T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

many start ups begin with friends working together, spouses etc. I know some of you on this forum have been through it as well so thought maybe you can help with the proper way of approaching this situation.

I have an acquaints who is a marketing spec and I'd like to ask him for help in that area. He's not a very close but somewhat a friend to me. The help I'm seeking from him would be ideally sitting down together and developing the entire strategy. Which means time consuming for him.

Now i'm not in a position to offer him compensation at this point, but if all goes well i definitely would like to reward him for his help, whether we continue working or if it's just for the work he'd have done for me by that time.

Do any of you have experience with this kind of relationship? If so how did you handle?

Thank you very much guys!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
i wouldn't do it without clear and well-defined contracts to be signed by both parties. they should outline everything from duties to intentions to expectations to example scenarios. spell it all out, so no one gets hurt. in my "partnerships," i've even stated clauses that if any party feels uncomfortable or slighted in any way, either have full rights to absolution and dissolvement without hard feelings or legal reprocussion.

things that come back to bite you in the a$$ are painful, be it teethmarks from a close friend or from a mere aquaintance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you withwords.

What about the compensation? What can I offer him in the future? Let's say he agrees to start working on this with no compensation in the beginning. We finish, I follow his strategy (fully or partially), all goes well, sales hit xyz numbers etc, now, I don't wish to keep him on my payroll at that point but would like pay him for the work he did at the start. What kind of number should I expect to give and what would affect that number, ie my sales volume, or how long he spent working on the project?

Also want to mention that he has a full-time job and I won't be offering him to leave it and come work for me at this time. Just sort a side-gig where I'll be asking for some spare time from him and expertise, and if it works out, there'll something in it for him. If it doesn't than i'll owe him a favor as a friend.

You see I have an idea of what marketing ppl make as far as annualy, I'm thinking of what would it be in the case of a one-time contract job like this.

I hope this makes sense guys :)

Look forward to your thoughts everyone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
Annushka said:
...and if it works out, there'll something in it for him. If it doesn't than i'll owe him a favor as a friend.
Correct me if I am mistaken.. From what I understand, you want this guy to work for you, for free, and if it "works out", you will pay him? What if it doesn't "work out", and he put all that time and energy and gets what? Reality check: This is called a getting something for nothing. Good luck with that!

And honestly, I don't think "I'll owe him a favor" counts as compensation, especially if he does this kind of work for a living and other people pay him good money for it. Why should you be any different, even if you are friends? If your friend owned a McDonald's, and he wanted you to flip burgers for him, but would only pay you if he sold 50 burgers an hour, would you do it? I doubt it. Work is work.

This is just my opinion. The real truth is, you will never know unless you talk to HIM about it, and ask him if he has time to help you in the first place. Then, talk about compensation, and like the others suggested, make up a contract that outlines everything clearly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Fluid, thanks for the post.

lawaughn, good point about the time frames. I need to think about that and come up with a realistical deadline, both for myself and the project in general, and for each aspect of it in particular, such as this instance.

Kent, thanks for the reference, great article! Still reading :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I'd still wanna keep everything open and on the table. Let him know you don't know what his interests are or rates or anything. Be honest and you ask if he could comfortably offer any advice, even off the record. Then if you still need help (I'm assuming you've got some direction or leads at this point. It'll only cost a few drinks or dinner. Pizza and beer if he's like most.) Ask something like if things go well, would he want to swap expertise for future bonuses. Most guys don't mind the gamble if you make the bonus sweet enough (say 20-30% over his rate.) If he's not all for it, don't push it. You'll not get his best effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the posts everyone.

Jasonda, I don't want him to work for free for me. The bottom line to my question is how much should I expect to pay him for the services described previously. I wanted to get a feeling, a ball-park number, will it be 100/hour, 5K flat fee for the entire project or maybe it's something else. I don't know.
As far as the part where if it doesn't work out "i'll owe him one..." - I don't see why would it be such a bad thing. I mean my friends know I live from a paycheck to paycheck, and I know they do to. Would it be such an anusual thing to ask for help from another working-class guy? Maybe I'm just foreign and used to seeing ppl help each other without strings attached. As much as I'd benefit from it he'd do to, it's a chance you are taking when starting a new venture or playing some part in it. He can refuse to invest a little of his spare time and his knowledge and not make any extra money, or he can accept and take a 50/50 chance of making some extra money in 3-6 months period (or whatever time frame we agree on). He won't be losing anything in case if it doesn't work out. The spare time I'll be asking for is the time he'd be spending on his couch watching tv.

