To Discount or Not to Discount: The Friends and Family Dilemma in the Cleaning Business

Providing discounts to loved ones can be a gesture of goodwill, it also raises questions about fairness and the impact your bottom line.

One common dilemma for cleaning business owners is whether to offer discounts to friends and family. While providing discounts to loved ones can be a gesture of goodwill, it also raises questions about fairness and the impact on your business’s bottom line. In this blog, we will explore the pros and cons of offering discounts to friends and family and provide guidance on how to navigate this delicate situation.

Pros of Offering Discounts

  1. 1. Building Relationships:
  • Offering discounts to friends and family can strengthen your personal relationships and show your appreciation for their support.
  • It can create a sense of loyalty and encourage them to recommend your services to others.
  1. 2. Marketing Opportunities:
  • Providing discounts to friends and family can serve as a marketing opportunity, as they may share their positive experiences with others.
  • It can help you attract new clients through word-of-mouth referrals.
  1. 3. Filling Gaps in Your Schedule:
  • Offering discounts to friends and family during slower periods can help fill gaps in your schedule and ensure consistent work for your cleaning technicians.

Cons of Offering Discounts

  1. 1. Impact of Profitability:
  • Providing discounts to friends and family can reduce your profitability, especially if you offer deep discounts or have a large network of friends and family requesting discounts.
  • You control your schedule, so only allow so many discounted services to happen per month. A polite way is to say you are full…
  • Cleaning is not a service that should be considered as “a discounted service.” We are the 23rd trade and have to spend a long time and a lot of money learning how to run a cleaning business properly.
  • Discounted services attract low-end clients who are demanding and expect a lot for very little money.
  • It can also create resentment among current paying clients who may feel they are not receiving fair treatment.
  1. 2. Setting Precedents:
  • Offering discounts to friends and family can set a precedent and lead to expectations of discounts from other clients. ( they all talk) Remember discounts or “specials” should be offered for a very short amount of time. If you run a discount special all the time you could inadvertently cause yourself to go bankrupt.
  • Discounts should only be offered for Regular Maintenance Cleanings not on one-time cleanings if at all possible.
  • It can be challenging to maintain consistency in your pricing and discount policies if you make exceptions for friends and family.
  1. 3. Professionalism and Boundaries:
  • Offering discounts to friends and family can blur the lines between your personal and professional relationships.
  • It can be difficult to maintain professionalism and enforce business policies when dealing with friends and family.

Navigating the Friends and Family Discount Dilemma:

  1. 1. Establish Clear Policies:
  • Clearly define your discount policies for friends and family, including the types of discounts available, the criteria for eligibility, and any limitations or restrictions.
  • Communicate these policies to your friends and family upfront to avoid misunderstandings.
  1. 2. Consider Alternatives:
  • Instead of offering discounts, consider providing value-added services or perks to friends and family, such as priority scheduling or complimentary add-on services.
  • This allows you to show appreciation without compromising your pricing structure.
  1. 3. Evaluate Each Situation:
  • Evaluate each request for a discount from friends and family on a case-by-case basis.
  • Consider factors such as your relationship with the individual, the impact on your business, and your ability to provide the discount without sacrificing profitability.

Deciding whether to offer discounts to friends and family is a personal choice that depends on your business goals, relationships, and financial considerations. By carefully weighing the pros and cons and establishing clear policies, you can navigate the friends and family discount dilemma effectively and maintain a healthy balance between personal and professional relationships in your cleaning business.

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