As promised, The sequel to the my last publication titled, “On friendships and doing business with friends” is here. Comparing and contrasting this with the prequel, I think everyone needs to read both as, We all would be on both sides of the divide sooner rather than later.
And this is because whether or not we have products and or services we exchange for financial gain, as individuals in pursuit or practice of paid employment or enterprise we would, or at least desire to, be patronised and or recommended by people who have known us prior to that time, regardless of how deep the relationship is or how long it has lasted.
It’s with that said we can touch on these salient points.
Your friends deserve your very best service.
I’m assuming you’re good at what you do and won’t say you can do something when you can’t deliver. It’s ok to do stuff for free or charge really less if you’re learning the ropes of a trade or craft, you give those who need the service but can’t afford your much more experienced competition an opportunity to have access to it and you the time to master that craft. It’s a win-win.
And it also follows that you can and should increase the fee you charge as you invest time and money in building competence in that line, but it worthy of note that you should know where you are and be honest with prospective clients, especially your friends. Except in cases where you’re the middleman in a transaction; a prospective client turned down is worth more than ten disappointed.
While you should have quality control that ensures there are minimum standards you set for your products and or services regardless of who your client is, it makes sense if out of love, or for Old time’s sakes you go above and beyond for your friends. In fact, I think this should be the case every time, rather than the opposite.
It’s sacrilegious to stretch the bonds of your friendships by assuming your friends will ‘understand’ you missing deadlines or not sticking to the agreement or worse disappointing clients they referred to you. If nobody has told you yet, let me have the honours of telling you that It’s a stupid way to do business.
On pricing, I’ll speak from personal experience. For most of the services I offer, I have standard rates but give discounts for my friends; I communicate my standard rates to them and let them know that what I’m asking them to pay is discounted, I set the family and friends rate at a benchmark that ensures that while I don’t maximize profit, I never run at a loss. Even if you sell sachet water, everyone won’t be happy with your price, if you stick with it and your products and or services are worth it; they’ll come around.
Mark friends who want your products and or services for free when they can offer to pay or give something in exchange for them; they shouldn’t even make you believe they’ll bring clients for you, they hardly ever do and the ones they eventually refer are of their kind, who have no value for what you offer. Run from those who don’t want to pay and even sound entitled, they run businesses down.
Again, I would stress the need for having an agreement between both parties written in black and white and from your end electronic or paper receipts issued for payments, When money is brought into the mix friends can quickly become plaintiff and defendant. Every sane person knows that things happen, life happens, so ensure there is adequate and timely communication if a deadline is not feasible or has to be shifted due to unforeseen circumstances.
Not too long ago, a friend asked me not to patronize her again for demanding a refund when terms of our agreement for her services weren’t met from her end without any prior notice. In those moments I realized some people should only be friends and should never be patronized. Wisdom is profitable to direct.
N/B. All these were written with an assumption of sanity in mind, on both your side and that of your friend. I can be consulted personally if insanity is suspected on either end.😂😂
Hope this helps your friendships and your business.