Why Discounting Your Services is Harmful (and What to Do Instead)

Discount for Personal Chef ServicesDiscounting personal chef services is not an uncommon practice.

The rationale is often that it is better to have at least some business than no business at all, but this is far from the truth.

There is absolutely no point in taking on business in which you are underpaid and overworked. You will get frustrated pretty quickly by doing this and the work you used to love you will start to hate.

In addition, you will soon find it hard to make ends meet financially, and such a business won’t be sustainable. In the end, you may be forced back into a job working for someone else and have to give up on your dream of running a successful personal chef business.

Keep in mind that if you fill your business with low-paying clients, you won’t have room for the ones who will pay a premium for your services, and they are out there. You may also get a reputation for being cheap, which is not a great reputation to have especially if you are offering your clients lots of personalized attention and care.

Other reasons personal chefs lower prices or charge virtually nothing at all follow:

They are cooking for….

  • Friends who they want to help
  • Charities that they want to support
  • Families who have done something nice for them in the past

These aren’t good reasons to charge less.

Your friends can become loyal, paying customers, and you need them to pay your full price. By charging them what you should for your services, they will value them more.  They will also view you as someone who is actually running a business instead of having a hobby.

Giving your services for free to a charity is a worthy thing to do, but don’t do it until your personal chef business is thriving or you will become a charity case yourself. In addition, don’t say “yes” to every charitable event that comes your way. Instead be strategic about which charities you will support by looking at your finances, determining how much you can give to charity in terms of money and time, and then selecting the charities you will support during any given year.

Paying back people for a favor is nice but don’t do it through your business. Find a way to pay them back by using your personal time and money. You could buy them a thank you gift, send them a card or cook them something special.  Just remember that if you decide to cook them something special, don’t link it to a service they wanted to hire you for.

So the bottom line is, if someone asks you for a discount, don’t give it and if you feel the need to give a discount because of some of the reasons mentioned above, don’t do it.

Instead, ask yourself why you feel the need to discount your services. What is the underlying reason? Often you will discover some money beliefs that don’t serve you anymore. There may even be an underlying sense of fear – fear of asking for money, fear of rejection, fear of appearing greedy, fear you and your services aren’t worth the money, etc… that makes you feel the need to discount.

And if you are discounting your services because you fear you won’t get enough clients unless you do, consider what if anything you can do differently so clients no longer bulk at your pricing.

For instance, are you communicating your value effectively? Have you branded yourself and your business well? Are you targeting the right prospects? If you can’t say a resounding “yes” to all of these questions, it’s time for you to figure out how to better package, price and market your business to the right audience so you can charge what you are worth and still get clients. Need more help with this?  Sign up for a free Client Attraction Discovery Phone Session with me.

What experience can you share about discounting your services? If you have discounted them in the past what was the reason you did it?  How did it make you feel?  Were you glad you discounted your services or not?

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