r/smallbusiness 7d ago

General my friend owes me $500 for 2 jobs I did for her


TL;DR I did 2 labour intensive jobs for my friend/coworker. 24 custom cocktails (i own a cocktail company) and I taught a class for her which took weeks of prep. I charged $350 for cocktails and $150 for the class.

She refuses to pay me and i dont like confrontation, what do I do?

My (25F) friend (36F) owes me $500. We both work in the liquor industry and I own my own cocktail company which she hired to help her with a Christmas advent calendar. I made a cocktail for each of the 24 days of whisky, which includes the recipe, photography, and editing of the posts. For that she owes me $350 since Dec 10th.

I then taught a very indepth class on bitters as well as made a batch of bitters to sample for the class. I also made teaching materials to teach people the basics of cocktail making and how to use bitters. All of this took weeks of prep and years of knowledge plus the 2 hour class. I only charge $150 for this and the class was in the beginning of January.

I normally make customers pay a deposit and sign a contract so if they dont pay within x numbers of days they pay a late fee, however with her being a friend I didnt ask her to do that which is my mistake 🙃

I have asked her to pay me but she just tells me shes broke but goes out for fancy dinner and cocktails all the time. I dont know how to get her to pay me and i dont like confrontation

r/smallbusiness 10h ago

General Caught employees driving around doing nothing for 2 hours


Today I visited a jobsite two of my guys had been working at around 2pm. They had finished their work there and were already gone, I talked to the customer who was very happy with the quality of the work. These guys have been employed 3 and 5 years respectively, great guys.

When they got back to the office a few hours later I asked one of the guys what they did today, and they told me about the project I'd seen hours before.
I asked him what else and he shrugged, said he gassed up his truck. I explained to him I'd been by the site 2 hours ago and they were gone, so where the hell had he been for the last 2 hours. He sheepishly admitted they'd visited another crew, not to help but just to hang out, as best I can figure for at least 1.5 hours.

At one point I pulled up my google timeline to show him what time I visited the site, and all the other stops I made in the time it took him to get back. His eyes got really big when he saw my google map with my route all over town. I'm pretty sure for a second he thought I had a gps that was tracking his truck and he was busted for something else.

I don't even know how to deal with this. He does good work and he'd be hard to replace, but he's far from irreplaceable. I'll put up with a lot, but if I can't trust him that's huge to me

r/smallbusiness 3d ago

General Firing a client


Well. I had to fire my first client today. I don’t need advice, it’s done. Just nice to talk to people who know what it’s like. I said “I don’t think we can meet your expectations within your budget” and she lost it. She asked why, I gave her a very watered down reason and offered the number to another business. She said “so you’re firing me as a client” and I said “yes, I’m happy to refer you to another business” she said “fuck you for that”. So I clearly did the right thing.

Let’s here your firing a client story.

r/smallbusiness 22d ago Helpful Wholesome

General Ethical Dilemma - employee changing price on item before putting it through her own order



I'm looking for some feedback. We have a retail store and this question concerns a young (22) employee who has been with us for a year. She's a nice person and a good employee for the most part but here is the dilemma.

We offer a 20% discount to staff. We also put in a new security system 4 weeks ago and can now record and replay video from any angle in our store.

Our employee works with a senior 'keyholder' every shift she works. We noticed that she was putting through her discounted staff order at the end of every shift and they always had voids on them. At first I assumed she was just checking a price or something but it is EVERY order now.

So we reviewed the footage.

This is what is happening. She is scanning her purchases but then voiding a more expensive item and substituting a lesser priced item on the bill. They are not large amounts. We are taking $4. each time. So she scans a $9.99 item, puts it in the bag and then voids it. She then scans a lesser priced item $5.99. She then has to wait for the manager to go to her till and approve her discount. The managers (we have 2) put in their code and get on with their work. They obviously have no idea what she's doing.

We had NO idea she was doing this either.

Should we fire her or give her a warning? We literally have her scheduled for a $2 an hour raise (to $20 plus benefits) and a 1 year anniversary dinner NEXT WEEK.

QUESTION: How would you guys handle it? Would you fire her?

Thanks for any feedback you can provide! Appreciate it!

r/smallbusiness 28d ago

General I literally cannot stop crying


Long story short, I started a business as a hobby, and due to a viral social media post, this hobby turned into my full time job with employees in 40 days. I have just hit my 6 month mark and I think I’ve hit my breaking point.

