I've just found WebmasterWorld and wish I'd found it sooner - don't know how I missed it. Hope you can help with my question, as I am sure more and more people in business must be experiencing this sort of dilemma.
Myself and two partners own an ecommerce business and are reaching the stage where things are really moving forward. My problem is that in order to keep up with the pace of our business, and that of our competitors, we need to take an IT professional on board as our skills amount to basic website building.
We have been using the services of a contractor for over 6 months and he is an absolute genius but also very expensive. We couldn't afford to keep contracting him for all the work we would like to do and we would like to avoid taking on any debt. The only other way would be to offer him some sort of share in the business in return for his services, which we think would be an excellent way of bringing on board a dedicated IT pro.
So my question is, what formula could we apply to calculate; a) how much of a share we give to him and b) how much of a wage do we pay (and over what period)
There seems to be all sorts of ways we could do it, and we have sat down and discussed all sorts of connotations of the above but have got more and more bewildered. We would struggle to pay another full time wage at this stage, but on the other hand I don't think he could afford to work full time without a wage just for a share of the business. I think the key would be to strike some sort of balance between a wage and share.
The other issue is decision making. We don't plan to offer an equal share, and we would certainly like to keep on making the decisions with him in an advisory capacity. That said he does have a very placid nature, his strengths are in IT, not in business so the risk of conflict is quite low.
I know there are some serious business brains in here so would really appreciate any valuable advice you could give.
Thank you in advance!