View Full Version : Helping Close Friends & Family????

11-19-2009, 08:15 AM
Ok, I don't know if this has ever been brought up but I need a bit of advice. I am by nature a very good hearted person who ultimately believes in doing the right thing is doing the right thing. Like much of you I have professional equipment (commercial mower, truck, trailer, fel, tractor, etc) that many of my close friends and family do not have acess to besides me. My policy is that I do not charge for odd and end jobs for my family (including in-laws) for things that require a couple of hours every now and then (trimming a few bushes or hauling a load of mulch here and there). However, some of my friends have recently required the use of my equipment and time in moving in their new home, cleaning up their lot, and installing wood fencing. I am the type that always offers cash before ever asking a close friend to do something for me. However, I have a few friends who do not even offer money for my time and equipment (as stated before i am good hearted).

Not that I am upset enough to bring it to their attention, but has anyone ever had any of these awkward situations or had to deal with something similiar? Your experiences would be much appreciated!

11-19-2009, 09:03 AM
What I tell my family is "the work is free, accepting complaints is very expensive". ;) I did try to do my dad's lawn for free for a while until his wife started nit-picking every detail. Now I charge (about 75% of what it should cost) and strangely the complaints stopped. :shrug:

Friends have got to realize that you could be making money on a customer's lawn and if they aren't going to pay, that's fine, but it's going to be during spare time only.

Now, if someone could tell me if "spare time" actually exists or if it's a myth, I'd be greatly appreciative.

11-19-2009, 09:57 AM
All I can say is people will be people. Some will greatly appreciate what you do and others will take you for granted.

If you find certain people are not appreciative of what you are doing for them or they are taking too much of your time, maybe just say you can't because you are busy. Or something that is like a mild brush off.

After a couple of attempts they will probably give up and move on to do this to another friend.

What are you thinking about doing to handle them?

11-20-2009, 06:26 AM
Good points from both of you guys. I don't really know what I am planning to do. The idea of giving them the brush off in a mild way by claiming to be busy is actually a good remedy because as stated "is there such a thing as free time?". Actually, I am extremely busy as we all are and at the ripe ole age of 25 I am finding out that life seems to speed up as I am getting older. Seems more and more needs to get accomplished in less time. No problem with being busy, that's the way I prefer it, but I do wish people like my friends who don't have much knowledge of the landscaping world would appreciate the fact that the work that I have done for them is a huge cost savings compared to "full rate" contractor doing it for them. Like I said I don't expect anything going in to it because they are good friends, but if they were like me, I would have offered cash to help offset the costs of fuel, equipment, etc. I appreciate your guys input ofr helping me decide. Thanks

11-20-2009, 12:45 PM
I don't really know what I am planning to do. The idea of giving them the brush off in a mild way by claiming to be busy is actually a good remedy because as stated "is there such a thing as free time?".

I have some friends who if they were in this situation, they would come right out and say 'i don't work for free.' But when they do this, they kind of come across as asses.

If they do the mild blow off, it gets the point across and then you are not in their face coming across in a negative way. You can also say I will tell you how I would do it. I would do this or do that and rent a piece of equipment from this place and you should be able to get it done.