Withwords I agree. Thanks to your posts, everyone, I think it probably is the best route to simply ask him and see where it goes from there. I just wanted to be a little prepared as to what to expect.

Thank you guys :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
I think if he's someone who understands your current situation, he should understand the risk you are taking in the business. If he's interested in what you're doing and if ever your business works, why not employ him as a freelancer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Annushka said:
As far as the part where if it doesn't work out "i'll owe him one..." - I don't see why would it be such a bad thing. I mean my friends know I live from a paycheck to paycheck, and I know they do to. Would it be such an anusual thing to ask for help from another working-class guy?
It depends how much of a friend he is - you described him as an acquaintance.

I've had a lot of help from a close friend of mine who hasn't got much in return - mostly I'd buy/cook dinner and bring over a bottle of wine. Can it work? Sure. Can it be a complete and utter disaster? I'm sure it could.

My personal opinion is that going into it with an "if I'm successful you get X, if I'm not you get nothing" agreement isn't a good idea. If he doesn't want to do it because he values you as a friend, then you're asking too much. If he's willing to do it because he values you as a friend, then make it an enjoyable time and pay him back in whatever way you can further down the track - but there's no need to make that formal.

Part of this depends on what kind of help we're actually talking about though. Big business, ongoing, the kind that would want an NDA, etc. and the advice in above posts about formalising is fair. If you're talking about a helping hand to get a startup off the ground it's probably overkill.

It's hard to get a sense of whether we're talking buddies over beer, or guys in suits hammering out action plans.

Annushka said:
The spare time I'll be asking for is the time he'd be spending on his couch watching tv.
It's important to remember that that time can be extremely valuable. Personally I have a stressful life and I put in a lot of hours all over the place. That time I get to spend with my partner on the couch with a DVD means a lot to me. When you get right down to it there's no such thing as "spare" time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,970 Posts
TV snuggling time is the most important time there is!

We work to live, not live to work, and TV snuggling is living.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the input guys!

It's important to remember that that time can be extremely valuable. Personally I have a stressful life and I put in a lot of hours all over the place. That time I get to spend with my partner on the couch with a DVD means a lot to me. When you get right down to it there's no such thing as "spare" time.
I'll go over this again in my head and will approach him carefully, without making assumptions about things such as what he thinks he should do with his spare time. I should probably just ask for some advice on the marketing approach and feedback on my work on it so far. And maybe if he sounds really excited about the idea and thinks he could help me out then we can start discussing further details of the relationship. How does that sound?
Lewis you are right, I think I made it too formal in theory.

I think if he's someone who understands your current situation...
Just like you said, Hanz, if he understands - I think the key solution is to see if we see the situation the same way or not.

Thanks again guys, I made some valuable mental notes on the issue. Appreciate it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
Annushka said:
I should probably just ask for some advice on the marketing approach and feedback on my work on it so far. And maybe if he sounds really excited about the idea and thinks he could help me out then we can start discussing further details of the relationship. How does that sound?
Sounds good to me.

Gives you an easy way to bring up the topic without making anyone uncomfortable, and gives you a good way to gauge his interest. If it leads somewhere, great. If not, no harm done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
my very best friend of 10yrs is my partner and we STILL have a contract between us.

i would be very careful of who you bring into your business with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks zagadka,

I haven't done anything about it yet, ie haven't talked to him yet. Making sure things are in writing (if we do come to some kind of an arrangement), clear and well spelled-out will definitely be my priority in handling things.



zagadka said:
my very best friend of 10yrs is my partner and we STILL have a contract between us.

i would be very careful of who you bring into your business with you.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top