Price isn’t everything—or is it? As ever, discounting massage to boost business is a hot topic. Even before the Groupon craze, to discount or not to discount was a controversial topic. Questions asked frequently in my business classes, “How much should I charge? Should I give discounts in the beginning? Do you have to provide discount incentives in all your advertising?” When you’re struggling to get (or keep) your business afloat, it can be hard to know what to do. I’ve heard convincing arguments on both sides. Here are some of them…
- It’s better to get some income than none.
- Discounting gives you a way to compete.
- Discounts allow certain groups access to massage that could not normally afford to try it.
- Discounting is one of the few ways to get new clients in the door.
- Discounts motivate clients to come in more regularly.
- You won’t make it if you base your business on people who only get bodywork when it’s cheap.
- Discounts lessen the perceived value of the work.
- Clients will learn to wait for a discount before scheduling.
- Discounts may get you more clients, but they are not likely to be returning clients, and they are certainly not your ideal client.
- Healthcare professionals (you) have professional fees. While you may adjust your fee for a struggling client occasionally, discounting your services isn’t professional.
My Take On It
You are a professional. Professionals offer a professional service. Do you ever redeem a discount coupon at your medical doctor’s office? Probably not. Like you, they get the best training they can. They run a professional office. Their business materials look professional. Appointments are booked professionally. Each and every client is treated with professional care. All of this professionalism is simply reflected in your fair and reasonable fee. Your ideal client knows that.
What about you, where do you stand on discounts, setting rates, and the struggle to succeed independently? Add your contributions in the comments below…