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Thread: Hs this happened to you?

  1. #1
    QHF's Avatar
    QHF
    QHF is offline Nearly a Master Glow Jedi
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    Default Hs this happened to you?

    I haven't posted for a while, been really busy but now thing have calmed down a bit and I find myself in a curious situation. I have been helping out a friend with his company website because of the poor service he received from his previous web developer.

    My dilemma; things have slowly gotten past the helping a friend in need point and I find myself in the position of being the businesses main web resource. I'm not quite sure how it happened but the wife pointed out the number of hours I was giving away and told me I should charge for my services.

    After thinking about it, I realized my better half is correct (isn't it always the case), so I emailed the business owner, to let him know I can no longer update and maintained his company website for free and I will be charging him a per hour rate for updating prices, adding products and creating new pages, or we can negotiate a project rate when needed for bigger jobs. I told him I will be sending him an invoice for recent service performed and for any future services.

    Hopefully I haven't lost a Friend and he will understand my position because he is a business owner and wouldn't give away his products without charging but I would hate to loose a friend over this.

    Have any of you been in this position, helping a friend in need and then you have to charge for services because the amount of work has become more that just occasional help? How did you handle it?

    Thanks for the shoulder to cry on.

    QHF
    QHF

    "This is an Emergency?"

  2. #2
    Alexander's Avatar
    Alexander is offline Technical Analyst
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    Well, I assume if it is your real friend, he will understand everything. People say, if you want to check whether this person is a friend of yours, lend him/her money. (I hope you are not going to charge double fee, in this case you can lost a real friend.)

  3. #3
    Matt's Avatar
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    Did you tell him before hand that you were going to send them a bill? It sounds like you just sent them bill without warning. Maybe a bad idea. But yes, you cannot give away your work for free, even to your friends. You have a business to run. A friend will understand that.
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  4. #4
    QHF's Avatar
    QHF
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    Matt,




    Yes, I informed them in advance that I would be sending them a bill for the new work they wanted done. I am not billing for any past work or projects, just the new work they want completed which included:
    • building a new product page with PayPal integration
    • updating their product prices and shipping charges
    • creating new graphics for the new products
    Hopefully you are correct and he will understand. I'm not a web guy, I'm primarily a Desktop Support Analyst but I can and do work on web pages. I had been helping out this friend for over a year and a half building and maintaining his web site and I just didn't realize the amount of time I was putting in until the wife pointed it out. I guess I kind of slipped into this role without realizing it.
    QHF

    "This is an Emergency?"

  5. #5
    Matt's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good wife to me.

    What exactly is a Desktop Support Analyst?
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  6. #6
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    The best statement that always keeps me on track is:
    "Let's pretend for just a moment that we are in business to make money"

    I can't tell you how many times it helped me laugh a little and re-focus.

    When I was in the same predicament (sp?) - I just asked my friend how much of her product she was willing to give away for free to help someone. The quizzical look in response gave me the opening to say "this is my type of business and I need to charge for my time the same that you charge for your products". We had a good chuckle and have remained friends.

    I hope all works out for you.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  7. #7
    jmarcv's Avatar
    jmarcv is offline Cranky Coder
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    >I told him I will be sending him an invoice for recent service performed ....

    I agree with Matt. That sounded like it was unexpected. If indeed you told hime what to expect, he should get upset and say 'no way' rather than agreeing to your terms. If he agrees to your terms and THEN gets upset, then find another friend. You can have some of mine! LOL!

    But Lynnes response. She is simply brilliant!
    I had a doctor client that asked me to do something with huis computer. 30 hours later, no luck, and I only billed him for 10 of those 30. He was upset, because I never got him what he wanted. Not sure even Gates could have.

    Well (like Lynne) I asked him. Remember those antibiotics you prescribed for me that didn't work, and you said 'well lets try this instead' and that didnt work either?
    Take 2 aspirin, go away and pay your bill in the morning.

  8. #8
    QHF's Avatar
    QHF
    QHF is offline Nearly a Master Glow Jedi
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    Just heard back from the business owner. Everything is OK! He said he totally understands that I deserve to be paid for my work and he has no problems doing so. As a matter of fact, he sent me a list of additional items to update and add. Friendship remains intact, unless he now sees the relationship differently, only time will tell. Thanks for all the insight from everyone.

    By the way Matt; I don't know about other companies but where I work a Desktop Support Analyst is responsible for creating and maintaining a standard PC image for deployment on new PC's and laptops and updating it as needed to keep it current, maintain all PC hardware, install both client/server and standalone software and maintain all software installed, including the OS. We also troubleshoot network connectivity issues maintain network and local printers and write macros and scripts to automate common tasks for the end users. There's a lot more but this should give you an idea.
    QHF

    "This is an Emergency?"

  9. #9
    Matt's Avatar
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    Good to hear it And yep, that definitely paints a clear picture of what you do. Sounds extremely close to what we do on this side as sysadmins. Cheers
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