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Beware of cosy chats

A client recently related the story to me of how she started her business. At the beginning she was up to her eyes in admin etc and a friend of a friend offered to help. This help consisted of him popping round every other week for a coffee and offering his advice on how the business should be run. As he had recently been widowed, she accepted his visits in order to help him get out of the house. After six months, he then announced that there was no need to pay him; he would be very happy for a slice of the business instead!

Needless to say that was not her intention and extricating herself from the situation became quite tricky. So the lesson is: if you start any kind of arrangement with anybody, do agree at the outset what the purpose is and what you will pay that person. Also make sure that you have a confidentiality agreement with them, so that they do not share your business secrets…

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