Episode 45: To Discount or Not to Discount, That is the Question with Friends and Family

Let’s talk about pricing.

Specifically how you price your goods and services.

Today’s episode is not about formulas, margins or return on investment, but it is about how you’re valuing yourself in your pricing model.

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend who is a photographer. She asked my opinion on giving friends and family discounts. Of course I was intrigued why she wanted my opinion, so I asked her what was going on in her world.

Basically a couple who is mainly friends with her husband recently had a baby and as the queen of newborn photos, they asked her to do it. She agreed and gave them the friends and family rate and took more photos than her normal clients. Upon sharing the proofs the couple inquired if there were more photos to look at and she explained that this was already above and beyond her normal package. Clearly this experience left a bad taste in her mouth.

So let’s explore what really happened.

1)    This was not her primary relationship. As a secondary friendship, she didn’t have the level of trust or connection to know how easy or challenging it was to work with them.

2)    She got into their story. By assuming that she should give them a discount because they were a friend of her husband, she gave away her power as a business owner. The shoulds were alive and well dictating what proper protocol was.

3)    Assumptions blurred the boundaries. Why did she take more shots with this client than any other? It seems like it already felt like a forced activity, so why not pile on some more work. She also assumed that more pictures would result in happier clients. But then point 4 happened.

4)    She felt taken advantage of. After overserving and overextending herself the couple seemed unsatisfied with her product and she didn’t feel appreciated.

So what can we learn from this situation, so you can create healthy parameters and boundaries around your pricing with friends and family or anyone you would consider giving a discount to?

1)    Your Business Intention – what is your business about for you? How do you want to be feeling as a business owner and as your interact with your clients?

2)    Your Business Goals – where do you want to be each quarter? Set targets for yourself and if you want to give discounts plan for a certain amount per quarter.

3)    Know your bottom line – what are your expenses all in with your product and service? Keep in mind your taxes, overhead and additional staffing and resources. This will help you determine your profit line.

4)    Know your comfort zone of profit – for each service, what percentage do you want to be netting for each transaction? You want to get paid right?! Make sure you take care of yourself and your team before you start slashing prices.

5)    Stay in your lane – if you feel yourself getting into people’s story about what they can afford and are willing to pay, you’ve lost all of your power as a business owner. Confidently state our price and service offering and let it go. As a business owner, you don’t need to convince people of your worth. If they try to negotiate make sure it’s what you want and not what you “should do”. We train people how to treat us and people will push where they see weakness and wiggle room.

6)    Be okay saying no. If you don’t want to work with someone or if you don’t think they’d be a good fit, recommend them to someone else. Chances are when you say yes to something your gut says is a bad fit, you’ll spend more time and energy and will get paid way less. In my experience it is never worth it to work with someone who feels like work.

7)    Offer your discount at the end of the transaction. If you had an awesome time working with the client and want to treat them, that’s an awesome way to create a loyal following. They’ll be super pumped to get a gift and will see it as a reward rather than an entitlement. If it’s at the front of the transaction, it may be cheapening your value and perceived worth. What would be different for you if you were paying 800 v 400?

Episode 44: Lessons Learned from a Trip to the ER Vet on Labor Day Weekend

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Last Friday night, my dog, Rico Suave, needed to be rushed to the 24-hour vet clinic. It was 10pm and the start of Labor Day Weekend. I won’t give you the details, but it wasn’t pretty getting him there.

Now I could go on a rant about how awful my experience was, but instead I wanted to provide lessons learned and tools for other businesses and professionals to use:

1)      Communicate among your team – I brought in a sample and handed it along with my dog to a nurse, who I never saw again. One mention from this person would have saved us 2+ hours of wait time.

2)      Communicate the process to the customer – I was told to fill paperwork and then we waited and waited and waited until we were taken to a back room with a doctor. This is a great opportunity for the front-line of your business to set the tone and expectation of their experience at your establishment.

