Every nonprofit I know loves a bargain. Come on, admit it. You do too! And who loves a bargain more than anyone? Your nonprofit client.
Still, you need to make a living, and usually offering a discount comes right out of your pocket. Are there times when you can offer a discount and actually help yourself?
Timing is everything.
Let’s say that you build websites for your nonprofit clients. Like anything else, there’s an annual cycle to your work. I’m guessing that calls for your work get more intense in the fall and spring, when your clients are around and hear from their donors, trustees and clients, and less in the summer and right before the holidays when they’re focused on their vacations, or year-end programs or gifts. (Remember, I’m guessing on the cycle, but you get the idea.)
How about a “sale” when you’re work cycles down?
If you can predict your business based on your client’s cyclical need for your service, you may be able to schedule your sale. That’s the ideal. When demand is traditionally low, you cut your prices to fill your time. That way you have a chance of making money when otherwise you wouldn’t at all.
Alternatively, you could suggest to your clients that can’t seem to bring themselves to paying your rates, that you’ll do work for them when you usually cycle down… like in August, for example. They’re happy with the better rate and you’re happy to get any income over that period. Win/win!
Our age of social media offers another possibility… a flash sale! Looking ahead at a week down? Offer a flash sale online to your best clients! They might have some project on the back burner that they’ve always wanted to do, and now that a reliable vendor is offering a special price, they’re on it! Or, a new client could use it to try you out.
The downside of sales are, of course, if your clients only look for a sale to work with you. One way to get around this is to make them special, somewhat unpredictable.
Like we see among our retail friends, a well-timed sale brings in income when otherwise, you’d be dry. It’s worth a thought.
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