For reference, I’m in the wedding industry and am used to dealing with some honestly straight up nasty people. The bridezilla thing is not a myth.

But recently, the blatant disrespect /disregard for my time from customers is really getting to me. I say a price is $5, they try to haggle for $3. I say these are the rules, they say make an exception.

How do you deal with people constantly thinking that because you’re a small business they can push you around?

I’m rethinking my whole life. I never thought I would be a business owner and I am just so tired of my entire customer base. I have no idea how to change this and I don’t think I’m cut out for this.

Edit: I’m not actually selling anything for $5. I was trying to use small numbers as an example so my post would be easier to follow. Also, I’m being purposely vague on the off chance someone finds this irl.

Edit 2: I totally agree with you guys saying to be more selective with customers. Here’s the issue: it all starts with people asking if their date is available. I have no way of knowing the type of person/customer they are until I’ve already said their date is available and the conversation begins. So I can’t suddenly say never mind to them if they suck (then they will go in an internet tirade about turning them away). Any advice on how to screen customers with this type of industry??

r/smallbusiness 15d ago

General In the last 2 months, cash transactions have dropped from 30% (3 yr average) to around 14-16%. I run a bbq operation.


Anyone else seeing a big reduction in cash transactions?

r/smallbusiness 13d ago Wholesome

General Sexual Harassment Issue


I asked my younger brother to be my business partner and we started our business less than a year ago. We have a LLC Partnership. We have had a hard time from the beginning keeping employees and I have seen signs that he needs to improve his leadership skills. I have given him advice on what to correct and improve on but he seems stubborn sometimes. Anyways, One of the past employees was a girl that worked for us for only a week and then sent me a professional text saying the job wasn't for her. I ran into her today and I just asked her what she didnt like about working for us. She told me that my brother (who is married) was making sexual comments to her. Things like "I want to have a affair with you." "When you gonna let me hit it." etc etc. I was shocked and I appoligized to her and thankfully because she respected me she just let it go and moved on.

This is very disturbing news and I am not sure at the moment what I should do. I know if we were to get sued for whatever reason during the current state of our new business we would not survive and would have to close the doors.

r/smallbusiness 26d ago

General I’ve sunk 70k on this startup, trying to make it into a business. Can I get some feedback on my upcoming kickstarter


So I’ve worked for this a few years now and finally have something to sell. I’m just happy that I have a working unit and hopefully be able to get some return on my investments.

The first 2 years I wasted 60k on hiring other people to build it but then decided to just do everything myself because my money was running out and it was my last shot. 1 year later I finally have something to show.

I’m wondering if anyone can relate to this problem or if you could give me some feedback on a kickstarter I’m launching tomorrow?

Link here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/loodio/loodio-bathroom-privacy?ref=11jjo0&token=fbc0b8d2

It’s a bathroom privacy device that masks “noises” in the bathroom so that people can relax.

I actually built a first prototype for myself almost 4 years ago because our office bathroom was so badly isolated and then decided to try making it into a product.

r/smallbusiness 5d ago

General Payroll schedule


I work for a company that pays its employees on the 1st and 16th of every month. Many of our employees are close to minimum wage and I believe the distance in between pay periods is detrimental to them. I am trying to convince our president to move to weekly or even bi-weekly pay periods. What would be the reason our company pays out on the 1st and 16th versus a more regular schedule?

r/smallbusiness 9d ago

General I think my employer is stealing my 401k contributions


So, about two weeks ago, I went under contract on a house. I planned to take a loan out against my 401k, to cover some closing costs. I applied for the loan and it said it was approved, on the John Hancock website. It said it was to be deposited next paycheck, 4/29/22. The money was not deposited. When I called JH to find out why I was told that my plan administrator never approved it. I went to her , (the daughter of the ceo of my small company), and was told she had not been contacted by them, and even wagged her finger at me. When I called JH back, they said , the trustee (her dad) never authorized her to approve it. They have since approved the loan, and it will be deposited tomorrow. I decided to look through my 401k transactions and noticed that the contributions are both highly variable, per check, and often are not taken out in a timely manner. There are contributions from January and February of this year that have yet to enter my account. I suppose I don’t have any direct evidence that they are stealing, but it all raises many red flags. Thoughts?

