Tonearm - 10:32 am on Mar 29, 2012 (gmt 0)
I've been working on my ecommerce business for about 12 years. For most of the time I've done everything myself, but over the last few years I've hired a few people for shipping, receiving, customer service, and some other non-technical stuff. I'm ready to change the business into a more conventional (non-DIY) organization and I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has gone through this sort of a transition, or anyone who can point me in the right direction as far as how to get more info or advice on this.
I think the main issue is handing off technical stuff like programming and system administration. I think this is absolutely necessary so I can focus my time and effort on making business decisions and coordinating projects, but I worry about things like:
1. how to avoid the obvious mistakes that aren't obvious to me since the business has been DIY-style up until now
2. the security of company code and ideas both in their current state and as they continue to develop
3. how to hire effective coders and system administrators
4. how to manage those technical people once they've been hired
5. whether or not I should initiate some sort of profit-sharing or stock option thing in order to motivate technical people to do a good job and to stick around
6. whether or not I'll be able to successfully initiate some non-ecommerce online projects I have in mind
7. how to do all of this remotely*
I have a few things in my favor, including 12 years of hands-on experience, a profitable ecommerce business, and a good amount of money saved.
(*) This is weird, I know. Unfortunately my wife and I find that the sorts of places we'd like to live are not ideal places to find technical folks. We've lived away from the (small) warehouse for years and that's been no problem at all, but I don't know if that will work with others handling technical duties.