How to Deal with Freebie Demands from Family and Friends

You finally did it. You have a business of your own. It’s cutthroat competition out there, yet you still managed to put your brand out there, and for that you deserve a pat on the back. There is one particular challenge, however, that may be a bit tricky to handle – friends and family who ask for free stuff.

Some of them might think that since you now run your own business, you have lots of money. You know for a fact that this isn’t the case, as you’ve invested blood, sweat, and tears to get to where you are now. So how do you handle this minus the guilt?

Why You Should Say No

First, you need to understand that you have all the right to refuse their request. It is precisely because you are trying to make a living that you can say no. Here are the top reasons why you should decline:

  1. You’re Not Earning
    • Everything has a cost. For example, when you run a restaurant, you pay for the electricity, the water, your employees, the ingredients, and even the condiments. Giving free food every time your family and friends step in means you are removing the allocated budget for those expenses. And where do you get the money to address the deficit? You guessed right, from your own pocket.
  2. Your Goals are Compromised
    • Always remember why you started this venture in the first place. Do you dream to see the world? Are you planning on retiring at an early age? Or do you simply want to provide for your loved ones while you keep a portion of your earnings as contingency? Every time you give out something free, you’re not moving any closer to your goal.
  3. It Devalues Your Skills
    • You didn’t accomplish such a professional achievement just by resting on your laurels. You worked hard to acquire the skills and experience necessary to be successful. That deserves validation, and what better way to do that than to get paid for doing what you do well?

How to Deal with Freebie Asks

Of course, we all know it is not easy to say no. So how do you deliver the message to your family and friends without sounding like a total money-grubber? Here are three ways you can address the freebie dilemma.

  1. Sell Your Service Politely
    • Sometimes the best way to say no is to tell them what they are getting for the money they will be paying you. For example, if you run a tourist traveling agency, you can explain how you try to get the best accommodations and tours and that it costs you a pretty penny. Them paying you means they understand how difficult it is to do what you do and that they are getting a great deal.
  2. Offer Discounts and Promos
    • If you have the means to do so, you can offer them discounts or promotions when they use your service. This way, they are still paying you for what your skill is worth, but at the same time you are acknowledging the relationship you have with them. The bottom line is that you get something instead of not getting anything at all.
  3. Suggest Trading Services
    • This one is a wise tactic that you can use, especially when your friend or relative has a business, too. Let’s say that you sell different merchandise and your friend is a writer for a newspaper. What you can do is give them the freebies they are asking for, but under the condition that they write about your store. This way, they see that you are trading things of value.
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