From I to We

There has been a revolution in Aero Quartet.
After 4 years of loneliness, I can now talk about Aero Quartet crew as we: I have just hired Nieves. She is in charge of movie repair operations.

Aero Quartet employee in customer support tasks

For a one-man-business that has grown slowly over the years, adding a second person comes as a shock: you discover that you have no processes in place, no office hours, no office space, no collaboration tools.
Suddenly, you have new legal liabilities. Worse, your business apps do not “support” the new split-up of tasks, you have to modify them. And having to share the information is a new habit to learn.

Therefore, one should consider hiring the first employee as an important business change, that must be carefully prepared and implemented. The benefits will come down the road, but during a few weeks, be prepared for your daily dose of frustration:

  • your business will never be the same again. It’s no longer your “baby”.
  • things you were doing routinely will require training. The “rookie” will not have your productivity, at least not in the first weeks.
  • paperwork and set-up (see below) will consume a lot of time.

Hiring is really a daunting task here in Europe. Governments say they do their best to ease economic reactivation, with incentives and the like. But honestly, that’s bullshit. We are still in an over-regulated mess. Twentieth century stuff with applications threefold, and don’t forget the company stamp in the corner or we reject it, mandatory yearly office inspections, …

I had to do a ton of paperwork. None of it for free. Set-up costs are important, in particular when you hire the first person. It can work for middle and big organizations, where one-time costs are diluted. But very small operations suffer the full weight (money and time) of this bureaucracy. Not surprising that we have 20% unemployment rate in Spain, if hiring your co-worker is so difficult.

Despite all this, hiring is a turning point for Aero Quartet:
We believe that the movie repair business can scale, and we are taking the first actions to make it happen!