3)      Be confident – The doctor we met with had slumped shoulders, rocked back and forth in his chair, and used “maybe” at the start of every statement. Perception is everything and if you look and sound unsure, it’s next to impossible to get people to respect and trust what you’re saying.

4)      Come with a proposed plan – If you’re in a service industry, people don’t want guess work, they want options. Give your best opinion and explain why and then leave it to the customer to make the decision. (no one wants a passive OR pushy interaction)

5)      Be proactive – If you notice someone is waiting for a long time, check in with them and let them know what is going on so they can shift their plans as needed. Don’t wait for them to come to you, it usually means they’re annoyed.

6)      Be professional – This is super important for front-facing team members. Customers don’t want to hear about your weekend or the office drama. They want to feel taken care of and in good hands. The casual conversation can make the office feel like amateur hour. If you’re feeling bored at the front desk, check in with the people waiting and see if they need anything or want to engage in conversation.

7)      Provide an explanation – When we were given our prescription, it was left to the front desk person to give us instructions. No one let us know about potential side effects or what to expect. I had to Google it when I got home.

Ultimately as a business owner or team member you want to be seen as the expert and authority and all of these items will help you to be seen as such. It’s up to you to be the positive example and set the tone for positive experiences for future customers.

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This episode is sponsored by Acuity Scheduling.

Episode 43: How's Time Working or Not Working for You?

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This episode is brought to you by Acuity Scheduling www.acuityscheduling.com

  Acuity Scheduling: Take no sh*t from your schedule.

Acuity Scheduling: Take no sh*t from your schedule.

In honor of the The SpitFire Podcast's inaugural sponsor, we are dedicating this show to time and specifically your relationship with it.

Does the ticking of the clock motivate, stress or paralyze you?

We're taking a look at three profiles and how they might be adding unnecessary angst into your life and what you can do about it.

Read along here

 

 

Episode 42: Want to Know the Secret to Success?

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Want to Know the Secret to Success? I’ll Tell You.

Stop looking for other people to tell you how to be successful. Stop listening to podcasts from influencers tell you to be just like them. Stop comparing yourself to glossy accounts and personas. Stop everything you are doing right now and listen.

Listen to yourself.

Listen to your inner voice.

What does it say?

What does it want?

What does it need?

Today we are starting at the beginning – at your core.

How do you define success?

For me success is about living in my passion and working with amazing clients, having financial freedom, feeling flexibility in my schedule that allows me to rest when needed and having the space to play while inspiring others.

Before you rapid-fire an answer, let’s do a visualization exercise.

Imagine you’re 5-10 years down the line and everything that you dreamed would happen has shown up in your life. Take a deep breath and take it all in. Scan around the space you are in and observe what’s around you.

What do you see?

What do you smell?

What do you feel?

Who is around you?

Where are you?

Now I want you to fill in the following statement.

I know I am successful because ______________________.

Write down the first thing that comes into your head. Don’t question it. Don’t second-guess it. Don’t qualify it. Own your first reaction.

Typically our first instinct is our truest heart-felt response.

Once you are aware of what your success target is, you can set your intention. Your intention, by definition, is your aim or plan.

Notice how I didn’t mention anything about goals. Why? Because goals are either met or missed, achieved or failed. There’s nothing in between. What happens if I achieve 99% of a goal, well if it’s not 100% the goals I not met and I’m a big stinky loser.

Intentions on the other hand act as a target and dictate our direction.

Let’s say my goal is to make a million dollars. My intention is to feel financially abundant and secure. The intention focuses on the why behind your goal. Want another fun tidbit?

Guess which option you have more control over in the goal v. intention battle?

If you said intention, you’re flipping brilliant!

You see how we’re building on concepts here. Once we know what success is to us, we can then identify the intention aka the why behind it and we can start right now in adjusting our thoughts, beliefs and actions to get on board with it.

I like to start with a daily intention or sankalpa (an intention formed by the heart and mind) in my daily Yoga Nidra practice. Some of my clients have monthly intentions that they remind themselves of on a daily basis. It can be as simple as a calendar reminder, 5-minute meditation or a Post-It note. Do what works for you!

