Expanding your business beyond one employee is supposed to feel great. After all of the consideration of payroll taxes, benefits, worrying about how to hire the right person for your company, and all of the small details associated with making your first hire, it’s a cause for celebration. Your company is on the rise and you’ve just crossed a major hurdle.

So why does the future feel so darn uncertain?

Maybe it’s due to the fact that if you Google 'first employee,' you’ll get some 70+ million results, many of which are focused not on what to do after hiring your first employee, but on attaining your first employee. Even SBA.gov, helpful as it is, only offers one section about what to do once you’ve become a leader in its section on hiring your first employee.

If you’ve gone into the office with your employee, looked into their eyes and found just one question — 'now what?' — you’re not alone. Many first-time entrepreneurs can feel under-qualified as bosses and experience uncertainty as they leave the bay and sail into uncharted waters.

But if you do it right, you can have 100% confidence in your ability to manage, lead, and inspire your outfit to more productivity than ever before. In short, you should be able to answer the 'Now what?' question with, simply:

'Now, it’s time to get to work.'

Creating an Employee Handbook

Hiring your first employee is a perfect opportunity to create a process that, hopefully, will become routine as your enterprise expands: employee orientation. If hiring most employees were as simple as training them, telling them what to do every day, and then sitting back and relaxing as they do it... well, then there wouldn’t be a need for articles like this.

Unfortunately, we live in the real world where paperwork is required. Employees need some direction, some written form of how they’ll be expected to behave in this new environment. And as the employer, it’s your responsibility to give it to them.

The employee handbook is a great way to get started. Consider giving your employee the following forms and paperwork to ensure that you’re handling your first employee the right way:

Everything else that your employee needs to know, including sick policies, maternity leave, and more — it all belongs in this handbook. Write down any questions your first employee has and make sure to update the handbook as you go. Stick to this rule of thumb: being thorough today will help you be free to work on other things tomorrow.

Install an Employee Review System

Writing an effective job description is about more than simply giving prospective employees a vague idea of what they’ll be doing. If you’re doing it right, it should double as a job description that you’ll continue to use throughout your employee’s career.

If you didn’t include specific numbers and goals in the job description, do so as soon as possible for the future. (For more on writing an effective job description, see the NFIB’s guide here.)

Every six months, sit down with your employee(s) for an employee review. Consult this initial job description and compare your employee’s production with the expectations. During a review, you should also look for the following information:

It’s not enough to give them feedback on their job performance — a performance review is an opportunity to set new goals, improve processes, and increase efficiency.

Get Productive: Establish a Common Sense Workflow with the Right Tools

Since you’ve hired only your first employee, you don’t want to waste their time — or your money. You’ll want them to be as productive as possible to justify all of the time, labor, and money you’ve expended simply bringing them aboard.

That means establishing simple, common-sense tools for productivity and communication. Here are a few recommendations:

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different apps and software tools at this point; it’s much easier to try new tools with one employee than it is with a dozen.

Invest in Your Leadership

Like it or not, you’re a leader now.

We know. The idea can sound a little scary. 'Me? A leader? But this is my first company, and I don’t really have an idea of what I’m doing.'

But here you are nonetheless, which means you have to invest in making yourself as effective a manager as you can be. Invest some of your time in learning what it really means to be a better manager — and a better leader. You can read the following blogs:

Or you can try some of these books:

Learn from Your Mistakes

Finally, one of the most important tools you have for managing your first employee is your willingness to learn along the path. It might seem like you’ve got it all figured out by now; after all, you’re finally a boss.

But bosses make mistakes too. Be willing to learn from them and improve your leadership style as you work through this process with your first employee. By the time you’re ready to hire your second employee, you’ll be ready