Is It Time To Add Staff?

My company has been super busy with consulting work.  Old clients keep bringing us new work.  Potential clients are asking for quotes and surprisingly, our VB6 to RB analysis program has been giving us a lot of leads in the past month or so after being quiet for months (perhaps the website redesign had some affect).

We have several older products that need updating.  We picked up several new products that we need to maintain and make enhancements to.  We have new products in mind that we can’t even begin to think about because of the work backlog.

In addition, we need to have some time to absorb and learn some new technologies.  We’ve started on iPhone development but, like most technologies, you have to immerse yourself in it for at least a month to really understand it much less be proficient at it.

So, the question is, is it time to hire an additional developer?  That’s a scary thought because I’d hate to hire someone and six months from now say, sorry, we don’t have the work for you.  That’s beyond unfair it’s just wrong.

Some friends have suggested that I just get a contract programmer.  I do happen to know a few RB developers after all.  My big thing is that this is my business – my baby if you will.  I want someone invested emotionally in the day to day workings of the company and seriously interested in having it prosper.  If the company prospers so do the employees.  So I want someone local that I can meet face to face with on a regular basis.

So what do you think?  What’s your advice?