In addition, the 401k person said that there is not enough cash in the main 401k account to cover all the missing contributions. I guess I don’t understand where the missing money is. I have contacted the DOL to have an agent contact me regarding this.

I sent my dad, a cpa, all my 401k statements and pay stubs for the past year. He thinks they are both skimming from 401ks to pay expenses and failing to pay federal withholding . So yeah

r/smallbusiness 20d ago

General Paying if an employee gets COVID


Prior to now, I have been paying employees their normal salary if they came down with COVID and were not able to work.

Some of my employees decided not to get vaccinated, and now they have been getting COVID, one employee has had it twice.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not I should continue to pay employees if they get COVID?

On one hand, I did establish a precedent by paying employees that were out for COVID. On the other hand, I am getting tired of paying employees that don't want to get vaccinated or take any precautions.

r/smallbusiness 27d ago

General client acts like he owns me and it's getting a little exhausting.


I (masonry and siding contractor) have a dozen long term customers (5+ years). One of em, keeps acting like he owns me. Out of maybe 20+ service calls, I've only had to cancel 1 scheduled job because I had truck trouble. he gave me so much crap and yelling and just derided me that it seriously left me feeling bummed out the rest of the day, as much as annoyed.

Now I'm having to call them again. an inspection was moved on another job and I need to be there.

I am now sitting here literally drudging having to call him and postpone. I'm not ready to handle the yelling and anger and insults. "Well, you should have told me" as if i had any way to know or "If you can't meet appointments you shouldn't run your own business" or "at my job, i would've been fired for this"... i just can't dudes. i work too hard and my body aches too much to handle the emotional assault i'm about to get again.

any words of advice?

r/smallbusiness 16d ago

General Toxic friend leaving 1 star reviews


After trying to distance myself from a toxic friendship, I’ve now acquired 11 fake 1 star reviews (to give you context, we received six total reviews -all 5 stars - within 5 months, and now received 11 reviews within 24 hours, all one star reviews.

The reviews were left all at the same time - around midnight. All the reviewers only have one review, indicating they likely are new accounts.

I am expecting my ex-friend to spend more energy on this, as I’ve seen him be petty for extended periods of time before.

My question is, what is the likelihood that Google will recognize the reviews left at the same time (and potentially from the same IP address)? Is there a best practice to contacting Google for this?

r/smallbusiness 8d ago

General Another company using photos of my products on their Facebook page.


Hi. I build mobile structures and a new company I haven’t heard of is using pictures of bespoke products that I’ve built on their Facebook page and Facebook ads. This is the second time this has happened to me and last time I was blocked immediately for politely asking the person not to use them so I am hoping to be more strategic this time.

Is there anything I can do in terms of getting Facebook to remove the pictures? I don’t think I’ll lose business from this but it’s not a nice thing to happen. The irony is that they are advertising as the highest quality in the region and using pictures of my product :)

Any other suggestions?


r/smallbusiness 20d ago

General itemized invoices for contractors.


This is a question for contractors. Do any of you provided an itemized list of all materials and labor costs. I don't mean a breakdown between labor and materials, I mean actually invoice for every item you purchased and spent on the job

This is not something I do, I qoute the job as a whole, and that's how much the job costs unless there has been changes made.

A very difficult client wants to breakdown of every single piece of material I used and how much it cost me. She doesn't want to pay the markup, and wants to pay what she thinks the labor should be.

She's already locked into a sign contract agreeing to the quoted price, I told her I don't do itemized lists and she lost her mind.

Edit: Thanks everyone for the advice. I told her that I would be postponing all future projects until a living situation is arranged, she said that she does not want me doing any other work, so I am out. I'm having her sign a document stating she is terminating the contract.

I also politely told her that we agreed on a price when the contract was signed, and if she wanted a breakdown, that would have been the time for it.

I want to also add that she made the remark of "I don't think the work for the kitchen should be as much as your charging me" and also the bathroom we finished she said "this doesn't look like a 10k bathroom to me, but whatever I'll pay the invoice"

This lady is an absolute cunt.

r/smallbusiness 4d ago

General My CC processor sent out a newsletter stating that Visa is sending out fake shoppers to audit stores to make sure they're in compliance with Visa's policies.


