This article was updated on Oct. 22, 2018.

As a small business owner, you may often worry about when to hire more employees. While some business owners feel the urge to hire an entire working staff in the early days of their startups, others feel more comfortable waiting until their businesses have experienced some initial success. Before making this crucial decision, you must consider all of your options and weigh a variety of different factors.

Here are three signs that it might be time to hire additional employees:

1. You're Losing Valuable Time on Nonessential Tasks

Look carefully at your current situation. Do you consistently end your workday with a host of unfinished tasks? Are you working at home as often as you're working at your place of business? If you find yourself bogged down by administrative duties (at the expense of much more critical revenue-generating and customer-acquisition activities), it's a clear sign that you need additional staff members to tackle tasks such as answering phones and paying bills. After all, your time would be better spent developing long-term growth strategies.

2. Customer Service Is Suffering

Have you noticed a spike in customer service complaints? Perhaps these complaints involve problems with delivery, refunds and so on? Unfortunately, an insufficient workforce can result in customers falling through the cracks or the loss of prospective customers whose inquiries go unacknowledged. If you've noticed that you're struggling to provide stellar customer service, it may be time to consider increasing your staff. No business can afford to alienate existing customers or neglect potential new ones.

3. Your Staff Is Conspicuously Overworked

To help you determine when to hire more employees, consider your staff's current workload. It should be easy for you to tell when your employees are struggling to keep up with the demands of their jobs. They may experience increased stress levels, display a lack of attention to detail or request time off more frequently due to illness. Try not to ignore these red flags.

4. Make Sure Your Business Can Afford to Grow in Size

While hiring additional staff members can certainly help you tackle current and future tasks more efficiently, it's important to keep your budget in mind. "Hire only as your business can afford to pay for your new hires," writes David Finkel at AllBusiness. If you ramp up your hiring and don't experience a quick increase in sales, you may strain your cash flow and have to lay off some of your employees. Outsourcing is another option that may be appropriate for your business.

Every business is unique in its needs and challenges, and it can be difficult to determine the best time to expand. By keeping the above factors in mind, you can be on the lookout for signs that a new hire is necessary for your continued success.

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