Last updated on:
March 06, 2023
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It’s been 6 years since I’ve been in business.

I started my first company when I was 15, but I was 19 when I started this main business which is still running today.

And I still don’t know how many employees I have.

It’s not because I have so many and I just don’t know.

It’s because, just like more and more people don’t know how to answer to “What do you do for a living?”, I’m always getting that brain lag when someone asks me how many employees I have.

And I’ve always had questions…

  • My brother and I are co-founders. Do we count ourselves in? +2 or 0 added to the total count?
  • I have 6 people that are full-time employed
  • I have 1 person that works 25 hours per week. Do I count that as… 62.5% employed? Count them as 0.625 people…? I have seen some counting part-time workers as 0.5 but… really? It sounds really really awkward (not to say unethical)
  • There are 4 people currently employed hourly. However, their limits are 56 hours per week, and they always fill them up. They work more than full-time, even though they don’t have to. This project will be going on for as long as needed (been going for 2-3 months, might go for 2-3 extra months or for 1-2 years)
  • A relative of mine is involved with a subpart of a project. They’re being paid all the revenue they’re making over there, in that project. At the same time, they don’t have equity. 1 employee? Not employee? Collaborator?
  • Then there’s this agency I’m paying for, that helps us with writing. There are 2 writers + the founder/project manager. We’re paying a considerable amount, enough to cover those 2 writers’ salaries. Nobody, ever, counts those as 2 people working on their company. But one could say they are, since they’re working as much as a part-time employee…?
  • It would be cheaper to just get 2 writers on our payroll, but that would require more time from me.
  • Then there are product+services which I’m paying for which are cheaper than paying for the product (e.g. some AWS product) and employing full-time a person. That would have been a person. The company I’m buying the product+service from is allocating at least 3 people on this — but it’s cheaper since those 3 people are also working on other clients. Nobody, ever, counts those as 3 people working on their company. But one could say they are, since they’re working as much as a part-time employee…?

Bottom line is, I don’t know how many employees I have.

I could say 6 people, or I could say 14 and both would be correct. Maybe 16 with a stretch, but that’s lying.

P.S: Why does it matter, you might ask? Well, it does, because if you look at our output and it looks like it’s a lot for 6, that can be deceiving — given that about 14-16 humans are actively working on that project, every month, for at least part-time.

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About the author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder of SignHouse and chairman of the CH Group. Daniel is leading the development of SignHouse's product, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: empowering 100M+ to use the world's most efficient document organisational tools.