Working For Friends Does Not Include Automatic Discounts

My self-employed son was recently lamenting about a job he did for a friend. As a courtesy, he heavily discounted the price. He performed the work and delivered the product, fulfilling the contract. Or so he thought.

The friend, not knowledgeable about the product, called and needed a “few more things” to be done. My son, having built no margin in his pricing for unexpected “extras” for his discounted “good guy” deal, went from a marginally profitable sale to a losing sale due to the extra labor involved in “a few more things.”

I recalled a conversation I overhead long ago between a father and son who were in business together. The father, hearing his son complain about a similar “friend” deal, wisely remarked, “Son, we’re not in business to give stuff away.”

Being a friend is an important responsibility. Being responsible to your business success is too. Charge what you’re worth.

2 thoughts on “Working For Friends Does Not Include Automatic Discounts

  1. Helen Bradley

    Good post Doug, it is not only good business but also helps protect friendships. The risk your son takes is that the work done a loss actually sours his friendship because he may harbour feelings of having been “used” – probably not the friend’s intent but the end result is he ended up working for nothing for a friend…


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