I hope this information will be able to help some fellow taxidermist.
FRIENDSHIPS, DISCOUNTS, DONATIONS, BARTERING AND TRYING TO SURVIVE IN BUSINESS
It is a good thing to give a discount or rush some work to a friend, relative, repeat customer and so forth. It can be very advantages for everyone! Or, you could trade professional services or trade for other items of value depending on what is involved. There is nothing wrong with helping people from time to time if you can. However, these gracious jesters that you have given can be quickly taken advantage of and many people can come to expect something for free or they feel that you owe them a certain percentage off or something extra because they "know" you. If you think about it, just how many people do you really "know" anyway? It can get blown out of proportion quite easily. Who needs the headaches, problems and stress?
You should not feel obligated to give your services and supplies away for free. How many people can afford to do that? Some can and most can't. Any decision you make is purely your choice and for your own reasons, if any at all.
Many organizations and the people that run them expect you to "give it up" for one cause or another and donate, donate and keep giving. The question is when does it stop? Are you doing the right thing or are you being taken advantage of? Remember there is nothing wrong with helping people!
The safest business route to travel is everyone should pay the same price regardless of who they are and you should limit your time, discounts and gifts to all of the people that call you each year. You must keep business as business. You have to buy the same gasoline, groceries and other products just like everyone else does. If you think about it, do you get a "real" discount on the things you want and buy? How much do you get for "free"?
I wonder if the same people that expect you to give them a discount or rush their work, would expect themselves to take a cut in their pay check from their job just because they are supposedly "friends" with the boss or some employee?
If taxidermy is how you make a living, then you understand that as with any business, you have expenses to pay. And one of the most important expenses is an equitable paycheck to you!
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Kim, I have the same problem. I live in Texas and have my Taxidermy shop at my house. I own some land where I live and it joins Pease river. I have Kin Folks that I do not hear from all year BUT when dove, quail or deer season opens my door bell is ringing at 5:00 AM. When I let them hunt and they killed something they wanted me to mount it for free. Fianlly I put a stop to it and you know what? I do not hear from them at all now. No big loss, my dog loves me and never complains. Just have to feed and water him and give him a little love. Have a good one. Dennis
Your friends as long as they can get something out of you.
Once you stop giving them freebys or quick mounts and discounts ,they will go to another and wait two years for for their mounts and pay full price and pat the guy on his back.
THIS IS PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF 40+ IN THE BUSINESS
So now hunters are my friends when they pay me what I ask and pick their mounts quickly, if not I tell them don't come back ,take your s**** somewheres else and then I pat myself on the back.
And have my little nest put away in the bank.
I agree Alex.....I AGREE!
I have done that in the past and no more.
But then again, it gave me advantages too.
Because i chose who i gave the discount to - my work got more exposure, and again by choosing i got good hunting contacts and hunting areas.
I 'will' try not to do it again but if i can get something out of it i will.
Reqular Cutomers, Regular Price,
Friends and Relatives, Twice!
I think Mr Kim meant to say gestures, not jesters, although those looking for the favors might well be one, lol. Regardless, I believe those folks can only take advantage of us one way...if WE let them! Its easiest to just say no, and be firm. Like we sometimes say, you are often ahead of the game when you dont get the job, rather than doing it and not be paid enough.
When I started taxidermy (before dirt was discovered - lol) I never offered any discounts or freebies to friends or family. If you never start it - you don't have to offend anyone later on when you have to end it. If I need to explain it to them - I just ask them if they would work for no pay? Generally that is all it takes to make them understand that your time is just as valuable as theirs. I have never personally had any of my "friends" ever ask me for such favors. Those who do mention it are just acquaintances and of no loss to me if they decide to look for another friend to mount their stuff for free.
Good Hunting seasons to you all...............