Part of the romanticism of running a startup is building your team. Startup founders always envision having an uber-cool group of people to help them takeover the world. But with hiring employees comes an entirely different set of responsibilities that many founders aren’t prepared for. And that brings us to the last tenet of the Micropreneur Manifesto: Reject Growth.
The growth of a startup is usually talked about in two flavors: people and profits. Growth in profits is a big reason why a startup was founded to begin with, so that’s an easy one to think about.
However, the growth in people is a different animal altogether. Once you start hiring people, you have to worry about things like payroll taxes, health insurance, vacations, and HR policies.
Not only that, but you also have to think about employee growth. Will they need training? How about mentoring sessions? What are their advancement opportunities in your startup? They’ll want to know.
Instead of hiring people, at least in the early stages, use freelancers. This has big advantages because you can scale up and down pretty quick without having to invest a ton of time and money.
This is what we’ve done with Max Foundry. John and Nicole are both freelancers that have done, and continue to do, great work for us. We certainly wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have without their help.
Did we want to hire them as employees? Yes. But we never had the financial means to do so, and we also understood that hiring employees meant all those things I mentioned above. And that’s something we wanted to hold off for as long as we could.
So if you’re ever in the position to hire someone, think long and hard about it and don’t just hire for the sake of it. Be sure you’re prepared for everything else that comes along for the ride.