As we approach the holiday shopping season, I know that there is a lot of noise out there for business owners.
“You need to make a Black Friday sale!”
“A big sale is a great way to flood your business with cash before end-of-year!”
“Your customers expect a Black Friday sale!”
While some businesses may benefit from a Black Friday sale, I’m going to disagree with these sentiments for service-based movement, fitness, and wellness businesses. Here’s why…
Let’s start this with an example:
Let’s say a yoga instructor offered 10 yoga classes (usually $500) for the price of 7 classes ($350). Sure, they might get more people in the door with that deal, but what’s happening to their bottom line?
That’s $150 less per person to pay studio fees, pay instructors if there are any, pay taxes, etc. Unfortunately, no one can just choose to pay less on studio fees, pay instructors less, or really save on taxes.
By offering this sale, that yoga instructor is actually jeopardizing their ability to keep their studio open. What happens if they get a ton of new clients who enter at that lower rate, requiring them to hire another instructor or ask another instructor to cover more classes? All of that requires more overhead that is going to be paid out of a much smaller bank balance.
If you have clients currently, or people attend your classes regularly, you have people who are willing to buy from you — without a discount. While it is nice to offer an incentive from time-to-time, you don’t have to cut yourself off at the knees to drive in some revenue. You can offer incentives to your current clients or students, like a punch card to get a free class or a discount on a holiday-themed class.
Get creative, but find ways to remind your current buyers why they keep coming back, instead of offering new people a lower price (that is associated with a higher cost for you).
Trust me when I say that a big sale for your services is more complicated than you’d think. There are discount codes and checkout changes if you use an online system. Phone support and email conversations if you’re doing things manually. And then there are the grumpy current clients who think that they should be entitled to the sale price, too. Honestly, I think you have better things to do with your time than stress out over all of that.
So now that we know why a Black Friday sale (or any sale, really) might not be the best idea for your services, let’s talk about how you CAN do a sale well if you need the cash.
I’ve been there! And I’ll be honest: There are ways that these sales can work. The one thing I don’t want you to do is discount your services to flood your business with cash (refer back to the yoga instructor example above).
But here’s where a Black Friday deal for your services might work: By offering your same class package or other service offer, and then providing a complimentary session or additional class “on the house.”
This gives people incentive to BUY NOW, because the deal is going away, and you’re not eating money when they do. You get classes or sessions purchased up front, so your business gets the cash you need to get by, but you don’t have to worry about the additional stress of lower revenue and higher volume.
There’s another way that these sales can be a success for your business: with products!
Some professionals I know have studio gear (like grip socks, yoga bands, etc.) to give away with purchase. Others have a video course, an on-demand or streaming class option, or even workbooks and guides for clients with specific needs. These are great to discount or offer as a bonus on top of a package purchase, because any extra revenue you make from them is just profit. You’ve already paid to create the product, so there are no additional costs related to them, unlike with services.
If you’re still thinking that you can make Black Friday or other holiday sales work for your business, kudos! I totally agree. Hopefully, though, this information I’ve shared helps you choose your offers with more attention to your profit margins and long-term success.
And if you’re wondering what other ideas there maybe for holiday sales that don’t hurt your business, watch this video! It’s only 9 minutes and has tons of ideas for you to generate revenue during this big sales holiday.
Hopefully this gets your wheels spinning, and gives you the alternative you need to actually enjoy the upcoming holiday season without worrying about losing money.