On one of my #TalkItOutTuesdays in our private FB group, I was asked,
"How do I stay the course and adhere to pricing that befits my services when a high percentage of my couples are friends or acquaintances? I always feel compelled to offer a discount by virtue of knowing people." - Jane Rokes, Wedding Officiant
This is a SUPER popular question that definitely deserves to have a little light shed on the subject!
Should I Offer a Discount to Close Friends or Family?
If you offer your services or products for free or for a deep discount, you may hurt yourself financially, and over time, you may even begin to resent people you love. On the other hand, you don't want those closest to you to think you are selfish or ungrateful, especially if they have supported you along the way.
Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone or in every situation, there are some things to think about when making your own decision to fit your business:
1. Sometimes family and friends may not understand your business, and as a result, they may undervalue your service or overestimate your profit. It’s worth taking the time to explain the costs involved in running your company, including time, supplies, travel expenses and other variables.
2. For very close friends and family, you could create a special package just for them - maybe it is a shorter ceremony or just a set percentage off. OR you can “gift them something additionally” instead of offering a discount. Offer them an additional sit down with you instead of just a phone chat. Or offer to be present to run through their rehearsal if you normally don’t do that. Then you aren’t losing money and are showing them how much you appreciate them by going above and beyond what you normally would for a “regular” client.
3. If a relative or friend has a product or service that can benefit you, offer to trade your expertise for theirs.
4. Determine how wide this circle is. Is it blood relation only? Friends that you have known for a certain number of years? Maybe they need to have referred you to someone else? Once you open that door, make sure you know your boundaries of who fits the “family and friend” discount criteria.
Offering freebies and discounts not only costs you money, or more importantly in my opinion time away from your family, but often cheapens the buyer's appreciation for the product and service. It may feel bad not giving in to these kinds of requests, but in the long term, respecting your business and yourself is ALWAYS the best strategy.
Personally, the most I will ever offer a client is 10% off my services
This is the only discount I use whether it is at a bridal show, family member, an incentive to fill up my calendar by booking by a certain date, etc. I will only offer it to my closest friends and family if they ask. If they don’t ask, it doesn’t just automatically get thrown out to them.
For more support about how to nail down your pricing AND boundaries to start looking like the pro you are, stay tuned for more on the blog.