Work From Home? How To Handle Those Pesky Neighbors

Pesky neighbors can be a problem

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Sometimes neighbors just don’t get it. They know you work at home, but they only seem to get the “at home” part and forget about the “work” part. The result: a trickle of “innocent” requests that, if not handled properly, can grow to a deluge.

“Would you mind watching the kids while I run to the store?” “Since you’re at home, could I have my new exercise machine delivered to you?” “I don’t have a fax machine, so….” You get the idea.

My suggestion is that you approach the intrusions of pesky neighbors on your business life in a business-like manner. Draw up a Price List that you can hand to people when they hit on you for free services.

It shouldn’t be too hard to use your existing software to turn out something official looking. Explain that this is your “standard” pricing structure and, if they like the prices, perhaps you can do business.

There are two routes you can go with this idea. The first is to use your “Price List” as a way to discourage any future requests.

You can do this subtly by charging ridiculous amounts or you can let your imagination take off and have some fun with it. For example:

Babysitting: $5/hr ($100/hr if you don’t want them locked in the tool shed)

Face lifts (results not guaranteed): $1,000 and up depending on difficulty.

Having an affair with your spouse: Negotiable. Please submit picture of your spouse in a bathing suit.

The other alternative is to seize this as an opportunity to widen your income stream.

Many home-based businesspeople pursue their avocation on a part-time basis and might welcome the chance to make a little extra money.

If so, give some thought to the services you’d be willing to provide. That could include things like sending and receiving faxes, accepting deliveries for absent neighbors, or typing resumes and the like.

Obviously, include only those services you will feel comfortable performing and give special thought to services that you can provide at little or no additional bother.

Price your services fairly. Check locally to see what others are charging for similar services.

You might want to charge slightly less (on the theory that you have lower overhead), exactly the same, or slightly more (on the theory that you are more convenient to the customer).

If you go this route, you might consider distributing your Price List along with a friendly cover letter to households in your neighborhood.

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Work From Home? How To Handle Those Pesky Neighbors was last modified: October 26th, 2015 by Kelly Monaghan