How to ask for a discount

I’ve had a sudden rush of people asking me to write business plans for them this week.  Three in total, so I must be doing something right with those nice people at Google, who are sending all these enquiries my way.

Writing a good business plan is complex, especially if you want that business plan to stand a pitch document for getting investment.  And to be honest, I’m not the cheapest choice out there.

You can get a business plan written for a few hundred quid by one of the agencies, or you can download one of the many templates out there for startup business plans and do it yourself for free.

I write business plans which are going to be useful, both for raising investment and for actually looking into the business opportunity and seeing if this is a good idea or not.  And I include lots of advice about how to raise money, negotiate with the bank/investors and get some government money too.

I can’t help myself, I can’t do a superficial job of it. So I have to charge a decent rate for my time in doing a good job.

Often this means that people are surprised when I quote them for a couple of thousand.  They’ve often never done this before, so they don’t realise that I’ll save them money in the long run by helping them get extra money or a better deal.  So they ask for a discount.

Here are two ways I’ve been asked for a discount this week

“Well, 5k is probably the top end of what we can afford at the moment, but I think you can help us and we’re not looking anywhere else for this.  I like you and I think we can do business together.”

“We don’t have much budget so this will have to be one of your cheaper packages.  We’re looking at a number of people who could provide this service”

Both of these were from complete strangers who found me on Google.  Guess which one made me think about how I could reduce my price a little, and which one made me smile and stick to my guns on the price.

Yes, that’s right, the one who was nice to me, valued what I could provide for them, and made me feel like I was already their trusted business advisor.

The learning point from this

Some people love to get a discount.  Some people think that if they squeeze you and threaten to go elsewhere you’ll be so desperate for the work you’ll automatically give them a cheaper price.

But if you want a good job done, it’s best to be clear about your budget, and be nice about it, and not demand a discount automatically.  And if you want to do a good job, it’s better to not automatically give a discount just because someone demands one.

Here are some ways I can help you and your business:


Photo credits to hand on pxhere and Liz Finlayson at Vervate.

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The Joy of Business
Secrets of Business Success
Julia Chanteray