💡 Business Tip - Beware of Free (Issue #27)
Don't devalue yourself or your business offering
People don't value free things.
This is true for every type of business:
It’s the sad reality of human nature and psychology.
You will have friends and family that expect steep discounts from your business. They may even want things for free. I see it happen all the time.
“Come on; we’re friends. Can’t you coach me for free?”
“I don’t know why I should have to pay you. Isn’t mentorship free?”
“Can you do me and my friends a favor and give us your friends and family discount?”
Now, it isn’t like you can’t give your friends a special deal. You may even want to make your offer free for family.
However, here’s what will happen when you do:
They won’t recognize the full value of your goods or services.
They won’t value it enough to commit.
They’ll expect more and more for free.
One of my friends designed and built a free website for a church. They ended up being one of her worst clients ever. They wanted endless revisions for free. They wanted a high-end fancy website for free. They were never satisfied.
There are a few things you can do instead of offering free stuff.
For example, I offer an initial free 20-min coaching call to see if I am the right fit for a potential client. But that’s it. Sadly, a few of my acquaintances have tried to abuse this and schedule multiple free calls, but I put a stop to that right away. Note: please don't do this to your friends who run a business. You don’t work for free, so why would you expect your friend to work for free?
Refer your friends and family to a trusted provider in your network. It’s usually best not to work with close friends and family, anyway. I have several friends who have damaged relationships that way.
Charge your friend or family member and tell them you’re going to donate the proceeds to their favorite charity. This removes some of the icky feeling of paying a friend or family member for a service. It also limits how often they’ll come back to you for something that isn’t really “free” for them.
Remember, people value things that cost something:
If it costs them nothing, they’ll think it’s worth nothing — consciously or subconsciously.
Avoid the free trap. It rarely ends well.
Hi, I’m Larry Cornett, a coach who can work with you 1-on-1 to design, launch, and optimize your business. You might also be interested in my “Employee to Solopreneur” workshop (coming soon). I currently live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and our Great Dane while running my businesses 100% remotely.