You want to make money so you choose to do business. What you mean by business, however, may not be the same as potential business clients. Being busy or occupying your time with a state of busi-ness not necessarily equal commerce.
You obviously enter the realm of business to generate revenue and hopefully amass a profit, in the process. There are others who will prefer to generate money from your efforts and have you work for free. They will promises you money at a future date, based on work you will do for them today.
A simple example, in the realm of Web Design, is a customer requests that you rank them on the front page of Google and / or other Search Engines and promises to pay your monthly maintenance fee to keep their website on the front page. They might even offer added incentives if you rank their website number one for its keywords.
If you are a reasonable business person, then you immediately realize that any future money deal is certainly unreal. You need bill, either for your time and / or in stages. You can set benchmarks, which if met should result in payment, according to set terms and / or a Fee Schedule.
Other mean business practices include a customer or client asking for seemingly infinite edits to their website, long after they have approved it as finalized. You can certainly edit and improve the website, but not for free. You need to set parameters and to specify costs to be added, after the initial project is complete. Otherwise, you cannot run a successful business. To be in business and to run an enterprise of commerce you need always be earning money.
One alternative type of mean business practice, is for a inquiring pest – who continuously wants to learn about your business and its services, or wants – to ask endless questions about your business; simply out of curiosity. While it is reasonable to answer inquiries professionally, some people make it a hobby to learn about various businesses. You can answer as many questions, as are posed by prospective clients, but be sure to bill for your time, as part of a fee for each consultation.
As a business owner you should never be rude to anyone. But you need to be stern and direct. You do not offer free advice or work as a volunteer, unless you are in fact volunteering for a good cause, on behalf of not-for-profit organization.