As a freelance web designer, you quickly realize that everyone loves a good bargain. It doesn’t matter if they are a new or returning client, a lot of them will ask for discounted pricing. It almost feels like they expect web designers to be like used car dealers, always willing to make a deal.
Sure, negotiations over price have existed since the beginning of trade, but at the end of the day, we still have to make a living. If we agreed to every discount request, we’d be out of business in no time.
That’s why it’s essential to have full pricing as the standard for most clients. This strategy provides several key benefits. First and foremost, it keeps your finances in check, so you can focus on growing your business. Also, having a standard price serves as a motivator and helps you predict future revenue, which reduces the stress of not knowing when the next project will come in.
Of course, there are circumstances where discounts can be a smart move for your business. For instance, when competing for a large contract, offering a savings incentive may give you a competitive edge. Ultimately, there will be times when a discount makes sense, and you need to be willing to discuss it with your client on a case-by-case basis.
Charity Website Projects
When it comes to charity website projects, there are often conflicting opinions. Some businesses offer discounts to non-profit organizations out of a sense of moral responsibility, while others view it as a way to generate positive publicity. Web designers, especially solo practitioners, have a more complex relationship with this concept because they lack the financial resources of larger companies. Offering deep discounts can negatively impact their revenue stream.
That being said, there is still an opportunity to find a middle ground. Perhaps discounts could be limited to causes that hold a special place in your heart, such as a local charity that is working with a limited budget. Helping to build a website for a food bank, homeless shelter, or animal rescue can feel like a true labor of love, and money shouldn’t be the primary objective.
It’s essential though to be discerning about who you offer discounts to. Working hours on a project without fair compensation is not sustainable for your business in the long run. So, while charity work can be rewarding, it’s crucial to find a balance that ensures you remain compensated for your time and expertise.
Loyal Clients Looking for a Website Redesign
As a web designer, having loyal clients who have stuck by your side for years is something to be grateful for. These clients are not only pleasant to work with, but they also pay on time and refer new business your way. They’re the VIPs on your client list, and they help keep your business going.
To show your appreciation, offering a small discount on a website redesign can be a smart business decision. It’s a way of saying “thank you” for their loyalty and support over the years. If they’ve generated substantial revenue for your business, any amount you can waive from the price is worth it.
This discount helps to continue building goodwill in your relationship with these clients, ensuring you can count on their continued patronage. In addition, they’ll likely be happy to spread the word about your business, leading to even more referrals and long-term growth. All in all, showing appreciation for loyal clients is not only good business practice, but it’s also a way to strengthen meaningful relationships.
During Tough Times
Times can be tough for everyone, including your clients. It could be a global crisis like the recent pandemic, or a localized event such as a fire or bankruptcy. Regardless of the situation at hand, providing a discount to your clients may be an appropriate course of action. It’s a way to strengthen your relationship and show that you’re there to support them.
There’s also a practical side to this decision. If you charge recurring fees for maintenance packages or web hosting, your clients may face difficulty paying their bills during tough times. Offering a discount or payment plans can make a real difference in ensuring you get paid for your services.
The decision to offer a discount should be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account your experience with a particular client. If they are great to work with and consistently pay on time, extending a discount during tough times is an easy decision to make. Overall, this is a time when empathy and support can go a long way in building lasting relationships with your clients.
When NOT to Discount Your Web Design Services
It’s not always wise to offer discounts on your web design services, and saying “no” can often be the best course of action. While many prospective clients will be shopping around for the best deal, web designers won’t benefit from participating in a pricing war. A race to the bottom will ultimately lead to regret and financial hardship.
Some people may promise future work in exchange for a discount now, but this is a ploy that should be taken with a grain of salt. Unless there is a written agreement that ensures guaranteed future revenue, you’re unlikely to ever see those anticipated brighter days.
Existing clients are a bit more complicated, but it’s still essential to be cautious when it comes to offering discounts. While VIP clients with a history of reliable payment and support may warrant special consideration, some people simply don’t want to pay for anything and expect others to bend to their demands. This type of relationship is often one-sided, where your experience and expertise aren’t valued. In those cases, it may be better to let such clients walk away, rather than feeding their ego and potentially damaging your business.
It’s Your Business, Your Decision
The bottom line is that just because someone asks for a discount, it does not mean that they deserve one. In fact, in some cases, the opposite may be true, and it’s up to you as the owner of your web design business to set clear boundaries and policies.
At the same time, it’s important to recognize those clients who truly deserve a break. Non-profit organizations and loyal clients who have supported your business for years may warrant special consideration, even without being asked.
Ultimately, it’s your decision as a web designer to determine when and if discounts are appropriate. Your policies should be based on what you feel is right for your business, your clients, and your financial wellbeing. Always choose wisely and consider the long-term impact of each decision you make.