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With Christmas right around the corner and Christmas orders in full swing, I thought I would take a few minutes and share my policies about discounts for friends and family.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question: Should you give discounts to friends and family? Each and every business owner has their own policy. Today, I will share mine.
I’ll be honest – and slightly blunt – but I don’t believe in giving friends and family free or deeply discounted products. Read through to the end and see why.
Why I Don’t Give Discounts to Friends and Family
Personally, I believe business is business and friends are friends. I picked up this quote somewhere on the internet many years ago and I still abide by it: “Friendship is better for business than business is for friendship.”
Through your business, you’ll make some new friends, acquaintances, and business contacts; but when you drag your existing friends into your business good things may not always happen. For that reason, I do not provide free or deeply discounted products to my friends if they ask.
I do believe that my friends and family are my biggest cheerleaders and have helped spread the word about my business on many occasions. I provide a flat rate discount to all family and friends of 10% off the retail cost of any item. If they can pick up the items from my house, or we can meet locally, they also save on not having to pay for shipping.
Additionally, I also require friends and family to prepay for any items before I will begin making them. I’ve had a great response to this policy and often explain that the time spent making their items takes away from time I could be making items for customers. I also note that the cost of my supplies does not decrease because of our friendship.
Lastly, I take notes of things my friends like, especially products that they have pinned on Pinterest or posted to other social media. If one of my friends sends a large referral order to me, I will thank them with a gift – often inspired by something they have shared – as a way to say thank you.
Don’t forget, if your friend or family member isn’t picking up their items in a timely manner – this post has some ideas for you. These are my opinions, how do you deal with friends and family asking for free or discounted products?
One Exception to This Policy
I do have one big exception to this policy: My mom. My mom has done so much for me throughout my life that I generally make her things when she asks.
However, she rarely asks. If she needs something that I just don’t have time to make, I will walk her through making it herself – often in my craft room.
What is your policy on discounts for friends and family?
Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.
Thursday 13th of August 2015
I totally agree with your philosophy! I haven't used my Silhouette yet for my business yet (I'm aiming to in the near future, but I'm still learning the ropes), but I do run art/graphic commissions. I've been fortunate enough that no one in my family nor have any of my friends asked me for free pictures. I usually end up with them giving me TOO much money! If I ever have a family member or a friend who asks for something free, I'd tell 'em "no" or the price it costs.
I actually don't even believe in giving them discounts. They can use my discount codes that I sometimes send out just like everybody else.
The only person who is an exception to my "no free stuff" rule is my honey bee, since he's essentially my tester, sometimes an idea generator for me, and we collaborate for his YouTube channel (I generally do artwork for him and he advertises me). I think once I actually start posting on my YouTube again, it's definitely going to pay off.
Thursday 13th of August 2015
It works well for me, the only exception I make is for my mom. She brings the supplies (which she purchases) and we make stuff together. I know she won't be around forever. Plus, I'm sure she made plenty of sacrifices raising me! I haven't had any resistance from other friends and family, so my policy is permanent. Can't wait to see what business you create with your Silhouette!