Why You Need To Keep Friends And Business SeparateFebruary 9, 2022
Once you start a business to earn a few coins here and there, some friends will want to support you by buying what you’re selling. Whilst some will see it as an opportunity to get free goods.
The pandemic seems to not only have triggered numerous job losses and mental breakdowns but also taught people how to think outside the box. The pandemic lessons were well learnt, classes well attended and the takehome was that you can’t just depend on one source of income. Shit happens.
Side hustles is the new norm. Swag, if you may. You’ll find a banker working his 9am – 5pm then dive into his side hustle of selling fruits from 5pm till late in the night. Not very different from a fellow journalist I know who sells amazing sneakers and dresses on the side. She posts the sneakers and dresses on her status all day and when you happen to purchase, she gladly delivers to you after she leaves office.
However, like any other business out there, there must be challenges. One major challenge in these side hustles is that your close friends hardly take you serious. The fact that they know you have a full time job somewhere makes them think you don’t really need the money as much.
So, they will always have the urge to ask for freebies. A voice in you might convince you that your friends need to support you, by default. Even if it’s not buying what you are selling, but atleast show some efforts by sharing on social media or referring some clients your way.
Looking at it from a good friend’s angle, your close friend who wants to start a side hustle won’t hesitate to share with you the idea and in the process expect you to be their first client. They will WhatsApp you what they are selling with hopes that you will be interested and whip out your wallet.
If you don’t, you risk a chance to be branded ‘fake friend’ and possibly join the long list of people who are annually cut off in the new year resolutions amendments.
Most times, we don’t purchase directly from our friends simply because they assume we can afford their high-staked prices. If I know a plug who sells sneakers at half the price of what my friend is selling his, I’ll definitely go to my cheap plug.
There is no way I’m walking myself into a financial pothole in the name of supporting a friend who assumes I’m Elon Musk’s son. The country’s economy is already bruised, I’m protecting mine.
Friends seem to take advantage at times. They might be selling their products at a certain price, but since they know your wallet is fat, they take advantage and overprice you. They know you can’t complain, of course. After all, you are good friends.
Don’t make your friends your customers and don’t make customers your friends. It’s as simple as that. If you make your friends to be your customers, you’ll end up grouching that they are not supporting your business. You might start overthinking and even assume they are envious of you. But in the real sense, they do care about your growth in business, just that they know someone cheaper.
Roundly if you befriend a customer, just count one customer gone. People have a tendency of making themselves comfortable where they shouldn’t. A customer will work his way into your friendship circle and once he is there, he starts taking products on credit which they will never pay.
It is paramount to build formal relationships with your customers. Make it to be a business relation. Where the client comes, purchases and they chuck. Not allowing them into your personal space to an extend of them feeling so comfortable to get your goods without even paying. Unless you want to see your business flash down the drain right before your eyes.
It is best to close deals with strangers. A stranger will easily take you serious because they hardly have a clue of what else you do, nor even your other characters. The only thing that will have brought you together is business and only business.
Let friends remain to be friends. You can hangout with them, share ideas, laugh, drink but don’t force them to buy your commodities. If they really want to buy, they will.
Maintaining that boundary is essential for a healthy friendship. Keep your business and friendships separate, it will save you embarrassments and little disappointments here and there.