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To refuse business to a close friend due to her financial issues

(111 Posts)
pavlovapippa Tue 15-Mar-16 16:48:02

So as a few of you may know from around this forum, I run a successful business specialising in events and parties and my friend recently contacted me about wanting a Frozen themed birthday party for her daughter at the end of the month but she asked if there was any way I could cut costs as she is struggling financially. I said yes, that I can perform as Princess Anna (I have a background in dance and theatre) so that she wouldn't have to pay for another one of my employees' wage. All good.

However today she has messaged me asking if I can do the party for her daughter, but receive payment AFTER the party has happened as she is unable to pay me before. Now this is completely against my company policy and will set me back a bit. What should I do? My gut instinct is to refuse to do this and say "you can pay me or walk out the door". This is my business and livelihood after all and we all have to make a living.

AIBU?

TheBouquets Tue 15-Mar-16 16:53:58

It may not be popular but I think you should stick to the Company Policy of money up front. You can be friends with people but when it comes to business stuff you need to be business like and stick to the policies laid down at the start of the business and think again about why you made those decisions. This could be the very reason.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 15-Mar-16 16:56:09

I've never paid in full before an event, it's always been a deposit of around 50% and the rest paid on the day. Cant you do this?

witsender Tue 15-Mar-16 16:57:01

I wouldn't. Just tell her that you are very sorry, but no.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 15-Mar-16 16:58:19

Tell her you've cut the costs as much as you can, but you also have overheads and need the money x days before the party or you won't be able to do it.

PurpleDaisies Tue 15-Mar-16 16:58:45

I'm another saying stick to the policy. It gets really complicated otherwise. I occasionally work for friends and I'm careful to treat business as business and fun as fun.

CaptainHammer Tue 15-Mar-16 16:58:55

I think you should only say yes if you are ok with not being paid for this birthday party. She may well pay you but there's a large chance she won't so it depend on whether you can afford to lose the money.

Minisoksmakehardwork Tue 15-Mar-16 16:59:45

If you know she is in financial difficulty, then I would refuse. It would cause problems when the bill comes back unpaid and she is relying on you as a friend to bail her out in the short term. I would suggest you see if there is any part you could do in lieu of a birthday gift, but see you're already giving the gift of princess Anna.

It sucks that her daughter can't have the party she wants, but it's not your fault her mom can't afford it at the moment.

If you want to do it, is there anyway of doing it without putting it through the books, as a favour to her, without her knowing. Or has she already started the process of employing you formally?

I'm wondering if you were able to source things at cost, if you're not already, would that reduce the price even further. And then she only has you as one princess attend?

MatildaTheCat Tue 15-Mar-16 17:00:02

Yanbu. This could very easily lead to her not paying at all or very late. You've already done her a massive favour by offering free services when presumably you could have potentially done a party for the full fee elsewhere.

Explain that you are sorry but your cash flow currently means you simply cannot do the party without prior payment as agreed. Otherwise maybe she should postpone the party until she has the funds.

DPotter Tue 15-Mar-16 17:01:36

I offer 'mates rates' but as you have already offered yourself as Princess Anna, so you have done your bit. I think you need to stick to your policy - no apologies. If nothing else, if you let her off, the word will get around and everyone will think they can have the same.

MorrisZapp Tue 15-Mar-16 17:02:42

I think you should perform your objections through the medium of song and dance.

'I'm Reviewing the Situation' seems apt.

Capricorn76 Tue 15-Mar-16 17:03:26

If she's that skint why is she hiring performers and having a fancy party? Some nibbles, a cake from Asda and some party pieces such as balloons and gift bag stuff from the pound shop will do. You cut your cloth.

Trust your good business judgement. Once the party is over you'll have a nightmare trying to get that money back. You'll be avoided and you'll probably lose your friend.

MerylMonkey Tue 15-Mar-16 17:06:23

Is she jealous of you, your friend?

