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What do you do when it comes to cutting coworkers, friends, and family? This is one of the most untouched, yet most uncomfortable topics in our industry. How do you tell someone to value you if you feel unappreciated? For some family members and friends, it is easy to support a person's craft until they're charged (that's when you get the look of a lifetime) while for others, paying for your services brings them great joy. Some family members are excited to see you, catch up with you and support your business with genuine patronage while others assume they have the right to receive free services just because they're your relative or friend. So what do you do?
If you feel obligated to provide your family or friends with a discounted or free service all the time, you should look at realistically is whether or not you can afford to give them a discount. If you do the math and your doors will close (or you will struggle a bit) by the end of the month based off of the total amount of discounts or free services in exchange for your time, then you need to charge. I'm not saying you shouldn't bless your family or friends, but you need to be valued for your time and effort.
For years, I've always been the one to take whatever I was given by family or without thinking about the consequences. I've learned that a little communication before any mis/non-communication occurs will help transitions your family/friends into happy and respected clients. The same goes for your co-workers. Let's say you work in a place with 10 other professionals that offer around the same caliber of services. If the majority of your coworkers are already "not paying" for a haircut with a coworker, chances are they will not pay for services rendered to them moving forward. So, how do you communicate that your service time should be compensated? Truthfully, you need to handle these situations the same you would with a family or friend. Here are three golden rules of friend, family, and co-worker services.
#1 Exchange Services: This can be fun! Exchanging services is always the best way to interact with your co-workers, friends, or family members. Express your ideas, share information and create an opportunity to learn from one another. The objective in growth is to be able to give your best to someone and they do the same in return. Let's say a family member is an accountant. See if they'll help you prepare your taxes in exchange for cuts throughout the year. The same goes with a co-worker. Offer to perform the same services on each other, but only after hours. This frees up both of your chairs and builds camaraderie.
#2 Pass It On. Try not charging your barber-coworker directly and instead ask them to pass on the good deed. Ask a co-worker to sponsor one person each time he/she receives a haircut. So if he/she gets four haircuts a month, ask him to pay for either a new client or an existing client with a free or discounted service each time. This can become a new and exciting way for the professionals to become rapidly community driven, earn new clients and/or attract/entice existing clients and give back. It can also be a good way to show the value of your work to friends and family. If you cut your brother's hair monthly, ask him to perform a good deed (like buying a stranger's lunch) the day he comes in for his cut. This won't help your bottom line, but it does spread good and gets the people in your chair to understand the true value of your time and service.
#3 Charge Your Worth: I want to the be as clear as possible, it is absolutely one hundred percent okay to ask for your worth from a co-worker, friend, or family member. If you do ask for full payment, the worst they can say is no. If they choose to pay, make sure it's worth their while and if they choose not to, then the sun still shines. Let them rain on someone else's' parade and kindly refrain from providing future services and/or redirect them to someone or some other place.
The idea behind all of the scenarios is to become open-minded to the options you may have whether in frustration or not. During a requested service, the options of partial and/or full payment should be at the discretion of the professional. It is your responsibility to communicate this one hundred percent and failing to do so could result in an outcome you may not be pleased with (i.e. an angry co-worker, or hurt a best friend.) If you find yourself in these situations often, take a few minutes to jot down how you feel about your current situation and make the necessary adjustments. Overcommunication is key here: explain up-front why or how the person in your chair should be paying for your time, whether with a good deed or cash. If you choose not to charge, don't make the person feel guilty, but do communicate the value of your time and craft.
In this post, we discussed how effective communication and decision making can make working with co-workers, friends, and family easier. Here are two tools that can help you build these skills:
Customer Service For Beauty Professionals Online ClassEven if they're your best friend or mom, if they're in your chair, they're a customer. This online class will show you how to build up your customer service skills.
Effective Decision MakingHandling delicate issues with co-workers and family members can be stressful. Use this online class to navigate the hard decisions that come your way.
At 15 years of age with an opportunity to apprentice, Cifrèdo's first assignment was tearing down & restoring every pair of clippers in the drawer of his barbering mentor. After 7 years of hands-on experience, Cifrèdo humbly ventured off to open his own first two chair location. Now in year twelve, Cifrèdo'zTM Barber Saloon offers world-class services for their diverse clientele with a fashionable standard of excellence & experience.
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