With a small business, having the right people at the table is essential. Make sure you take the time to really evaluate candidates instead of hiring just anyone to solve an immediate staffing problem. Having the wrong person in a role can negatively affect the entire team and possibly ruin your company's reputation with customers.
First, be clear about your expectations from an employee. Identifying essential skills is well, essential. What knowledge, expertise and traits are you looking for in an employee? Make sure that the questions you are asking can help determine that their past job experience will be relevant to your position.
Background checks are for everyone! It can seem awkward but it may save you some future pain. For example, if the position you are hiring for requires travel and the person you are hiring has a criminal record, there are certain countries that will deny them entry. You don't want your project delayed with an angry customer and an employee sitting at the border because they seemed like a nice person.
Make sure to create a great compensation package. The last thing you want is for a good employee to leave after a few months because they got a better offer. The time and effort it takes to find another valuable candidate is worth the cost in the long run.
Last but not least, try out an employee first with a 90 day introductory period. This allows both of you to see if long-term employment is a good fit. Some candidates may seem like they are correct for your company but as you get to know them they don't mix culturally or are lacking a necessary skill. Better to move on quickly than prolong the inevitable.