Startup Life: The First Employee

Alicia Business September 26, 2016
Culture is a precious asset to your company.

Culture is a precious asset to your company.

The final part of our 3-part series, the importance of hiring the first employee has more impact on a company than one thinks.

This is where you hand off some control and rely on an outsider to help boost your idea. This employee and the ones after will set the tone for the hopefully happy workplace. Making sure this new hire fits the company vision and has the potential to help it grow is crucial. Try not to just find someone with the best resume. The fit with your team and eye for the future are more important at this stage and for key positions in your company.

Paying this new employee can go a couple ways with either offering a salary, if you have the means to afford it, or some combination of equity in the company. In my opinion providing some equity does help to make sure that employee keeps the company vision and works harder to see the success of the company. Employees have to feel appreciated. Though it’s easy to say, I personally have felt and seen successful companies not appreciate their hard working employees. Once the company vibe is changed it’s hard to reestablish that trust and can really hurt the company dynamic.

And last but definitely not least: have your legal ducks in a row. Though early start-ups might not see the need to ask lawyers/accountants about hiring an employee, it’s imperative that you make sure everything is to code and the right taxes are being filed and paid. As we all know being proactive will save you in the long run.

In summary: from the first employee to the 500th it’s exciting to bring people on board who want to help share and promote your company. Keep in mind the company vision. Treating your employees well will boost your company with better word of mouth than paid advertising. And lastly cross your t’s and dot the i’s by seeking legal counsel. Hopefully this one step forward will boost your company up to hire more and more valued employees.

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Winston S. Churchill