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Old February 10, 2002, 01:12 AM
Michael Ross
Posts: n/a
Default Listening To The Gut

Hi Joe:

> Specifically we need a Database/Web
> Programmer, and
> a graphic/web designer. Now... I've spoken
> with the
> gentleman in charge of career development at
> the
> University of Michigan and have an
> appointment
> with him next week to discuss the
> possibilities
> of making these positions a student
> internship sort
> of thing.

> Two questions:

> 1. Do you feel this is a wise move? Any
> pro's or
> con's you care to share would be greatly
> appreciated.

> 2. As far as compensation goes... we are
> cash poor
> at the moment, so we we're considering
> something
> like a sign-on bonus of a coupla hundred
> bucks (that
> would cover the immediate work we need
> done), and
> then offer them a profit sharing plan for as
> long as
> they fulfilled their performance agreement
> (say
> 10 to 15 hours/week). That way they'll feel
> like
> they have a "piece of the pie".

> Am I absurd in my thinking... or do you
> think it's
> a viable plan? Any thoughts appreciated. ;o)

You're not absurd in your thinking. A bit limited maybe, but not absurd.

Joe, without knowing the details of what you want done, I see no need for any profit-sharing ongoing thing.

Once the website is done, it's done, isn't it? Why would you then need to continue to pay the web-designer/graphics person? To me it sounds like piece work.

As for the database programer. Again, I see it as only being piece work. Once the program has been created - and I assume we're talking a cgi mailing script that interacts with an Access database - then there's no need for any more.

If you don't have the time to enter the data into the database, then again use a piece worker - one day a week person. Or contact a Secretarial Service to come and do it for a few hours once a week. - Let them bill you monthly.

Don't for one second think you need money BEFORE you can do anything. And don't think you need to take on an employee.

Contract the regular work out to an already established service or person.

As for the programer... get prices FIRST.

The student may be able to have it go towards their degree... and that would be their payment.

Alternatively, a Promisary Note should cover any lack of funds. There should be no concern about them being paid because you've got the BIG account. So they get paid when you do. - Might even like to show them the contract but don't let them keep a copy.

You might also find a programer, who works for someone else, would like to do a bit of stuff "on the side." Specially if it's in an area they know and which doesn't directly compete with what they do at work.

One of my clients is a Computer Consultant. If you want to take advantage of the low Australian currency email me and I can ask him if he has anyone on his books who can do what you want.

Are there programers/web-people who advertise in your local area? If so, contact them for prices.

> Now... this brings me to my next challenge.

> I have an appointment Monday morning with
> a gentleman who calls himself a Sales
> Consultant.

> He currently works for ADT Security Systems,
> and his job is to open up sales offices,
> hire and
> train staff, and put together
> "affinity" deals
> with the likes of Kroger Foods (big grocer
> chain),
> and ABC Warehouse (appliances and
> electronics).

> Well anyways... this guy caught wind of what
> we are
> doing and wants to learn more. He's
> considering the
> possibility of coming on board (if we let
> him) to help
> us open up our market and take control of
> the
> marketing end of things.

SAY WHAT? HE is considering coming aboard? As if he's doing you a favour after you've asked him.

If THAT is his attitude, RUN from this guy.

How did he "catch wind" of what you were doing anyway?

Joe, red flags wave, buzzers go off and alarm bells ring when I read what you wrote about this guy.

My Gut Instinct says cancel the appointment and FIND YOUR OWN GUY.

YOU are in control. NOT the other way around. He sounds too pushy to me.

And about these deals he has put together... did you find that out yourself or did he tell you?

If he told you... call up these companies and ASK about these "affinity deals". Do your "dues" BEFORE you meet with him - if you still do meet with him.

He contacts you late Friday to arrange an early Monday morning meeting - leaving you no business hours to check out his claims?

That's suspect to me.

Unless you are in a rush - and if you are you should still claim not to be - put the meeting off until later in the week so you can do your dues. This is important, okay?

> This guy sounds like a player... but it
> makes me
> nervous.

When there is doubt, there is no doubt!

If your gut is giving you a sense of unease - whatever the reason - LISTEN.

You "doubt" teaming up with this guy? Then there is NO DOUBT... don't team up.

You are concerned about revealing anything to him? Then there is NO DOUBT... don't reveal anything to him.

When there is a doubt, there is no doubt.

Obviously I can't just pay this guy
> a
> salary... ain't got no money yet. ;o)

> So the only option I see is to cut him in on
> the
> business. If so... how much, and how do I
> structure the deal?

Hold your horses there, Joe.

You need not cut him in on anything or even think about how to pay him. You don't even know whether you will work together or if he has a personality you can work with.

Besides, IF you still go ahead with the meeting, you may find HE has a payment plan you haven't even thought of yet.

In my mind, if he's as good as he claims, then commission-only should be no problem for him.

And if he's going to create a Strategic Alliance with another business... he's probably going to get a cut of the other business' business, right?

So let them pay him.

Of course, he'd still like a cut from you too. But remember, YOU are in control. YOU call the shots. If he doesn't like it, then find someone else.

Actually, as I mentioned with the web people... find someone else anyway.

When you only have a choice of one, you have no choice.

> I don't just want to give our baby away...
> but on the
> other hand I know we need OPR (other
> people's resources)
> to really make this project cook.

OPR...Leverage... Good Call, Joe.

> So we could plug along ourselves hiring a
> sales rep or two
> and slowly build revenue... or I can get the
> people involved
> that will allow this project to really take
> off.

And who are these people who will allow the project to really take off? Some guy who approached you and made a bunch of claims leaving you not time to check them out?

> I'm torn down the middle! Can anyone help
> sew me back up?

As I said, when you have a doubt, there is no doubt. Do NOT do the thing you have doubts about.

> Much of this is just gut feeling for now.


Your gut... your instinct... is eons old and has more to drawn on than your Conscious thoughts.

Doubt = No Doubt = Don't Do it.

Make your decisions based on this principle and you will be amazed at how soon the nagging feeling goes away - indicating a right choice.

> I'll know more
> after I meet with this guy on Monday.

Postpone the meeting so you can check in with the companies he says he's done work with.

You might find he's a hard person to work with. Or you might find he's just what you need.

Either way, get the info. from the others BEFORE meeting with this "pushy-sounding" guy. (you can be sure he's gathering, or has already gathered, info on you - he found out about the project, didn't he?)

> Any and all advice would be greatly
> appreciated.

> Thank you for everything. I love you guys.

LOVE? That's a pretty strong word to bandy around so freely. Personally I would prefer you LOVE your wife and merely Like us.

Hope this helps.

Michael Ross.

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