I started my own WordPress plugins shop 6 months ago, branded with my personal name. Until now, I have been selling two plugins which are quite successful in term of sales. However I feel that the magnitude of work is overwhelming especially in the areas where I lack some skill, such as marketing and design.
I am thinking of two options, that's where I need your advice.
1- Continue by myself in my shop, and hire freelancers to do the marketing and design work.
2- Find a partner who will help me in the shop and share profits with me. This option would lead me to rename the shop to a company name instead of my personal name.
3- Alternative advice to the previous two is also welcome.
If you don't mind managing other people, keeping full control will probably be less frustrating in the long run. Your business has a narrow offering, so adding multiple opinions may result in more headaches.
Management is a whole separate skill, though, so be prepared to dedicate real time to managing your team (whether it's a partner or a contractor).
Another option — assuming the marketing and design is within your capabilities — is to work on the way you schedule your time, which could make the work seem less demanding and take less time. This is what I've done (I'm a developer, designer, and marketer), and after owning an agency with both partners and contractors, I've much preferred staying on my own and being a better manager for myself.
If that sounds like something that would work for you, I'd be happy to talk with you about laying out strategies to make that work. Request a call and we'll set it up.
It seems to me that getting freelancers on the marketing and development sides is probably the way to go. Especially if you are used to working alone and are not interested in managing groups of people.
On the other hand, if you see yourself building a full blown business, then you want to start planning the process and product lines, etc...
Just keep in mind, the more people you manage, and more products you have the more complex the business becomes.
Waseem, there is a lot to decide here. But it comes down to you deciding what are your personal goals for the business. That is the key metric in this decision: knowing what you want.
Option 1 gives you complete autonomous control over the direction of your business, but it does mean you're going into it alone. Personally, I like that option the best, but it does require that you can afford the resources ($$$, connections, etc.) to make it work.
Option 2, however, reduces the upfront spend on hiring top talent, but reduces the autonomous control and has some potential risks (i.e. they don't hold up their end of the bargain). If you find someone you feel really good about working with, and they strongly want a piece, then this can be a good option. I think a strong partnership is better than doing it solo, but it takes time to find the right partner. This process shouldn't be rushed.
I think a 3rd option is a hybrid of the two, where you recruit someone who has the skill set you need, isn't interested in an equity split, but is incentivized with a fair revenue share. In this option the employee is excited to build a business, is sharing the risk with you, but is also sharing a lot of the upside. The way you shape the contract may depend on what they want (base salary, straight revenue share, etc.), but can be decided on once you find the right person.
Hope that helps! If you have follow up questions, I'm happy to talk through this on a call.