If your small business is growing and the workload is starting to stack up, your first impulse might be to place an ad to start looking for a new employee. But you can go another route, particularly during the summer.
Have you considered hiring an intern?
Interns are much more than just a cost-effective way to get some extra help. They can actually be very beneficial to the growth and image of your business.
Working with interns places you into a mentor role.
Teaching an intern the ins and outs of your business is slightly different than working with a new employee. With an intern, you are most likely going to be one of the first—if not the first—person to show them the ropes of your industry. You become a mentor to them as you are essentially teaching them via a hands-on workshop of sorts rather than actual on-the-job training.
You can assign interns very specific tasks that have been taking up a lot of your time.
Find your intern’s strengths and align them with tasks that require their talents. If you have a certain daily task that tends to take up too much of your time, this is the perfect way to provide them with experience while making more room on your schedule.
They can serve as an example of your leadership further down the road.
Any intern that you take on and mentor has a chance to impress other employers in the future. When these other industry-involved leaders discover that their new employee worked an internship with your business, this can bolster your image and reputation within your industry.
You could be grooming your next best employee.
Working with interns can also be a preview of sorts as to what they will be like as an employer. This allows you to use internships as a way to scout out talent for your business when you are in a better position to hire for full time positions.
What is your experience in working with interns? In what ways have they helped your business grow and prosper?