How Friendships Cost You More Than Money

Customers aren’t your friends.

Fabe Mitchell


Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Even if you do business with your friends, there still has to be a layer built on something more beneficial to everybody other than the friendship.

And this comes from someone who decided to go into business with his best friend–which presents challenges in its own right.

The other day, I had a “friend” come out to take a look at a sprinkler system for a customer.

It took them 10 minutes to spot the problem and offer a solution. Now this friend normally charges a decent fee to come out and look at properties–but for me, he would slice his price in half since we’re friends.

This happens to me more than you can imagine with other business owners that I call to help out with a customer. But I always insist that they charge me whatever their price is.

(I’ll get to why that is in a second)

Another story:

Last year, when we hired a marketing agency for our lawn business, they said they cut us a deal.

Not that we asked them to do so, but they stated this after we complained to them about the level of service we were receiving. As if this deal they cut is supposed to make the crappy treatment of our company OK.

They gave us the deal because we were considered “friends” with the owner.

In both these situations, it may be hard to believe, but the friendship ended up going south.

I won’t go into details on the drama of it all as that isn’t the learning lesson for you.

The lesson is that business with friends, family, customers, or anybody with a pulse is built on R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Those close to you shouldn’t be asking for deals if they decide to do business with you because they want your business to be as successful as possible.

When you start handing out deals, you start cutting corners to justify the lower payment amount. When you start cutting corners, it shows up in the half-assed work.

The point is, since everyone goes into business with “friends,” prioritizing the relationship and not hurting anyone’s feelings, the business aspect falls flat.

And that with which you fear, you ultimately create.

This doesn’t mean putting the business over the friendship; it just means respecting one another and prioritizing communication regardless of the business dealings.

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Fabe Mitchell

Write about marketing, business, & self improvement alongside your 9-5.