Friends Don’t Let Friends…Part II
Missed Part I? Read it here.
They say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. They also say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. They say a lot of things, but still you forged ahead and hired a friend or relative to fulfill a business need of yours. It did give you pause, you did have reservations, but after lots of upbeat affirmations that they would provide the product/service at a deep discount – or even free – you found it too difficult to tell them no.
You both talked it over, set expectations and a timeline, and even signed an agreement. You thought you had alleviated most of the risk. Yet, sadly it’s been two months, and you are still waiting for the person you trusted to honor your agreement. What do you do now? Weeks of non-business communications have blurred the line you thought you had created. They may even be avoiding you, resulting in even further strain on your relationship.
But this is your business; this is how you make a living. And every day that you don’t have what you need may cause lost revenue. You have now learned the hard way the lesson of price versus cost in all its ugly reality. The price of hiring a friend was low and you hoped it might bring you closer, but instead, the cost of not receiving the promised service or item is greater, both in dollars and damage to the relationship.
This cannot go on, therefore you have but one option: break up.
Ending a business relationship with someone close to you is not easy, especially if you want to preserve the personal one. You could lie, say that there has been a change in your business that has rendered the need moot for the time being. You could hide, never call them again, pull the covers over your head and hope they forget it.
Or, you can grab this opportunity for personal growth and face this head on.
It’s not you…it’s me: explain in the most non-confrontational matter possible that your personal relationship is important to you, you appreciate their willingness to help, but that you recognize other responsibilities are preventing them from performing at the level you require. You fear that your expectations are creating tension in your relationship, and so you are going to go to an outside source for your need. It will be up to both of you if you can move past this in time and restore your personal relationship. However, you will need to prepare for the worst, and will want to make sure to retrieve any business files, backups, logins or other information that may not be in your possession.
Personal relationships complicate business ones. Mixing the 2 can be incendiary. Maybe, just maybe, you haven’t yet entered into a business relationship with someone you care about. Hopefully after reading this, you won’t.