I think there comes a time in the life of every business owner when they have to balance the separation of business from pleasure. There comes a time when their two worlds collide. And, it gets hard to do because life and business are completely congruent.
In this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV, we are dealing with it head on as Blake, our creative director, gets to ask his second question in the month of Blake (October is his birthday month). Check it out:
As I share in the episode, conducting business and keeping business and personal separate gets a little tricky when you’re doing what you love and you’re passionate about the service you give to the world. Then, add a friend to the mix and you can forget about keeping it simple!
When all else fails, I recommend that you remember that you’re a business person and you make sure that to that end, you’re covering or protecting your business interest regardless of who you’re interacting with. When you are doing business with someone you consider a friend, you have to think things through and ensure that the lines that could easily become blurred do not.
Here are the three best ways to make sure that you don’t blur the lines:
1. Treat your friend like you would a new client off the street. This means, no special circumstances and no short cuts. Give them a welcome letter, outline their program and have them sign a customer agreement. This is important in the event that there is a dispute later; that way you’re aren’t offering preferential treatment and you can clearly show that the process you followed is the process you follow every time.
2. Put it in writing. Be it an agreement, Memorandum of Understanding or some other written agreement, having one is essential. I once worked with a client who had enrolled her best friend in her program. Her best friend stopped making her payments but expected her friend to still serve her. And it caused a major rift in their relationship because she cut corners with her friend thinking she didn’t need to formalize it.
3. Don’t offer discounts or other incentives that are not available to everyone. All of my friends know that I don’t do discounts. As harsh as it may sound, even my mother would have to pay to have me work with her. It’s a rule I have. That way, no one gets slighted and I get to be in integrity with my clients. I have a problem with charging one person one rate and a friend something less to perform the same level of work. The truth is, I am going to give a 110% every time, and I deserve to be paid for my effort.
If the lines are clearly drawn, it makes for a cleaner interaction with everyone and helps to avoid miscommunication on the back end. And that way, your friend can stay your friend and everyone is crystal clear who is doing or responsible for what to make sure it’s a true win/win.
So, now I want to hear from you. What’s your two cents? What’s your best tip for working with a friend?
©2017 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.