What Should I Pay Them?

Marie is starting a new company with volunteers until she can pay them. How can she begin to plan for their salaries? Dave tells Marie how he did it.

QUESTION: Marie on Facebook is starting a new company with volunteers until she can pay them. How can she begin to plan for their salaries? Dave tells Marie how he did it.

ANSWER: My first team members, one of them got a little bitty salary, and the other one was on “you kill it, you eat it.” If you don’t kill anything, your kid’s going to be skinny, baby. He’s still here 17 years later, and he’s eating pretty good. I just share with them what they bring in—some kind of commission base or piece base or production thing of some kind. You’ve got to start with smaller salaries. Your first couple of hires in small business are your hardest because the money’s so tight in those early stages of growing something organically.