It’s a topic close to my heart – as I have a wife with an overdue baby in her belly as I type, and we both have small businesses to keep ticking over once our son arrives – every little bit helps when you want to take some time with a new member of the family (without letting all of the hard work put into building a business waste away by inattention at the same time).
… This has wide-ranging implications for people in business – especially start-ups who may be thinking “I only have a small handful of employees / contractors / interns, bullying just wont happen in my business”.
I don’t want to be fatalistic or a scaremonger, BUT you know that you are doing at least something wrong in your business, don’t you? Sure, you are the “ideas person”, the driver of your enterprise and proud of the fact that out of nothing, you have made something pretty special. You are even providing others with opportunities to make money along-side or as a consequence of what you are doing, and have an employee or three hovering in the wings, starting as a “casual” or a “contractor” for now, being paid in sweat equity or when the next big invoice comes in, or on a “trial” basis until you decide that they are worthy of a paid position.
Yes, I know. You are a start-up. You have limited resources and a difficult cash flow forecast – but could really use some help. We spoke about interns a while back, now we are going to look a bit deeper into other ways you might think about to supplement the limited funds you have to hand to get the right person helping you out.
A common theme with start-ups is the hunt for cheap (read: free) labour – and with a pool of eager-beaver workers (read: students looking for a CV-booster) putting their hand up to work for peanuts, it is very tempting for over-worked founders to get some “interns” to share the load.