Doing Favors

As a small business owner, you are probably asked for a lot of favors, like the doctor at the party who is asked to diagnose every ailment in the room. Sometime, you’re not even really asked; the expectations are unspoken, but everyone knows what they are.

1. Be clear about what you can offer. For example, let’s pretend I own a restaurant. I might be able to provide a friends and family deal, but I might not be able to let them eat and drink for free whenever they come in. Many people are a bit squeamish about talking figures with family; however, this is a necessity. When both parties have different expectations about the final bill, it is a recipe for disaster.
2. Make sure they know that while you appreciate their business, you appreciate them as friends and family more. Don’t let them think that the discount you can offer equals how much you care about them. What you can offer is based on what your business can afford–don’t be shy about making this clear if questioned, or, in some unfortunately not-uncommon situations, guilted.
3. If you’ve begun by giving too much, rectify the situation as soon as possible. Don’t hurt your business just because you’re embarrassed. Let your friends and family know that you will be changing the friends and family discount or perks. Again, refer to step two here.
Talking about money with friends and family can be difficult; however, it is crucial to be open and honest when it comes to discounted or free services or products.

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