Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday: Do you charge relatives?

 
Being that I have been teaching the Wedding Planning Certification of the past few years at Macomb Community College I look forward to new an exciting questions during each new semester...

The one question I get asked  a lot is about charging clients we all know that yes of course you charge clients a fair price for your services rendered but never once have I ever been asked "Do you charge your relatives? " As I was rolling my hair  this topic popped in my mind and I don't recall seeing it anywhere so I decided to answer that question with a few of my own personal experiences...

For the past ten years I had been going to the same hair stylist in January she passed away and during many of the hours we spent together we discussed business and making it better and earning more money she dreamed of one day owning  her own salon but one of her biggest complaint was that she was styling some of her family members hair every week and that they did not appreciate nor pay her it was something they felt she owed them because that was her profession  however she also complained about how she was not making enough money and that she had to raise prices..... Think about this for a moment she was doing at least 4  relative heads of hair every week and not charging them well with each of my hair appointments   I  paid any where for $65 to $100 to get my hair done..So today I did the math if she had charged them at least $65 per head per week she would have made $260 additional per week and $1040 per month and $12,480 per year so after 10 years of me hearing this complaint she would have made $124,800.....  I can't speak for any one else but I know that is a ton of money to just give away when you are in need of making money in an effort to make your dreams come true..

So I  know now your wondering  well Lisa do you charge relatives and my answer to that is a big huge gigantic YES!!! Everyone in my family clearly knows and understands this is a business and I have invested a lot of time and money into it  like any other business owner in business you pay for services rendered I made this clear from the very beginning and in saying that when working with your family its up to you to keep it professional .
  1. I meet with them like I would any other client in my office.
  2. I clearly explain the services I offer
  3. I explain my pricing they understand
  4. I explain clearly my business hours (They understand I have business hours call and meet with me during those times to discuss business no it is not ok to call me at midnight to discuss something regarding your event on my personal phone line because you are my family member and you've had a brilliant idea)
  5. Sign a contract and stick to it
  6. I work just as hard as I would with any other client for my relatives 
  7. I explain to them when I'm working I have my work face on and I keep it professional so no busting a move or popping bottles at their reception, party or event for me or my staff.
  8. Like with any other client I set guidelines and perimeters and believe it or not people like a bit of order and structure .
  9. I listen and know that they are my relative I do not try to take over and think that just because I know them I know exactly what they want for their event I listen to them.
  10. Finally last but not least treat them as you would any other client the same dedication,commitment and excitement you would give to a stranger give it to your family member that way they will respect what you do set boundaries and stick to it.
On a lighter  note there are a few family members after VERY careful consideration and not wanting to live in the garage I do not charge ( my husband, my daughters,my mom and grandma)



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