3 ways to avoid your family taking over your small business

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Family. Love them or hate them, the family is family. We go to family for advice, feedback, critiques and often they are the first customers. In an ideal world, your family will be your best support system as an entrepreneur. A sticky topic comes up though when you are trying to make a true profit and it seems everyone wants something for nothing. How do you decide what’s fair, what’s really overstepping the boundaries, and what’s doing you more harm than good? Grab a pen and let’s talk.

Issue 1: You don’t want to charge family and close friends full price.

Solution: Offer fair discounts to close family and friends that have supported your journey, but limit this list. They would pay someone else full price, so business is business and that’s fair. Allow them to share the discount if needed but again set limits.

Issue 2: Setting boundaries.

Solution: Some may feel they have a stake in your business. Sit down with them and explain your point of view. While wanting to be fair to everyone, your business is your income and you can’t live off partial profits. Your cost for materials, time and effort doesn’t change and should be respected. With boundaries in place, you will avoid having to repeat the same conversation down the line.

Issue 3: Giving freebies.

This issue is one of the biggest when it comes to service-oriented products. It can extend past just family and friends, especially if you have a social media account that specializes in a certain area. Oftentimes, people will approach you loaded with questions they expect to be answered for free, but they shy away or disappear when it comes to payment. Without seeming rude or a better than you type of person, use the solution below:

Solution: Create a FAQ list, and stick to it. Over time the list will grow and become a resource for you. Have a 2-3 question maximum if contacted directly for general questions, once those have been exhausted, politely direct the person to the service that will fit their ongoing needs. Be careful not to get caught up in being a people pleaser. People will take advantage of the situation and get as much as they can for free. Be polite, but direct.

AlCyone Gunn

Making social media a less scary place, one brand at a time and helping entrepreneurs build influence to grow their income. [email protected]