Friday, January 11, 2008

Friends. Family. Business partners???

I'm curious about something. Am I the only one that gets just a little nervous using the professional services of a family member, friend or even an acquaintance?

Say for example, you're wanting to landscape your yard. Your brother-in-law is a landscape architect by trade. Do you automatically go with him over someone else because you know him and/or trust his work? And to go one step further, do you pay him the same rate as someone else? Or do you use someone else in order to avoid the "oh, if something goes wrong, holidays could be very awkward going forward"?

Another scenario: You have a friend who is an amazing musician. You have heard them play or sing on many occasions, and they always do a phenomenal job. Now you're looking for someone to do the music at your wedding. Assuming their type & style of music fits what you're looking for, do you ask them to be a part of your special day? And here's the real kicker: Do you pay them?

And finally, if you DON'T ask someone (to take on a job, etc.), are you risking their feelings being hurt or the relationship being damaged, because you know that's what they do for a living, and you chose to use someone else?

By the way, the situations above should be considered as hypothetical/for discussion only, and certainly do not refer to any particular person or relationship :-) Just wanted to know what you think...

Happy Friday, friends, and Go Packers!


Stephanie said...

That's a tough one, Kristin!! I think you need to take it on a case by case basis. I know some people who choose to NOT use any family members for services.. it just eliminates hassle. But does it alienate the relationship? Not sure. Good stuff to ponder.

And... I have to say... GO SEAHAWKS!! :) (I usually root for the Packers, but come on... its Seattle!! :)


Yonas said...

I have done business with friends/acquaintences also, both as a client and the business provider and I agree with Stephanie, it is definitely on case-by-case basis (I can give quite a few examples, but I'll keep it short). There are friends I'm ok doing business with and there are acquaintences that I won't trust with my goldfish.

1. Musically I've played at my cousin's and a friend's wedding and I didn't expect any pay (but they paid me anyway, although
instead of compensating me in cash, they gave me a 'comparable' gift certificate to a nice restaurant or something).

2. I've asked my friend to do some landscape/home remodeling project and I knew he needed some tools, so he said "buy me those tools and I'll be your handyman for all your projects" and normally when he come over to help me, I just fire up my BBQ and provide him with his favorite cold beverage (it's a guy thing).

3.Not so great story: A missionary asked me to help her out with some music project (album) and I spent a good 100+ hours for the whole thing, from composing to helping out with mixing process (only about a tenth of what a normal rate would be), later I found out that she didn't even want to give me a free copy for my own resume (I had to buy a CASETTE from her for $10) and she actually made a couple thousand dollars from the deal...not so cool.

The key is both parties need to be open and reasonable, also definitely communicate. It's pretty simple, prepare to just ask for their fee, don't just do it for lip service and be offended if they quoted you a price though. If they're a decent friend/family, I'm sure he/she might work a deal with you also.

Hope this helps :)

Kristin said...

Stephanie & Yonas--Thanks for weighing in :-) It's nice to know other people think about these things too!


Taneha said...

This is a tough one. It really depends on the situation and the relationship. Chris and I have great and not so great experiences. We hired a friend of ours to do the music for our wedding. He ended up telling us it was our wedding present (he was the best man after all). We also had someone else offer there services for something else at our wedding and they ended up charging us full rate. It kind of depends on the person. Chris has also done work for family and friends mostly ends good but one didn’t end so well with family members and it has caused a few cries for months. Now all said and done things are fine but it really depends if both parties can maturely handle the situation if something goes wrong. It is really a catch 22 sometimes.

d said...

And... I have to say... GO SEAHAWKS!! :) (I usually root for the Packers, but come on... its Seattle!! :)

You may be a bad influence on K