I thought you ran high end parties for c-listers people in the media spotlight?

VoldysGoneMouldy Tue 15-Mar-16 17:09:16

Stick to policy.

TBH agree with comments re if she's that skint, don't understand why she's doing such a big thing. And I say that as someone who is massively skint!

DownstairsMixUp Tue 15-Mar-16 17:10:51

No I wouldn't let her pay after so yanbu.

centigrade451 Tue 15-Mar-16 17:13:06

Business is business, friendship is friendship. Never the twain shall meet.

You must say No. Tell her this is your business and it comes with terms and conditions that she must meet. Tell her you have already done as much as you can to help to lower costs by performing but she needs to do her part of meeting your terms and conditions. Tell her it is nothing personal, it is business. Remind her you have cost as as a business.

Remind her that if she was having money difficulties she should NOT HAVE HAD A PARTY she can't afford.

If at all, I would withdraw from it altogether and offer the way out to cancel it now.

You will lose this friend anyway because she will most likely pay very very late or not at all. Nip it in the bud.

MrsSteptoe Tue 15-Mar-16 17:13:34

Gosh, no, I wouldn't go out of pocket unless she was a really very good friend and I was basically prepared to accept the idea that I would be paying for her daughter's party.
I would probably try to help her organise (including the going to the shop and paying for) her own party, though, if she didn't have any ideas of her own and I thought my expertise might help. In other words, for a friend, I'd try to share any part of my expertise which didn't require me to spend any of my own money.
Also, I can't help agreeing with Capricorn76. If you can't afford a themed party, don't throw one. Though I realise if she's already promised her daughter, that's difficult.

CaptainCrunch Tue 15-Mar-16 17:17:45

Oh great, party planning Pip and her jellus z list pals are back.

Isn't Frozen getting a bit passe? Thought you'd be at the cutting edge of Diznee crumbummery op, disappointing.

Bogeyface Tue 15-Mar-16 17:18:25

Either way, you are going to lose a friend over this, so you just need to decide if you want to lose money as well.

If you say no, she will drop you. If you say yes, she probably wont pay you (or not in a timely manner) and you will drop her.

Personally I would just lose the friendship and not put my business at risk.

EweAreHere Tue 15-Mar-16 17:21:30

Your friend is being unreasonable. You should be paid up front to cover the costs, etc, as it is her daughter's party and her responsibility to fund it, not yours.

It sounds like she can't afford a themed party. You have already cut the cost to her, and she still can't afford it, that much is clear, or she would pay you up front as required, just like everybody else. Suggest she play music, blow bubbles for the dancers, and have traditional party games rather than go for a professionally themed-party. The children can dress up if they want to.

pavlovapippa Tue 15-Mar-16 17:23:09

This friend of mine is a very excessive too and an impulsive buyer so I should really have expected this kind of behaviour as she doesn't have the money behind her to back up her spending. Going to tell her that the party just isn't viable and she should look elsewhere or not at all.

In regards to Frozen, it's still very popular with young girls and boys alike so of course I am capitalising on that whilst offering a premier party experience. We do offer all the classic princesses on top of this, so we do keep up to date.

MerylMonkey, we started off as a children's party service but have since expanded into other events.

Realfootyfan Tue 15-Mar-16 17:23:21

I would feel worse if I lost a friend because they ripped me off than lost a friend because I stuck to my business principles. She is BU, not you.

Groovee Tue 15-Mar-16 17:25:41

I would say no. You've already offered to help out to save money.

Jux Tue 15-Mar-16 17:32:03

Stick to the Company Policy. I wonder if you have company accountant who won't agree to deviation, or maybe a Company Secretary? Can you make one up?

leelu66 Tue 15-Mar-16 17:33:27

We do offer all the classic princesses on top of this, so we do keep up to date.

I don't think you can keep up to date with classic princesses confused

That would be like keeping up to date with old fashion.

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