decision—the first and the 50th
equally. When someone isn’t right for
your team anymore, have that fierce
conversation early on.
2. Have your legal ducks in a row.
No matter the startup stage of your
business or brand, you are never too
small to understand HR best practices
and laws in your state. You are never
too small to have solid contractual
agreements in place with your team
members, in particular if employment
is in exchange for ownership of the
company. Unfortunately, you are never
too small to have to fire someone.
Having a good legal resource is like
having good insurance—you never
want to have to use it, but sure are
glad you have it when you do.
3. Hire a good payroll processor.
Nothing will upset a team more
4. Don’t underestimate the power
than a missed payroll date. More
likely than not, you have so much
on your plate already; running
payroll is not something you want
to add to your to-do list. Paychex
is one of the leaders in this field,
but also expensive. Ask within your
network for a recommendation for
a payroll processor and compare at
least two offers. Finally, this may
seem superfluous advice, but please
set up direct deposit for your team
While America may “run on
Dunkin,” I must admit that Alchimie
has sometimes “run on interns.” I
have worked with the three main
colleges near me to find interns that
have ended up staying with Alchimie
for several years. They are young,
ambitious, and anxious to learn and
build their resume. They also keep me
in touch with the newest social media
things and the wishes of the millennial
generation—a group of consumers that
I would otherwise not be in touch with.
I learn from them as much as they
learn from their internship.
Please let me know your thoughts on
this story and stay tuned for two more
articles in this series, one specifically
on building a sales force, and one on
building a board. Thank you! n
ADA POLLA (ada@alchimie-forever.
com) is the co-creator of the Swiss
antioxidant skin care line, Alchimie Forever,
which launched in the U.S. in 2004. Her
strategic focus and implementation
have yielded double-digit annual revenue
growth for the company. Polla holds an MBA from Georgetown
University, majored in art history and political science at
Harvard University, and graduated magna cum laude with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999. She is also a Global Cosmetic
Industry editorial advisor.