Friends without borders–I know it sounds like a great cause to support. But I beg of you don’t do it. Friends without borders is my term for describing a very interesting situation that K. and I as well as other start-up colleagues we have spoken with are facing all too often.
For years, many of us have been a trusted resource in our given communities, industries and practices. In fact, it was the realization of how trusted we were by our friends and fellow colleagues that drove must of us to venture out on our own and start a business based on just that! But what do you do when the same people you gave friendly advice to before it was your business, still want the same “friends and family discount” for the services you are trying to make a living by providing?
By no means would I ever withhold help or simple advice from a friend but how much is too much. And is it appropriate to pitch your friends on your services at a more than reasonable fee, of course? Or, is it better to offer the services in hopes that you would receive great word-of-mouth press and a walking marketing campaign?
What are your thoughts on it? Have you been through it? What’s the best way to handle it for everyone involved?