My wife and I used to do all the work of our business ourselves. We put in a lot of hours. We were trying to keep it just the two of us, but the growth potential and stability was there to hire two full time workers. We could probably have hired three right off the bat, but we were conservative with our estimates. We needed to step back and enjoy the income rather than just work, sleep, work sleep. I was concerned about all the paperwork of having employees, but some tax booklets and a paycheck stub maker was all we really needed.
We did not have to offer benefits, but we made sure we could. Who can really take a job today without benefits? People need sick time, vacation time and even a few personal days. Of course, you do not want employees to abuse time off, but you need to provide it. You know as a boss how many days you needed to step away from the work to get other things done. We also provide full medical benefits without an additional sharing deduction. It is insanely expensive but necessary. We think that if health insurance is something you get as a worker, then you should get the best for no additional deductions out of your paycheck. That benefit alone is several thousand dollars per year per employee.
We keep our expenses under control. We conserve resources, teach how to curb waste and we do not spend money needlessly. A payroll service might be convenient, but it is not necessary for us with our three employees. Yes, we hired the two then added a third. The income is coming in, the profits are stable, the expenses are covered and we all have more time. We even grant a third day off on weeks that income reaches a certain level. This often results in another 15 days or more per year of paid days off. We are private and do not have to answer to investors, and we treat each other like family.