Friendly vs. Friendship (page 2)

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So what's the problem? Combining friendship with a business relationship limits prosperity. If a friend cancels her appointment with you at the last minute, will you send her a bill? No! This is because friends treat you like a friend, not a professional nail technician—and you'll treat them as a friend rather than a client. So even when a friendly professional relationship turns into a genuine friendship, you need to consider business first and friends second.

No matter what your opinion is on the importance of professional friendships, one rule is clear: you should never be friendly as a tool to grow your business. Friendship should come from genuine feelings. In any case, it will remain a one-way friendship if you use it to manipulate your earnings. Remember, your client is smart. Just like a bad set of nails, it's obvious when it's fake. But this works the other way, too: Be aware that if every time you hear from the client they are asking for a favor, then the relationship is not a true friendship.

In the end, maintaining a professional friendship can be like navigating a minefield. But as long as there is a complete understanding between you and your client of when to be professional and when to be friends, it can be navigated—with no surprise explosions!

Jill Clark is a veteran nail technician and freelance writer in Southeastern Michigan.

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