How Much Does Your Beauty Salon Business “Freebie”Cost?
Everyone loves free, other than the people who must pay for it. This is the unsaid truth that exists behind any “free” marketing method or campaign. There is normally, though not always, a real cost in terms of time and money.
So when you’re tempted to offer something for free, be sure to count the cost in every way you need to, in order to make sure your free content, bonus gift or other promotional label you chose to give is affordable. It’s time for you to take a close look at the costs you’ll incur along the road to a freebie.
So what “free” promotions are we referring to?
The biggest places we see free work its way into our beauty salon businesses is with the act of gathering email addresses. Offering a freebie is standard operating procedure, and will not be changing anytime soon. In most cases we are offered a free ebook, report, video series, e-course, webinar or email series in return for our email address and other contact information.
What you must know is that there are costs associated with the creation of these freebies. Let’s take a look at several of the actual hard costs you’ll need to deal with in the creation of your freebies.
- Creating the content – Someone must write, film, record whatever content you are producing. Unless that’s totally you, you’ll pay for this.
- Designing the squeeze page or landing page – There are some great softwares out there, but they cost as well. And we know how much designers cost.
- Production costs and shipping – If you need to manufacture a hard product, chances are you’ll have to pay to get it where it’s going.
- Marketing funnel hard costs – Email autoresponders, setup costs for technical aspects, webinar charges. GoToWebinar for instance, charges at the bare minimum $99 a month for their lowest plan, which allows only 100 attendees. (to be fair, there are other lower-priced services)
- Advertising – Are you going to be taking out ads for this freebie in order to attract the widest possible audience?
While it is still a smart idea to use this type of bribe to build a list of email subscribers, you should be aware of what your freebie really costs, and factor that into the cost per lead.
I bet that got your attention! It’s something that every business owner knows, but it seems to get lost in the shuffle of our day-to-day doing business.
I’m not going to give you a lot of rhetoric on the subject. Instead I’m going to simply give you a list of 10 points on each that will jog your business memory.
Let’s start with some savvy ways to reduce the cost of you doing business:
1. Barter – You should be bartering goods or services with other businesses. Try to trade for something before you buy it.
2. Network – Could you trade leads or mailing lists with another business similar to your? This will cut down on your marketing/advertising costs. If you don’t have a leads list, try bartering your goods/services for their leads.
3. Wholesale/Bulk Buying – You can save money buying your business supplies in bulk quantities. Get a membership at a wholesale warehouse (such as Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.) or buy through a mail order wholesaler. I buy most of my office supplies/paper through mail order vendors which saves me money, and also delivers them to my door. No lugging from store to car to office, and saving money too! What a deal.
4. Free Stuff – Try visiting the thousands of “freebie” sites on the Internet before buying business supplies. You can find free software, graphics, legal forms, online business services, etc.
5. Borrow/Rent – Have you purchased a piece of business equipment and only needed it for a short period of time? You could have borrowed the equipment from someone else or rented it from a rental store.
6. Online/Offline Auctions – You can find office furniture, equipment, and even cars and trucks at online and offline auctions. Pay special attention to those held by law enforcement agencies or IRS that auctions off items seized from offenders. I’m not saying all the time, but before you pay retail for some big ticket items try bidding on them.
7. Plan Ahead – Make a list of supplies or equipment that you’ll need in the future. Watch for stores that have big sales, and purchase your items when they go on sale before you need them.
8. Used but Not Abused – If you equipment and supplies don’t need to be new, buy them used. Cars, desks, file cabinets, etc. can be found at yard and garage sales, used stores, on message boards, and free publications. Some excellent items are sometimes offered when a business decides to relocate or is closing.
9. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate! – This has become a lost art. You should always try to negotiate a lower price for any business equipment or supplies. It doesn’t hurt to try. Pretend you’re talking to a used car salesman.
10. Search – You can always be searching for new suppliers for your needs. Look for suppliers with lower prices and better quality. When you find one, try pointing the difference out to your current supplier. You may get a better deal from him and not have to change. Don’t be satisfied with just a few. You never know when your favorite supplier may decide to go out of business.
If you’re a Northerner, you might find these things I’ve discussed a little hard to swallow. Let me tell you, being a Southerner, these are things that you learn from doing business here, and at an early age.
Just remember! Every millionaire didn’t acquire their wealth through inheritance; some were shrewd business dealers.