put anything like dress codes, dos and don'ts, and disciplinary systems in front of an employee, make sure you get legal advice on any employee handbook you decide to create. You can get yourself into a great deal of trouble by publishing data that can be used against you if/when you have to fire someone.
I'm sure there's a lot I've missed.
Best of luck,
The best time to hire full time employees is the same as the best time to buy a house - when you can afford to and not some arbitrary time in the future. When your finances and business growth become predictable enough to warrant and financially support the growth and you desire growth, go for it!
When you can "afford" them, when you can NO longer function without additional help and you have sustainable enough revenue to keep them around even if your business decreases.
I think it was in this book http://amzn.to/Laf22v where the author said something like, "once you've worked 60-80 hour weeks for 6 months then you know it's a good time to hire someone full time."
As a business owner, my answer to you would be: When you can afford to hire them. If you can't afford to hire full-time, start off part-time until you can. If you can't afford part-time, then you'd do best to get some interns and/or commission based sales people. You get what you can afford. If you can't afford them, you don't get them and find alternative ways to get the help you need.
When you are at full capacity with your current circumstances. When you can commit to that someone long term and they have the right mindset to be with you long term and possess an "ownership mentality." Also, it is a good idea to have all the procedures in place in terms of how you run things, so that everyone gets the same experience across all different levels when interacting with your company. Think of McDonalds. When someone goes to McD's in the U.S. or halfway around the globe, that person gets the same experience. The pickles go on the same way here as they do in the U.K. or in Italy. That is essentially what you want to create with your company. Have anyone you bring on full time adopt this mindset. With that being said, you will need to free up your time to coach them up to this ability level, unless you have someone else you can delegate that too. It takes time for someone to learn the ropes...
I believe there are two reasons companies hire talent; to increase revenue or cut costs.
Sales Professional: How much revenue are you loosing by not having someone in that territory that is producing?
Engineering: Typically a full time employee is more concerned with finding ways to save the company money and cutting overhead.
Finding experience professionals with knowledge in your product can immediately increase the revenue for your company.
The best time to hire full time employees is: 1) when you should replace poor performers; 2) to reduce your number of employees due to part timers. It is a proven fact that full timers will be more loyal, it's easier to manage a lesser number of employees and you'll have less turnover and higher morale.