Why I can’t survive on $5 per hour

I would love someone to help my business. MUST HAVE skills, experience, qualifications, knowledge, be a self starter and be able to work without supervision. MUST ALSO be prepared to work for under minimum wage.

“God, oh please sign me up. I just can’t wait to work as your slave.”

Seriously – how can that even be an ad for a job? How can a business woman advertise for someone to help her business grow, expand and evolve and only offer the person $5 an hour for that role?

(Please note it wasn’t me advertising that exciting role – I saw it and had to bite my tongue at just how ridiculous it was).

Now I know exactly what it is like to be a boot strapped startup. I was made redundant before I started my business. I had no injections of capital and I certainly didn’t have mountains of excess cash lying around. I have never had a business loan, never borrowed money from any bank/external party – and yet I pay my staff every week, have no ATO debt and still manage to take a wage for myself and grow a profitable business.

You know what I did instead to start my business? I teamed up with experts who could help me, and in return I helped them. I didn’t abuse their knowledge and experience – but I swapped their experience for my knowledge and experience.

“What most would call a win win arrangement. Where both parties benefit to the same extent.”

I watched every single cent that I had like it was my last. As my business grew, due to having amazing people I could rely on who were freaking amazing at what they do, I was in a position to hire them and pay them their market rate. Because, dare I say it, they were flipping worth it.

Running a business is by no means a walk in the park. But you need to be strategic about your spending. We see business owners say they can’t afford accounting & bookkeeping help – yet they are spending $2000 a month on a business coach who doesn’t even know how to log into the accounting software – nor do they know what they are looking at when they do manage to log in.

We have seen business owners say they can’t pay their BAS as they have spent all their GST money on personal things because they refuse to get help understanding their cash flow. But funnily enough, by not getting help they have put themselves into a more serious cash flow predicament than ever before.

No matter what service you need for your business – whether that is graphic design work, website work, social media work, copy writing assistance, legal work you need to understand the value that person can bring to your business. The reason you are looking to hire someone in one of these areas is because you don’t have the skills (or the time) to do the tasks justice. You need an expert.

But keep in mind, these business owners providing this expert service are just that – business owners. They too have costs to cover – insurance, professional memberships, software subscription, training, wages – just to name a few things that your so called “$5 an hour” needs to cover.

Minimum wage in Australia is $18.29 for a full time or part time employee. Casuals would get a loading rate on top of that amount. So, next time you say that someone should “help” you for $5 an hour – understand that what you are offering is less than half of Australia’s minimum wage amount.

I am sure if I asked you would you be happy earning $5 an hour the answer would be no, so have some respect and don’t expect other experienced and qualified service providers to jump at your offer. #rantover

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