We are having a very nice weekend.
We went on a date yesterday.
With each other!
B turned his phone off!
We went for a pizza-lunch (with artichokes) and I had an enormously decadent (or decadently enormous?) glass of white wine (at lunchtime!!) and then we went and saw The Da Vinci Code.
I rather enjoyed it, in a 'oh goodness, it's not any better than the book, is it?!' kind of way. I thought that Ron Howard had done a workman-like job of directing it and the actors had done a workman-like job of their parts; apart from Ian McKellan, who was clearly having the time of his life and was great.
Now, I have a hypothetical question about business and co-operative-type profit-sharing. I need some opinions. Please feel free to throw what you think in to the pile, I need some ideas:
There are currently three of us employed full-time by the business - me, B and R. We are all directors. We all draw a salary. B and I own the company and R does not yet have a share in it, because so far there have not been any profits worth sharing - everything over and above our salaries has got ploughed back in.
However, we anticipate that changing in the next twelve months, due to to our own hard work and that of The Marketing Guru.
We are going to take on another member of staff full-time in the autumn. We've got about half a dozen very reliable students-technicans who we are currently using on a casual basis and we have offered one of them the post. I don't know if he'll take it yet - it's not an enormous salary; but we are offerering a training package that will be about fifteen percent on top of his salary and then a bonus of ten percent of his salary if we meet our targets. It will be his first job, so I guess it's just whether he fancies it or not, really.
To have some kind of profit-share at the end of each year. This is pretty easy with the three of us who are directors, because we can just issue each of us with a share of the company that entitles us to a percentage of the profits. But how do we include any staff in that and make it work however many staff we may have?
Our thoughts so far are:
- If people are doing their jobs properly then everyone is an equally important part of the company
- If people aren't doing their jobs properly then two things - we won't keep them around for long and what's more, they don't deserve a share of the profits
- We don't want to issue shares to non-directorial staff because we don't want to get in to buying them back if people move on; and we'd need to buy them back, because we don't want non-employees profiting from the labours of employees
- In any company, some employees have more responsibility than others
- B, R and I have taken up a hell of a lot of slack over the last three years and have taken a lot of risk, both personal and financial, to get things going
- We should probably have some kind of time-qualifier before people are eligible for this kind of profit-share - ie, they should have been with the company for more than a year (two years? three years?)
If we allocate a percentage of the profits of the company (say 25%) to be divided up among non-directorial employees, what is the best way divvy it up? Bearing in mind that this year there will be one employee. In five years there might be five, or ten or a million.
Remember that profits will go up as we have more people on board. And that everyone already has a salary that is relative to the amount of responsibility and skill their job entails. We like the idea of it being a co-operative effort. It's a very hard industry and a co-operative seems fair.
Arrgh. It's like the worst kind of maths problem. I'm not looking for a solution, just some ideas. And of course, we need to chat to Sarcastic Accountant about it. He's not really a co-operative-type person though. More a capitalist-type person. Which is fine, that's what we pay him for.
And now I am going to go and research solar panels, wind turbines and heat exchangers.
Oh, and we are going to the local Greek/Turkish restaurant tonight as a post-birthday treat for me. There may be a belly-dancer.