How can we help? 01509 508939
Products Contact us

From plumbing to hairdressing, there are some jobs that just lend themselves to being more useful than others when it comes to our everyday lives. For example, it is unlikely that data analysts are called in by their mates on the weekend to pour over some stats.  Whereas we’d bet that every builder has been asked by a friend or family member to ‘do a quick favour’.

Of course, for most of us, helping our friends and family is a no-brainer and if you can help someone out, then why not? However, the problems arise when doing a favour means turning down paying work.

In the early days of starting up your business, you may well have relied on the work your friends and family brought in, however, you may now find yourself in the position where you are struggling with the number of requests for freebies and favours.

If so, don’t panic, check out our dos and don’ts for handling the issue of mate’s rates…

  1. DO ask that when family and friends recommend you to others, that they do not say you’ll do the job cheaply or at ‘mate’s rates’. It is up to you how you charge for the work you are doing, and prospective clients should be quoted the going rate.
  2. DO speak up if you feel someone you know is taking advantage of your goodwill, let them know that as your business has grown, to do ‘favours’ for them is taking you away from paying customers and they must be your priority at this time. A proper mate will understand.
  3. DO remind your friends and family that you are a professional and that your time is valuable. They want the same quality of work that they would expect from any other professional.
  4. DON’T be out of pocket. While you may be willing to work for free, be sure to charge them for any parts and travel expenses.
  5. DO take each project on a case by case basis. If you have previously done jobs for free, or at a heavily discounted rate in the past, but the latest request is a bigger job, be clear from the outset that this is the type of thing you would have to charge the going rate for.
  6. DON’T let the opportunity pass – get your mate to post a favourable review or retweet some of your posts in return for helping them out.
  7. DO bear in mind that while you are the one doing the favour now, there may come a time when you need a favour back, it may not always be like for like, (i.e. trade for trade) but it could be babysitting, waiting in while a parcel is delivered or watering your garden while you are away.
  8. DO use the project for your portfolio. If the job is likely to be of interest to your customers, let your mate know that you will help them out with a discount but want a testimonial and to be able to post pictures of the job in return.
  9. DON’T adopt a one size fits all policy. Of course, there are always those who would try to take advantage of your good nature, but there are also times when friends really do need a helping hand and as a mate, you want them to feel that they can ask you for help.
  10. DON’T be resentful. If you have taken a job on under mate’s rates and are regretting it, don’t let your resentment impact on your future relationship. Simply get the job done, learn from it and let your friend know that in future, you will have to charge the going rate.

And remember, your family and friends should want the best for you and your business and understand that you can’t always work for free/on the cheap.

Here at Gastite® we are always on hand to help. Along with expert technical advice and support, with our free design and size service we will plan the best installation route and identify the length and size of CSST your gas installation will require. Click here to find out more about our free size and design service.