When was the last time you went to Walmart and asked for something for free? When was the last time you went to your doctor’s office and asked for them to give you their services for free? What store or place of business have you physically gone into or visited and actually obtained services or products and either got it for free or expected it for free? Yea, didn’t think so, it doesn’t happen. So, why do you either keep asking friends, family or fellow business owners for free advice or why do you, Mr/Mrs. Business owner keep giving it away? STOP! Just stop it!
Is your time valuable, be sure to CHARGE for it!
This point is likely paired with those that either run out of the home or have products/services offered by small business owners who run their own business. Too often small business owners are solicited for free advice or help. People may not always consider small business owners or those who run their businesses out of their home as a “real business” and then feel free to ask for free information. Side note, I am writing this while throwing back a margarita, bon bons and while sitting on the beach. Well, you just know that crap ain’t true (sans the margarita, and don’t joke about that) … so let’s get REAL folks!
Target doesn’t give me free stuff, La Brisa doesn’t give me free ritas! Stop giving away your time for free!Click to tweet
Are they really being jerks?
Sometimes it isn’t intentional or that the person asking for information doesn’t seriously see it as asking for information for free… without expecting to pay for those services. And I understand if it were a “quick question” but let me tell you… it’s NEVER a “quick question” or rather it may be a quick question but is is not a quick answer.
Consider this, and for the sake of easy math, the business makes $60/hr and were to have 25 people ask a “quick question” that leads to 15 minutes of time answering a question. This question could be 15 minutes on the phone, typing an email response, direction on how to do something or etc. Again – 15 equates to $15 dollars per person and there were 25 people over the course of a month, just one month, that means that this business owner has given away just under $400 worth of time…. and lost out on that income.
How to redirect from free to paid
Small business owners might try this when somebody asks if they can ask you a “quick question” …. sure I would love to help you with that quick question, let’s schedule a consultation for the end of the week as 3pm, my standard hourly rate is $60 per hour, would that be a good time? Maybe that will help convert those that are asking for free information or maybe make them more honest and get them off your back.
I personally have dealt with people who regularly ask “quick questions” and I have found it, previously, to be very difficult for me. I have been trying this manner to convert them or shooooo them away. I don’t want folks that don’t value my time or services. We, as business owners need to value our time so others will do the same.
Quick questions are not always free – divert them to consulting services to charge for your time!Click to tweet
Be mindful as a consumer!
Even as business owners, we are consumers too and we all need to be mindful of our own “quick questions” about free services or products. We need to remember that if we are 1 of 10, 20 or 30 (or more) people that are doing the same thing to this business, we are part of the problem.
Small business owners – stop giving away your services or products. Now if you are an MLM and you have sample packets or something that you could give away for people to try which encourages them to order, that is a little different. However, what you can do in exchange for a free sample is a an appointment at a later date, a review, an email address and phone number in order to follow up and have a consult at a later date or something to that sort with that person you gave free products to.
Bottom line – NOTHING IS FREE!
So the end result is nothing is for free. There is a payment somewhere along the line and people need to be considerate of other people’s time and value and we need to be conscious of our own value and time (as others won’t if we don’t). Then to be sure that we’re not producing an environment of giving away free time and value without a value associated with that time.
Feel free to comment below on how you deal with “free or quick questions” in the comments below.