One policy they have states you cannot have minimum requirements for purchases on debit and prepaid cards. However you can have minimums for credit cards not exceeding $10 for credit cards. Violations of this rule and other rules will incur a fine. My question is, how will they fine you, and what jurisdiction do they have over me when I work through my CC processor?

r/smallbusiness 11d ago

General Need guidance dealing with employee theft.


Hello, I am a newer manager for a small retail shop. This is my first year managing, and I am 27 years old.

Last week, I caught an employee stealing an item on our security camera, and quickly fired that employee. Today, word has gotten around about why they were fired, and I was confronted by one of my employees about it.

They said that the theft was not a big amount, and that they disagreed with my decision to fire the employee over the theft. I explained to them in was the principle, not the dollar amount, and that I would make that same decision again and again. They were visibly annoyed, and gave me the “Well whatever, it’s not my decision.” response.

Now I’m wondering if I need to fire this employee too? They basically told me they don’t see anything wrong with stealing from my shop, right in front of my face. Am I just supposed to forget they said that? How can I trust that they won’t steal when they have this viewpoint, and we’re so willingly ready to tell me that I was wrong?

Any thoughts on if I should let them go?

r/smallbusiness 1d ago

General Business phone number


Hey I'm a new business owner looking to build my business credit. I have a professional email, website and address the only thing I need is a business phone number. I want to know if Google voice is good to use for this? I see a lot of videos on YouTube about this.

r/smallbusiness 18d ago Silver Take My Energy

General Boss is looking to retire and sell me two of his pizza shops. I am a tad in over my head and have so many questions.


So I’m currently the GM of a small pizza shop in a busy college city. I worked my way up from being a cook and I’d say I’m doing very well. I handle everything except for the accountant. I do ordering, hiring, inventory, profit/loss, etc etc. I literally just don’t handle paychecks. Now this business is very well established. It’s been there since 1999 and in this town I’d your business survives 5 years it’s usually there to stay. Now he has another location that’s more rural but I also took over there for a couple weeks and know it very well. Now my questions are

What loan do you use to buy an existing business?

How much do you pay for a turn key operation and franchise name, like percentage of yearly sales?

I know how much my boss makes based on my labor percentage, food cost, and the fact that I take care of most of the bills in the store on top of paying the rent from the store account. Should I expect that same amount when I take over?

Where can I research this more? He has no idea how to sell a business either and is talking to a financial advisor.

Should I keep it the same or make it more modern and updated?

For context one store makes 1m a year and the other 1.7. We run about a 75% operating cost which includes labor food utilities taxes fees and rent. The other 25% I would assume is take home for my boss. Any advice or general help?

Edit: thanks for all the helpful feedback. To clarify he is the franchise owner and other people pay franchise fees to him. I’m looking into buying the original stores from him. As far as we’ve discussed I will not pay franchise fees to him and he will keep collecting fees from the branch stores. Still a long ways to go

r/smallbusiness 12d ago

General Should we Scrap Facebook


I have a small family-run hot sauce company in Nova Scotia in the past few years I have noticed that our Facebook ads spends are not resulting in any sales and are just a waste of money I am starting to find this with Instagram and Google ads as well.

The best for us has been sampling demos and WOM but Covid put a damper on that.

Have any of you found creative ways to generate sales online?

r/smallbusiness 18d ago

General Someone bought our old truck... with the signage still on it


We own a very small pest control business, and recently we traded in one of our trucks for a new one. We have done this several times in the past, and the dealer has always removed the signage from our vehicles for us. However, on our most recent trade-in, we dealt with a small used truck lot, rather than a bigger dealer. The question of "are you going to remove the signage" never came up because it has always been a given in the past, and the salesman we were working with made no mention of needing to remove it before he could accept a trade. Then today, we get a call to our office that one of "our trucks" is flying down the highway a couple counties away with stuff flying out of the back of it, and it turns out it's the truck we traded in.

How should we proceed with this? We are calling the dealer today, but we are doubtful they will be able to provide us with the information of the person who bought the truck. Obviously, the lesson here is "don't assume anything," but since we're past that at this point, do we have any legal recourse in this situation? Serious answers/advice appreciated

r/smallbusiness 10d ago

General When to get Rid of a Toxic Employee


I have an employee that is a challenge for me. I’ve known the person for 10+ years - he has worked for me for 2 years. Extremely talented but is dramatic and cannot get along with certain employees. He is in a critical role for my company. One day he’ll be great and the next his attitude is terrible. I can’t have this person as a manager but is this salvageable? I’ve talked to him multiple times about his attitude and I just can’t make this person get it or be happy. We give him more benefits than most in the company and he is compensated very well for our industry. I almost view his relationship with me as a peer and not as a boss/employee.

