ASKING YOUR FRIENDS FOR DISCOUNTS IS DISRESPECTFUL, HEARTBREAKING, AND NOT OKAY.
ASKING FOR DISCOUNTS ON YOUR FRIENDS’ PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IS NOT OKAY.
You either 100% support someone or you don’t. Friends don’t ask friends for discounts on their dreams. I didn’t get a discount on the time, effort, and money I invested to bring my ideas to life. If you can wait in line for the newest iPhone (supporting huge corporations) or get the Kylie lipkits before they sell out in 6 minutes (supporting strangers), you can pay full price for my vision. If your entrepreneurial-minded friend thinks you deserve a discount on their product or service, they’ll offer it to you before you even think of it — you won’t need to ask.
ASKING FOR DISCOUNTS ON YOUR FRIENDS’ PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IS DISRESPECTFUL.
When you ask me for a discount on my products/services you’re assuming that I am ripping strangers off (customers that aren’t my friends) with my pricing, and so you think you deserve a discount to reflect a more “fair” price. And frankly, that’s just downright rude. I mean, sure — there are definitely entrepreneurs out there who use the “luxury pricing” brand technique, and there’s some out there that charge 1000% over cost price and think it’s reasonable. But I’m going to assume that’s not many of the entrepreneurs in your circle of friends. Building up a business takes a lot of time and effort, and you best believe we’ve thought of every single detail AND every issue. Fear and doubt in yourself and your ideas tends to do that from time to time.
That being said, do you not think we thought of our pricing strategy for a really long time?
And that we finally came to a conclusion of what a fair price is to charge our customers in exchange for our blood, sweat, and tears?
We know in this world of fast consumption that more often than not, lower priced brands win the race under the low-cost strategy (read: Wal Mart, Forever 21, H&M, etc) — so we’re already skimping down our profit margin dollar by dollar to make the display price a little more enticing to new customers. And do you not think that after deciding on that sale price, we were scared shitless that still no one is going to buy our product/service because they might feel its priced too high compared to the existing low-cost competitors out there? Come on. Give us some credit. We are not just a bunch of zombies trudging around with no integrity. We are charging fair pay for fair work.
ASKING FOR DISCOUNTS ON YOUR FRIENDS’ PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IS HEARTBREAKING.
When you ask your friend for a discount, you’re telling them that you don’t think their price is a fair reflection of the time and labour they put in to bring their vision to life. You are telling them that they are shit and not worth their price tag. This is not fair to your friend. Every time an entrepreneur chasing their dreams gets hit with the “discount question” by their friends and family, its like the sound of 1000 China plates hitting the ground. In that entrepreneur’s mind is anger and frustration as they feel like they are now obligated to giving you a “deal” on something they worked so hard on. “If friends and family can’t support me, who will?” will be their next thought. Let’s all be nice and buy into our friends dreams at full price, okay? Even if you feel like its overpriced. Even if you can buy it cheaper at Walmart. Even if you don’t need that organic lip balm and bar of soap or that beaded vegan bracelet. Pay the full price. One day in the future your friends will be your first customers when you bring YOUR ideas to life, and you’d sure as hell want them to pay full price for your dreams. Don’t downplay the sleepless nights your buddy went through. Is saving yourself a couple bucks really worth the damage you’ll cause to their confidence?
Our first business together! Electric Vision Rave Shades.
What is this entitlement that just because you know this person personally that you deserve a cut of their profits?
If you are guilty of having asked this question before and all this info is completely news to you, don’t freak out. I mean its sort of kind of understandable because of the generation we were raised by. Most of our parents were immigrants and refugees and most didn’t have the chance to chase their dreams when they finally found a country to sponsor their move. They put their heads down and worked away so they could feed us and themselves. It was very rare in our parents generation that they brought their own ideas to life, but when they did they were very open to offering discounts because for them it would mean more business.
But its not the same these days. These days we have social media, we have Facebook ads and Instagram ads and Google ads. We don’t need to reel you in with a discount to get you hooked like our parents friends had to do with their friends and neighbours. Today I can reach anyone in the world that has internet connection and get them to buy my products. So I don’t need to entice you — friends or family — with a discount to get more business. If you don’t buy from us, somebody else that found us on Google, Facebook, or Instagram will.
Remember, you get paid no matter what as long as you show up for work. If it rains, you get paid. If your employer doesn’t hit quarterly projections, you get paid. If your company gets bad publicity in the media, you still get paid. Entrepreneurial friend here doesn’t. I can show up 10 days in a row for 12 hours a day and if I don’t make a sale, I do not get paid. So please, let’s all support our friends dreams at full price. Let’s put the word “discount” away when talking to our friends and save that for big corporations and extreme couponing.
If strangers can pay full price, friends can pay full price.
I suggest any one reading this that is currently building up a new business/startup/service to share this on your social media. Its even better to do so if you haven’t launched yet or are keeping this new venture a secret until you’re ready to launch. The reason for this is come the time you launch, your friends might not remember that you were the one that shared this piece, but they WILL remember they read it somewhere and it may save you from the annoying, disrespectful, and heartbreaking discount question.
I know its tough if you’re only starting your first business or startup to say “no” to your friends. I totally get the feeling where you’d rather just make the sale even if at a discount, and get your product/service out there for exposure. But once you’ve got a handful of business experience under your belt you’ll understand. With time you’ll learn that you didn’t create masterpieces to sell them at black market prices. The more experience you have and the more ventures you start, you’ll slowly begin to value yourself, your time, and your money more. When Tung and I started our first business together — every single friend got a discount no matter what — it was our way of saying “thanks for the support”. It was only about 2 years ago that Tung said we need to start putting our foot down and saying NO to friends discounts, because this is product we could be otherwise selling for full price. If your friends want your products and/or services, they should pay the price that everyone else pays.
This post originally appeared on my travel + lifestyle blog (www.NeverEndingWorldTour.com — which no longer exists) on January 12, 2017.