What if you are a sole proprietor, and just need some contract help, not necessarily full time staff? Well, first of all, you can’t build loyalty unless you treat any staff, contract or not, fairly. This means in part to paying them a fair wage. But what if you need the help and still don’t have a lot of money? Here is a suggestion. Try restructuring how you pay people. Start with a fair base salary but add some incentives.
Incentives can be monetary or in various benefits. If your contract worker brings in a new client, you could pay them a “finder’s fee” for that new client at the end of a successful job. Or take them out for lunch. Do you have a membership in a club or organization that you could share periodically? These are just some examples to reward someone for the value they bring to your company.
Committing to paying an extra body when you have been on your own for so long can be scary. All of a sudden you are responsible for a consistent cash outlay regardless of whether or not you have the money coming in. Of course, hopefully that won’t be a problem since you probably hired them in the first place because you are stretched but it can be disconcerting nonetheless.
It is important to bring someone into the company you built that shares the same basic philosophies. If they understand what you are trying to achieve, and that they will benefit from your success, they are more willing to buy in. However, don’t make tantalizing promises of future benefits if you aren’t sure you can deliver. You will have a reputation but not the one you want.
Just remember, climbing up the entrepreneurial ladder has probably meant being treated poorly at some point. Break that cycle. Build your team and their loyalty by sharing their vision and guaranteeing they can share in it by actively creating the success. No bystanders need apply.