Do you treat freebies as real customers?
  v11.0 Posted at 21/07/2018 7:32 AM by Tiago Araujo
​In the course of business, you may occasionally provide some services or products to selected customers free of charge or at a discount rate. Often, because you're waiving one rule (the "please pay me" one!), you waive all your normal rules of service. This is a very bad habit for two reasons:
  1. Freebies/discounts need just as strict controls as regular projects

    When you are giving something away at a discount or for free you are expecting a loss compared with a regular client. If you fail to follow regular processes not only will you incur an even greater loss you provide a lesser standard of service and put greater risk on the success of the project.

    A discount or freebie should follow all the standard processes such as:

  2. Feedback on service

    Often the people you choose to provide a freebie are the best people to provide feedback on your product or services. When you waive all your standard processes, they have no opportunity to review how you conduct your business. So if you're offering a freebie (or any discount), you should ensure every normal standard of business is followed (including sending $0 invoices!) and make sure you get valuable feedback to help you run your company better.

    Sample email: 

    Hi Bob, 

    As discussed, there will be no charge for the spec review. It will be 2 days of work. you will receive an invoice with the items on it at $0. I would like you to give me feedback as if you were a normal client, so you can help me run my business better.

    Zero Invoices:
    When entering timesheets for free work, set your rate to $0.​

    Figure: It is a good idea to set your rate to $0 and show it on the invoice

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