Episode 41: The Power of Letting Go of Expectations and Outcomes

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After an amazing book launch event for "Spitting Fire: Your Guide to Reignite and Maintain Your Passion at Home, Work and Beyond", Lauren reflects on the power of letting go of outcomes and expectations to truly be present in the moment. 

What a difference a year makes! From a panic attack loaded by perceived judgments to a completely free and fun experience, Lauren shares her lessons learned.

You can now get your hands on a copy of "Spitting Fire" on Amazon. Just click on the link and it's yours: https://amzn.to/2O9kRyp

Episode 40: Why You Should Always Talk to Strangers with Katie McKenzie of Mindspace

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Little did Katie and Lauren know that a chance encounter with two cool chicks holding two awesome business cards at a less than stellar event a few months back would lead to so much amazingness!

Lauren visits the brand new Mindspace co-working space in DC and sits down with Community Manager and fellow SpitFire, Katie McKenzie to talk about how they met, how to network and when it's appropriate to give and receive a hug.

Mindspace is the home of the "Spitting Fire" book launch of Friday, August 17th. Seats are going fast. RSVP here: www.spitfirecoach.com/book

Episode 38: Off a Duck's Back with Chelsea Cole, A Duck's Oven

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Find out how the stress-relieving tactic of cooking led to a successful blog and an even more lucrative career in digital marketing from the founder of A Duck's Oven, Chelsea Cole.

I first heard Chelsea's story on The Side Hustle School, but wanted to dig deeper to find out how she dealt and continues to deal with expectations, overwhelm and disappointment.

If you love The SpitFire Podcast and want to support it, please check out our Patreon page: www.spitfirepodcast.com/thespitfirepodcast

Episode 37: The Role of Isolation and the Need for Community

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What role does isolation play in your mental health and self-care strategy?

Business owners and entrepreneurs are notorious for locking themselves away and keeping their head down all in the name of success. People may offer help, but only they know how to do it "right".

Isolation is no joke and has real impacts on your perspective with reality. In just a few hours of being alone, your sense of time, space and self-worth are dramatically impacted.

Community, as the antithesis of isolation, creates a strong foundation of accountability, support and vulnerability.

Our guest this week, is someone who posted an extremely powerful  message about this very topic and I had to sit down with her to talk about her own journey with isolation, community and mental health.

 

If you'd like to follow Stacy DeChant, here is her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacey.dechant

 

If you'd like to support The SpitFire Podcast, head on over to www.patreon.com/thespitfirepodcast and show some love!

Episode 36: Self-Care and Anxiety Management with Jessie DaSilva

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Get a 101 and graduate course level rundown of the ins and outs of self-care when I sit down with my direct downstairs neighbor and wellness coach, Jessie DaSilva.

As someone who manages GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) while coaching people in healthy lifestyles, Jessie has experienced the need for self-care in addition to therapy and sometimes medication.

We're pealing back the cloak of secrecy and getting real with our anxiety and what we can all do to support one another on our journeys.

Follow Jessie's Journey on Instagram: www.instagram.com/j_dasilva

Episode 35: What's Your Spirit Animal? Emma Sage Fine Art

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So you want to be an artist? You go to school, study, get a degree... and then what?!  You gotta pay your bills, but how do you monetize your creativity?

After graduation and working a 9-5, Emma Sage fell back in love with painting and with the spark from her fiance created her adorably awesome art collection.

Hear Emma's 3 Tips for artists looking to start a business and what her SpitFire Super Power is.

www.emmasagefineart.com

@emmasagefineart

Episode 34: Behind the Lens with Cerissa Photography

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Cerissa Tulop of Cerissa Photography joined me on my roof for a sunset interview and photoshoot. Cerissa is a member of the SpitFire Circle and has been busting through her blocks around sharing her personal story on social media. We're talking about the steps she took to get out of her comfort zone to start attracting her ideal clients.

www.cerissaphotography.com

 

Join us for the July 10th Pre-release event for "Spitting Fire: Your Guide to Reignite and Maintain Your Passion at Home, Work and Beyond" RSVP at www.spitfirecoach.com/book

Episode 33: Getting Punky with Lex Monson, Co-Founder of Punk Post

Sure you get a ton of messages on your Facebook wall when it's your birthday or a special occasion, but what if someone took the time to send you a special message?