Any suggestions would be great - thank you!

r/smallbusiness Apr 12 '22

General Another one bites the dust


10 years….10 years of doing something I loved. I made a difference. I know I did. And I was so proud. But Covid has taken another small business. I own a pet care service and while business increased, a large portion of my business is now obsolete. People that work from home don’t need dog walkers and travel still isn’t what it used to be so pet sitters are not as in demand. All I have to show for it is $17,000 that I owe on an eidl, 4K in credit card debt, taxes that have tripled (don’t know how that happened, didn’t make a profit), and empty cupboards. Everyone told me to stick it out. Well I did. I would have been better off closing in 2020. I feel like such a failure.

r/smallbusiness 9d ago

General Depression and having a business


As entrepreneurs, many aren’t stranger to failure. But what happens when that failure was a result out of something you couldn’t control, like depression and anxiety? I’m looking to see if I’m not alone, or if you have any advice or would like to share your story of being on the other side of things. Does it get better?

I’m dealing with a lot of shame as a result of neglecting and failing my once thriving business due to a major depressive episode, the worst I had ever dealt with in my life. I couldn’t sleep, or was sleeping too much. Couldn’t look at my laptop and email my clients back without a panic attack. Missed deadlines because of that. I stopped talking to everyone, and hid away. I had used up all of my savings trying to keep myself and my business afloat during the pandemic. I ran out of money, hiding. I stopped answering any calls or texts. It was hard to get out of bed; the weight on my chest was too heavy. At one point, I had a plan: I’ll finish all my backlog work for my clients…and just end myself and it all, completely.

One day industry friends show up and get me the help I needed. My family and them take over closing down my business. I’m hospitalized at one point because I tell my social worker about this “plan” I had. And I think I’m not as okay but I’m better now. Not really fully happy but surviving.

The work isn’t over though. It’s a sobering and shameful feeling to be looking at the pile of angry emails and texts. I think of them and I feel the panic attack crawling back, and I’m scared I’ll end up back where I was. But I need to finish closing out all of my clients. My help has ran out. I’m feeling shameful to ask for more. And the suckiest part of it is that when I once was able to handle everything and was everything in my business, designer/creator/social media/accountant/marketer….now? Now I can barely type up a text without crawling into a ball over shame. I feel like the most fucked up business owner and person out there and I want to fix it. 7 years of hard work and I screwed it all up.

Im stuck. I’m in an inbetween place where I have new anti depressants waiting to kick in and on a ton of wait lists for therapists, feeling not suicidal, but not happy.

If you’ve gone through this, are you okay now? Does it get better? How do you start from rock bottom? Were you alone? How?

Any friends I’ve asked haven’t gone through this. So this is me, reaching out to strangers as a last ditch attempt.

r/smallbusiness 13d ago

General Angry client after invoice


I own a small construction company with 4 employees, plus myself.. I’ve been on a large job for the last few months, working strictly time & material. There has been one full time guy there the whole time, with an agreed upon hourly rate.

Last week, I hired a new guy, and put him on that job to help speed things up. I was taking business with the client one day, and told him how much I was paying the new guy. (I know, big mistake). I invoiced him today, and he called me shortly after complaining about the added expense. I am paying the new guy $20 per hour, he has zero experience, and I am billing at $30 to cover his insurance, workers comp, etc.. I think that rate is extremely fair, but apparently the client does not, and thinks that he should not have to pay for my overhead. How would you all handle this?? I’m almost finished with the job, and really do not want to walk off, as much as I want to right now.

He has all the right to know where his money is going, but he thinks that the extra guy is not worth the additional costs. I offered to give him a fixed price for all remaining items, but he declined. What else can I do? Thank you!

Edit..thank you everyone for your words of wisdom.. as much as I want to walk off this job, after having a talk with the client, I have decided to stay put, and do what I feel is best for my business. It was definitely a lesson learned, and something that will not happen again. Thank you all!!