Hiring in a bootstrapped company

Hiring in a bootstrapped company

If you started a bootstrapped company and got so far to hire your first employees, I can bet an arm and a leg that:

  • you got so many things to do that is impossible to make them all by yourself.
  • it’s essential that the things are done as efficient as possible.

I can also go a little further and think that in most cases you might not have a “proper office” and still have a home based business. Before reading the first resume, there are a number of things that you need to consider.

Delegate tasks, accept mistakes and loss of productivity and spend money.

By far the most challenging aspect of hiring your first employees is to get used with the idea that you will have employees. I’m thinking at the following:

  • Employees cost money. In the beginning, the money are scarce. You probably don’t even pay yourself what you deserve, so how about paying your employee more than you’re paying yourself? Brrrrr…..and still, it happens.
  • Learn to delegate. You started by yourself. Everything got done by you. You know best how to do things. Are you ready to let somebody else to do things that can turn bad for the customer? That’s why you have to find out what tasks can be done better by your employees and what are the really important things that you will have to do yourself.
  • Accept loss of productivity. As you are dedicated 110% on your business and as you already did all the stuff in a very efficient way (that’s what got you so far), you can be sure that your new employee will not be as good as you are at doing the tasks. At least in the beginning. You will have to learn how to teach your employees to do stuff. They might not understand.
  • And they might make mistakes. Which, you will have to pay from your profits. They are going to make mistakes with your hard earned customers, putting you in a bad position. That never happened while you were controlling everything. You will have to accept mistakes, understand them and find ways to correct them on the fly, while making sure they will never happen again. But they will happen again. And again, and again.

Office space and infrastructure.

  • If you have a home based business, are you really ready to let your employees in your house? Are they going to come working in a “non-office space”? So basically you have to think if you are going to be able to share your private space with some strangers, and probably change some of your habits (like naked walking in the house 🙂 and second if you can make your job offer so interesting that people will accept working from your home as opposite of a downtown office building.
  • If you have a “proper office” or the home office is not a real problem, then you will have to think if you have enough space to accommodate a new desk, (and if you will be willing to share the same room with your employee that is going to hear all your “secrets”), if you have enough money in the bank to buy a new PC and if your internet connection is good enough for more people.

Responsibilities and risks.

I would say that by getting people in your team, the risks and responsibilities will increase exponentially.

  • You will risk twice. First, you need to have enough revenues to pay your employees. And second, the chances of things getting wrong are increasing with the number of employees.
  • Responsibilities. No matter if you are underpaid or not getting money at all, you have to pay your employees.
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