Yesternight, one of the participants in my online business mentoring course asked the following question responding to an assignment given earlier;

“On monetization of solutions, this has always been very hard to do. I tried this with someone just last week and this affected our relationship. The person in question picked up a quarrel against me. How do I manage relationship with such people?”

You will agree with me that this is very common in this part of the world.  

Because it is you and you are their friend, boy, sister, school mate, people just want you to serve them for free. Hahaha…you won’t make it as an entrepreneur this way o.

You can give discounts if you want but your business won’t be sustainable if you offer everyone you know pro bono services. 

For those ones that put up a fight and quarrel against you because you ask for money for the service you are rendering them, just know it’s a mere mind game they are playing on you. They gladly pay for such services, if not even more, elsewhere.

Be wise! 

[bctt tweet=”Any one that has a relationship with you who is not ready to pay for your service because you are his/her friend is not your own friend. At least, he does not want your progress. True friends support their friends.” username=”@strictlybiz_ng”]

If you find yourself in this situation, in most cases, the challenge lies with you and not with the people. How?

Because you have failed to put an official structure around that solution, service or product you are offering. That structure is what some people call packaging. You need to package yourself and how you render your services, products or solutions.

Use any of the following strategies applicable to you to help yourself when people you have a relationship with want your service;

  • Start from letting them send you an official email to request for what you need. Or simply request for an official meeting to be briefed. If you have been communicating with these people before using a particular email, don’t use such email for this business transaction. Use an email that is official or connected to your business. That way, you are making a statement.
  • Do not allow to discuss a business you are going to charge someone for literally (depending on who and the situation anyways).
  • Have legal agreements in place when necessary.
  • Don’t say the price with your mouth, say it with your actions officially.
  • Send them their bill/invoice before starting the job and let them know the payment plan.
  • Also give a discount based on friendship or relationship and let them be aware. But NEVER do it for free (if you can’t afford to).

All this does not mean you should not be kind and considerate when your friends need your help. It only means you should not use your business to oil the engine of friendship.

When was the last time your banker friend dashed you money because he is a banker? When was the last time your tailor friend made you a cloth for free. When was the last time your traveling agent friend booked a flight for you for free because you are his friend? Think!

Any friend that puts up a fight against you because you request payment for a service he wants is not your friend in progress. This is #StrictlyBusiness.

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Have you had issues dealing with your friends or relatives regarding paying you for your services? Share you experience and how you handled it with us below.

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Ibraheem Tiamiyu (Plan B) is a parallel entrepreneur, the founder of Plan B Group, a YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) Fellow and a highly sought-after speaker and trainer on business, investment, leadership, youth and organisational development.

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