As the self-employed expert in our field, we are often asked for favours from our friends and family. This is a nice feeling; our closest humans consider us for their needs and often either pass on our details or reach out to us for someone else they know.
This can be family, friends, sometimes even acquaintances.
Some favours can also lead to paid work, further referrals and new jobs come up when speaking to the referred.
So, when do the favours stop and when does the charging begin?
We have all had those moments when a family member wants us to help them out. This is often not a quick job, and in some cases can lead to hours of your time.
These family members either know this was going to cost them decent funds or they just don’t want to call a stranger, especially when it comes to home jobs.
Some families are also very large and there are the immediate family member and then there are in-laws, cousins, friends of cousins and next-door neighbours of 20 years. The list goes on.
Sometimes the approach can be to limit the favour, give family and friends a set amount of time and then if their job stretches past this base, you can let them know you will give them a discounted rate after that.
This will depend on the industry and work required of course, but by setting a limit and expectation early this can also avoid any awkward moments or conflict within family and friends.
Also, another factor is your available time, we often get placed in tricky situations and can loose paid work to help a family member out.
By setting time expectations to avoid paid vs favour conflict can also assist. Doing favours afterhours or on weekends or when you are in the area often works better for us too.
Then we hit the common problem, they need it done now, they can’t wait 2 weeks, something is broken and affecting the household immediately.
You must also factor a case by case, relation by relation approach.
Discounting is certainly a highly regarded and if its urgent, charge a little less for the fast service to help but explain that you are also busy running your business and can’t let down your everyday clients.
If the favour client doesn’t understand, do you really want to help them?
It can become even more awkward in the family connections at the next wedding, christening or BBQ gathering and each of needs to decide if we care what they think and say behind our back or if we are just simply on our own path of success.
Set your boundaries, decide what you are comfortable with and stick to your own rules for the best outcome!