In today’s business community the concept of free has many small businesses shutting down or losing profit. And neither are worth it. Unfortunately, many business owners, especially new ones, believe that they have to give and give and give until they make a name for themselves and their business. But here’s the thing… there is absolutely no reason for a business owner to have to give free services or products just to become viable in their market. Does that make sense? As a business owner the goal should be for positive revenue and growth, not freebies. If you are one of those business owners who are constantly giving but not receiving then here are 5 great tips for you to just say NO:
- Just say no. Sounds easy but for so many business owners, saying no could mean being excluded from a future business opportunity. But if the opportunity is not guaranteed or does not bring a substantial increase in your bottom line, then you need to stop being the go to person for free for alls. Therefore, when you are approached by a free request, evaluate it and go from there.
- Determine the value of giving a freebie. When someone approaches you with a free business request it is up to you to determine if the deal is worth your wild. That means asking the hard questions and getting the commitments needed for any future deals being offered in lieu of the free request. The questions you should ask include, (1) What’s in it for me?; (2) When will the other deal be available to me?; (3) How long do you expect free services?; (4) Why are you requesting free services and not paid services?; (5) Do you have a budget?.
- Don’t let the freebie last longer than what it should. It’s easy to get caught up in the free cycle. That’s why you have to have a completion date and the overall agreement in writing. No exceptions. If it’s a barter or just a request for free services, you have to know when the free services you are offering will end or you can expect for it to go into forever.
- Ask for the budget. Every company has a budget in mind. At least the ones that are worth their weight in gold. Therefore before you consider a freebie ask them how much can the allocate towards the freebie request and work within those parameters. If they have no budget, then you may want to reconsider because sometimes free services are the most strenuous services to deal with.
- Don’t waste your time. If it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it no matter what’s promised. That’s when you have to go back to step 1 and just say no!
The growth of your company is completely up to you. If you want to be known as the person who only gives free services then go for it. But don’t complain when you are constantly in the negative and your business is not growing. But if you are looking for growth then limit the freebies you give in a fiscal year. Create a calendar and if you have reached your agenda then don’t do more. And don’t over promise on a freebie hoping to get more from the client. Get your head out of the clouds by sticking to the plan on your freebie policy. Doing this will help you give freebies that are productive to the overall growth of your company.