Are your friends and family your best customers or your worst customers? I’ll be honest – and slightly blunt – but I don’t believe in giving friends and family free or deeply discounted products. Read through to the end and see why.
Business is Business & Friends are Friends
Personally, I believe business is business and friends are friends. I picked up this quote somewhere on the internet a few years ago and I still abide by it: “Friendship is better for business than business is for friendship.” Through your business, you’ll make some new friends, acquaintances, and business contacts; but when you drag your existing friends into your business good things may not always happen. For that reason, I do not provide free or deeply discounted products to my friends if they ask.
I do believe that my friends and family are my biggest cheerleaders and have helped spread the word about my business on many occasions. I provide a flat rate discount to all family and friends of 10% off the retail cost of any item. If they can pick up the items from my house, or we can meet locally, they also save on not having to pay for shipping. Additionally, I also require friends and family to prepay for any items before I will begin making them. I’ve had a great response to this policy and often explain that the time spent making their items takes away from time I could be making items for customers. I also note that the cost of my supplies does not decrease because of our friendship.
Lastly, I take notes of things my friends like, especially products that they have pinned on Pinterest. If one of my friends sends a large referral order to me, I will thank them with a gift – often inspired by something they have pinned – as a way to say thank you.
Don’t forget, if your friend or family member isn’t picking up their items in a timely manner – this post has some ideas for you. These are my opinions, how do you deal with friends and family asking for free or discounted products?
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