That's exactly what inspired Lex Monson, the co-founder of Punk Post. She wanted to give the middle finger to lazy half-assed communication by creating custom cards from people who care.

I talked to Lex about the challenges of growth, the need for self-care and how many workouts are acceptable before a shower is necessary.

Check out Punk Post at www.punkpost.co 

Episode 32: Andromeda Peters, Miss Virginia - Passion Through Pageantry

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Miss Virginia Andromeda Peters treks to SW DC at the peak of DC traffic for her first ever podcast appearance. Host, Lauren LeMunyan tries on the crown and considers a new career path while they discuss Andromeda's challenging past that led her to where she is today.

As a therapist, Andromeda is teaching the tools that helped her rise above her circumstances with self-love and mindfullness.

**Update: Andromeda is now Miss United States 2018!

IG: @andromedapeters   @selflovetherapist

www.andromedapeters.com

Episode 30: Guest Host Justin Trawick Flips the Script on Lauren's 2nd Anniversary of Leaving the 9-5 World

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On June 4, 2016, Lauren LeMunyan walked away from her 11-year career in association management to start her coaching firm.  Two years later to the day, she sits down with full-time musician and the host of The Circus Life Podcast, Justin Trawick, to talk about her journey in becoming and staying a coach.

There a bonus song by Justin Trawick and The Common Good in this episode!

Check out The Circus Life Podcast at www.thecircuslife.com

Listen to Justin's music and see where he's playing next at www.justintrawick.com

Feel free to support this podcast at the following Patreon link: www.patreon.com/thespitfirepodcast 

Episode 29: Philippa Hughes - Using the Dinner Table to Understand Differing Opinions

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Philippa Hughes is no stranger to conflict, in fact she welcomes it at her dinner table and in her community. Her "band-aid" ripping style leaves no gray area around her take on issues like racism, politics and connection.

Our discussion was tangent-filled awesomeness - I'll just leave you with that.

Find out why Philippa hates the word "influencer" and her struggle to say "no" when friends are involved.

Episode 28: Partner, Play

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Mary Kathryn (MK) Nagle is no stranger to a courtroom, a theater stage and hard work. With her fingers glued to the keyboard, MK is a masterful machine when it comes to storytelling - which I learned is very helpful when writing briefs. She has written over 9 plays all while serving as a partner at Pipestem Law, a firm specializing in tribal sovereignty of Native nations and peoples.

MK is a true SpitFire and connects her passion to her family's history in order to educate generations to come.

Episode 27: Stop Being Stingy with Your Contacts - Chelsea Tucker from The Start Up People Maven

 

 “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

So who’s on your list? Chelsea Tucker thinks about this question more than the average person - like it’s her job. Well, because it is! 

As the Marketing Guru for the start-up People Maven, Chelsea promotes sharing your network and contacts to enhance the collective awesomeness.  

Find out who made her list!

www.peoplemaven.com

Episode 26: Mid-Year Recap with The SpitFire Coach

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I can't believe this is the 26th episode! What started as a challenge to push out of my fear and start a podcast is now a huge source of pride. 

Episode 26 is a reflection on the lessons I've learned through the creative process and also what I've learned from my inspirational guests. When I started, I thought a formula would emerge for the structure of each episode, but I soon realized that an organic free-flow discussion not only allowed for more entertaining discussions, but also allowed everyone to drop their guard a little bit more.

I am honored to hold the space for my courageous guests and listeners to explore those scary areas and work through them. No journey is the same and it's certainly not easy, so if The SpitFire Podcast can be the place where we vent, experiment, sound-board and play, I'm happy to be the  facilitator of that awesomeness. Here's to another 26 and beyond!