When should you and should you not hire a friend? 

Image via: http://www.bookmasters.com

We’ve all heard enough horror stories when we hire a friend to do our bridal photography, our home interior designing, wedding catering, insurance or any other professional line of work and it has gone horribly wrong. 

Believe me, I have been in at least some of the above scenarios and it has cost me friendships, time and money. 

We are always put in a place that is either a win win situation or lose lose situation. How so? 

Well, if you are fair in paying for good service and your friend is fair in giving his/her good service you’d both definitely win. And if you’re unfair with payment , your buddy might just do a $h!t job. If your buddy treats you unfairly, you’ll basically be left to pick up the pieces to figure out a solution on your own even though you paid good money. 

So how do we know if we can trust a friend and how can we decide on whether to engage him/her ? Through my own experiences, I’ll share with you exactly what I learned. 

Here are three simple rules of thumb on whether to HIRE a friend: 

  1. If your friend is an established professional who is known for his/her integrity and quality of work. 

Now when your friend has such a solid background of his/her work and ethics, YOU should in turn, pay him/her as how he/she is deserving of. Please do not ask your friend whether how close, intimate or related you are, for a discount. That’s a BIG NO. He or she will automatically in his/her own goodwill and heart offer you a good price. Asking him/her would just be an utter turn off and it shows some what of a disrespect without even saying much. If they don’t give you a discount, it’s ok. They have every right because their work is that good for you to pay such a price for. So HIRE and be treated with seriousness and treat them respectfully. Business is business, nothing personal. So be adult enough to not take it personally.  

       2. If you are not sure of your friend’s capability and trustworthiness but would like to help him/her out just because you know them or want to help them build their portfolio, you might want to keep in mind that they most probably be just starting out or doing this part time. 

Ok now, YOU jumped into this head first, remember that. Nobody forced you to help them and please don’t be obliged to help anyway. If you’re afraid of letting go of money that “might” go down the drain and end up in the gutter then don’t. 

Don’t take the risk just because you want to be seen as the “good guy” who helped out a buddy in need. At the end of the day, if anything cocks up and it goes down hill, you only have yourself to be blamed because you wanted to please others by taking a leap of faith. 

Sometimes it was just not meant to be. It’s like putting your hopes on an ex-con to not go back to his/her bad circle of friends and habits when he/she gets out. You just don’t truly know how it’ll pan out. You know the risk but you chose to take it, so face the music and hope for the very best that this friend of yours doesn’t screw up the chance given. Have some faith in them. 

If he/she does let you down, it’s only a lesson learnt and never again will the trust be there, but that’s their lost. For cases like this, draft out a written contract (time designated to get the project done by and what it includes) to lock in the commitment placed on the table so that your friend have no other choice then to make sure that they don’t screw it up or else, he/she can be brought to civil court or CASE. So for this one, HIRE at your own risk and que sera sera.
        

      3. If your friend is someone you happen to know that is in the industry and they work in it full time. 

This case is usually for casual friends. You were thinking, “Who do I know, that can do this job?” And you chose to hire them. You don’t even know them that well enough to even expect any kind of discount and they won’t even give you one, let alone let you smell the scent of a discount. Haha… They happen to be someone you know who’s in the industry and they can do the job. Pay them as how everyone does. It’s only fair and they are obliged to do their work as professional as they always have. 

HIRE them because you know that this is their full time job and there’s no hidden agenda. 

Always remember that you definitely have a choice. So make it a clear one. Don’t be obliged to hire anyone and make sure they do a good job with the money that you put in. Expect some unplanned scenarios to happen so that at the very least, you are prepared and ready for that back up plan to kick in. 

For weddings, personal loans and contractors, it’s advisable to draft out a contract. For contractors especially, if they say they’ll get it done in two weeks, make a contract that states, for every day they’re delayed in delivering their promise, a charge will be made to their company. A lot of home owners actually do this and it’s really ok to have such a deal made. Ask a friend who has experience in this, a lawyer, Facebook nation (someone is bound to know how) or google it. It’s as easy as that. 

I hope this has helped some of you decide whether to hire your friend or not. I wish you well in your plans and “may the odds be ever in favor”. 

Yours truly, 

-LM 

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