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using family & friends as IT resources

Family, Friends, Fools

The cheapest way to get your web presence out there is to find a family member or friend who is skilled in what you need. Most of our teenagers have grown up with computers and have a great understanding of technology, especially in social media.

When looking at a family member, be very, very clear on what you want and whether you will be paying for their services. If they have not done a professional website, then I would hesitate in paying them at the current rate but would tend to barter with them indicating that they are receiving valuable experience and can promote the results once they are done.

With family (or professional consultants) you must provide very clear and detailed instructions with a very strict timeline. In addition, be prepared to treat them as consultants and hold them to the design and schedule. Let them know that you will be holding them accountable and at any signs of struggle or missing deadlines, you will be removing them from the team. You are building a business and business rules and guidelines must be applied for all resources.



Do they have the skills you need? If not, can they learn them on the fly? If not, then do not hire them. You need to ensure that your family or friends are fully qualified and not allow them to learn a new trade with your business. Eagerness is admirable, but you need someone who can take ownership and work comfortably on their own.

Remember that young people can sometimes be more reliable and “pliable” that the older generation. They are usually grateful for the opportunity (and cash!) and willing to stick it out at the computer for long hours.


School and work could limit time and increase delivery time for projects. You need to plan accordingly before deciding to hire people who’s scheduled does not align with yours. However, having projects worked “off-hours” can also work in your favor as it does not interfere with other business activities – you can progress in certain areas and THEN work on IT projects.


If you don’t like them, then don’t hire them. Do not let family “obligations” get in the way of business success. If you do hire them and they end up “rubbing you the wrong way”, be prepared to terminated the agreement immediately.

Work Ethic

Whomever you hire they need to work to schedules and deadlines. If they miss them early, be warned and ready to terminate. If you see them working furiously to get things done AND still failing, be ready to terminate.

A poor work ethic is easy to see and easy to remedy (be ready to terminate). A strong work ethic is very admirable and top be encouraged, but if they are still failing to accomplish the stated goals, you have a huge decision to make. Helping them to succeed may mean extra training, guidance and encourage – if you can afford to invest in their (and yours) future then go for it – DO NOT PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN TROUBLE.

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P2R - Planning - IT Resources

About Tom Joe Finnin

IT professional for over 20 years... currently working at a Fortune 100 company for last 15 years. Love to help people help themselves - let me help you create a web presence quickly and efficiently.

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