5 things to consider before talking business with your entrepreneur friend
entrepreneur: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
to each entrepreneur out there who is working tirelessly day in and day out, looking to make your dreams a reality, i salute you. during a time where everyone may not understand your true value, i encourage you with the following reminder:
"never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. the time will pass anyway." -earl nightingale
to all of you who are friends or family members of an entrepreneur, here a few things you may want to consider before striking a conversation with them as a customer seeking a product or service. i'm sure many would agree that there are so many more items that could be added. however, here's some to at least get the conversation going...
5). it's not a guarantee that you will receive a discount.
as an entrepreneur, it's hard enough trying to get your product or brand off of the ground. with that in mind, it can be very annoying when your friends are constantly coming to you for a service or product under the assumption that it'll be discounted... or even worse, free. granted, you may be really good friends (or family) with that person. however, fact of the matter is if your entrepreneur friend gave everything out at a discounted rate, they'd likely never make a profit---where's the logic there? now don't get me wrong, sometimes it may be necessary for you (as an entrepreneur) to give products/services out in exchange for publicity. however, as a friend or family member of an entrepreneur, it's not your job to assume that you are "good" and that you don't have to pay full price (that can be misinterpreted as an insult). once you make assumptions, you open yourself up to be disappointed when they tell you that it won't be free. allow your friend to be the one to tell you if it'll be discounted; don't take it upon yourself to try and spark that conversation.
4). the price for the service (or product) is the price, period.
you wouldn't (well, you shouldn't) go to your favorite store and try to talk the cashier down on the price indicated on the tag... so why would you try and negotiate a price with your friend just because you know them? at the end of the day, if they are the vendor. if your friend tells you the price of the service or product they are selling and you think it's too high, you can respectfully let them know that you feel that their prices are slightly higher than comparable products/services. however, you also need to understand that they may have already thought long and hard about their pricing. they may not be willing to alter their prices based on a variety of factors that you aren't aware of because it's not your priority or business. when you are told the price, that's not the time for you to accuse them of trying to break your pockets as you move into offering them financial advice on how to make their brand more appealing to you. remember, if nothing else...you always have the option to not buy from them. no one is forcing you to spend your hard earned money anywhere that you don't want to. and another thing, stop trying to negotiate payment plans as well. unless your entrepreneur friend is giving you your product or service in pieces, you should expect to pay them all at once. unless a conversation is had prior to you wanting to utilize their services. the key word there is "prior."
3). your request isn't more important than the next customer, even if you do know them personally.
regardless of how close you are with an entrepreneur, you should never think so highly of yourself to the point where you think that whenever you put in a request, it's their job to stop what they are doing to handle it. it does not work like that, folks. if you'd like to enlist the services of your entrepreneur friend, do so in a manner that is professional. that means, you've given yourself enough time in advance for the service/product request to be completed and you've also made the proper arrangements to ensure that all your money is in order so that they can be paid all of their money.. on time. sometimes, your entrepreneur friend may not accept last minute requests all the time.. and sometimes they might (for an additional fee). you have to keep all of these things in mind when handling business. at the end of the day, your relationship with your entrepreneur friend is not worth them sacrificing their relationship with all of their clients because you want your request completed at the drop of a dime. a good rule of thumb is for orders to be completed in the order they were put in, so if you know you're going to need something... offer them the same respect and decency that you would if you were dealing with one of your favorite vendors or brands. would you order an outfit from an online store the day of the event and then get mad at them because it didn't make it to you on time? nah you wouldn't. and if you would, there's another blog post coming soon about you guys so just stay tuned.
2). it's never personal, it's always business.
repeat after me... "it's never personal. it's always business." "it's never personal, it's always business." one last time.. "it's never personal, it's always business." if it's one thing i've learned..it’s that working with family and friends can go really messy. as a matter of fact, it gets so messy that some entrepreneurs opt out of working with their family and friends altogether. the reason for this is because as it relates to entrepreneurs, family and friends just can't seem to stop blurring the lines. like... no matter how successful you may become, it's like they have a hard time seeing you as a professional. they make the conscious chose to play the "family card" or the "ride or die card" to their benefit, especially when they are making an unreasonable request. you've got to respect the brand, at all times. if your entrepreneur tells you that you aren't getting a discount, respect it. if they tell you they can't fulfill your request because they are swamped, respect it. don't get mad...don't ask them what their schedule and what's stopping them from being able to do what you asked... that's blurring the lines. you can't ask questions from the perspective of a family member or friend when we are currently operating in a vendor to business type capacity because at that point, what's on my schedule simply isn't your business.. ya know?
1). buying from your entrepreneur friend is both a tangible and intangible action that carries huge importance.
i think many people may overlook just how important support is to the entrepreneur. and i'll tell you another thing..it's not just about the money. i mean.. yes, the money is necessary for profit to be made. however, when you buy from your entrepreneur friend, you aren't just giving them money in exchange for a product or service. what you are doing is letting them know that you support them and you believe in their dream; your purchase is confirmation that you are here with them..supporting them along the way as they chase their passion. that's huge. so, if you think you don't matter or that the only way you can support your friend is through money, you're incorrect in that assumption because in the grand scheme of things, it's so much bigger than that.