DON'T DO IT!
Never mix business with pleasure. Never do work for friends or family and never form partnerships with friends.
Says the man with the burned fingers <g>
>>A friend of a friend wants me to build and position in the Serps an ecommerce site for their dad when he retires.
Run like hell is my advice.
<added: Matt was one second faster ;)>
I would send your friend over to ebiz-u.com
They will create a turnkey ecommerce site for him for cheap. In association with Amazon.com. It is great for those that don't want to manage, host, or be responsible for the content. All he needs to do is advertise.
Your friend will need a domain name, a Amazon.com associate account, and a way to send the cheap monthly payment to ebiz-u (like PayPal account, etc.). That's it!
If you need to set all that up for your friend then I would only charge a small flat fee to do that. And as for the advertising, have him do that.
LOL that was kind of my thought on the whole thing. Thanks. His idea is not bad maybe I will do it for myself. ; )
I made the mistake of crossing that line ONCE and swore I will never do it again.
Running is good advice. If you run too slowly, tell them you should charge by the hour, then be VERY honest about how many hours went into your own personal sites. The ones you tinker with late at night...
I've made the mistake more than once. Each time something about the situation makes me think it could work out -- never again.
These days I tell people I suck at my job so that they won't ask me. "Oh you need a website? Well, I'm not that good. I'd hate to do a bad job. You should look for a professional." lol, but it works. :)
Yah don't do it. Plain and simple. :P
You might consider pointing your friend in the direction of a book or two and suggest they learn to do it themselves. It is my experience that some people are just too lazy or too stupid to do anything for themselves. These people are to be avoided.
all the above comments are exactly on the nail head...
can't be said or stated any clearer ;)
like everyone said...
RUN LIKE HELL!
...but if the friend runs after ya... hmmm, then you might wanna show him how to do it - for free ofcourse - using anthonyon advice - even help him set it all up... but don't do the actual setting up - if he asks you why, you can always say you are a novice and dont want to put the business at any risk!
Seriously, the awkwardness of telling them that you can't do it is nothing compared to the possible consequences of everything that (Murphy's Law) will go wrong with this venture.
Sit down and think about a nice, concise and polite way to say 'No'. Do point them in another direction though, you are their netwise friend!
If you don't follow the advice of RUN LIKE HELL (advice with which I agree) you should follow the advice my Business Law professor gave our class about 35 years ago. If you are dealing with family or friends, get everything in writing and make sure nothing is assumed and all details are covered in writing, leaving nothing that can be argued about.
She had just retired as a family lawyer (wills, family business, etc.) and had seen many bad things happen to families and friendships when money and family were mixed. As she pointed out, the effect on the business, no matter how bad, was just money. The bad effect on the family or friendship was much more of a loss.
Simplified: family/friend stuff is THE PITS. You will WISH you were in hell before you are a day into the whole process.
Unanimity speaks. And NOT with forked tongue.
I always get backed into a corner by people like this, I never hear from then again after they talk to me so they can't be that serious.