#62 When is it Ok to Give Out Free Services?

One of the questions we get asked a lot in CWIB is, when is it ok to start charging or giving out free services? 

I think that it’s important that we talk about this topic because so many women struggle to charge for their services and products. Unless you have money coming in, you won’t have a business. 

So I want to take you through a few different points and stories on today’s podcast to explore this topic. 

Firstly, this topic depends on your business model and what services you offer.  For example, we have a mortgage broker in our community who has to do a lot of  work  before she gets paid and this can be really tricky because sometimes she can put hours of work in and then the person can just walk away and she won’t be paid. This is a service business.   

There are other services businesses out there where you can charge a fee upfront, a little like a deposit. Before you start working on the project you get paid 50% upfront and then you release the work to the client once they pay the remaining 50 %. 

Or, if the service you are providing isn’t a big sum of money, let’s say under $1000, then you can ask for the whole payment upfront. 

Depending on whether you go for a membership model in the service business, you can also ask to be paid upfront before you start the recurring service. 

For product based businesses like eCommerce stores, always get the payment in full, upfront before you send anything out. If it’s a big payment and you set up a payment plan, then wait until all payments are made before you send the product out. 

It’s ok for you to have a follow up process for your invoices.  I would highly recommend that you put it in your client agreement & on the Terms and Conditions of your website. Then every client knows what to expect when they don’t pay their money on time. 

So, when is it ok to give away free services? 

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There is just one big problem when giving away a free service or free product to people. They don’t value it and if people don’t value free stuff, they’re not going to value you or your products. Now there are some people who do value free stuff but they are very far and few between. 

I am going to ask you a couple of questions… 

  1. Are you going to get something out of giving your services or products away for free? For example, if you’re just starting out and you need a couple of testimonies, maybe give out one free pack in return of a testimony, but put a cap on it. If you’re just starting out, you’re going to need all the money you can get. 
  2. Do you want to do some volunteering and be generous with your time? The bible says we are to be generous, but only with what we are happy to be generous with. 2 Corinthians 9:7  Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. You may offer one free service/product each year out of the goodness of your heart, only do it if you’re not going to resent it and if you are getting something out of it, too. You might really enjoy doing life coaching for people in hospitals. Only do it if you’re going to be ok with it in your heart. 
  3. Is what you’re giving going to hold you back? God wants to bless you so He can provide you with food on your table, He can’t do that if you’re not charging for your services and products. Who are you to not charge and stop someone else from getting a blessing through you? 

So, there is my answer, it’s only ok to give out a free service if, you’re just starting out and need a testimonial or you want to pick an amount you want to give each year, cap it and don’t do it if you’re going to resent it. 

Otherwise start charging as soon as you can and get that money coming in. 

Father God, I pray for the women who is listening today that might be struggling with asking to be paid, or knowing when to charge. Give her courage to know that it’s ok to start charging straight away and to know her value through you Lord Jesus. I thank you that she has the courage to start a business and pray that when she takes that first step you would bless her so much and that she would get so much confidence from it Lord. 

In your precious name Jesus, 

Amen. 

 

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Founder Sarah-Jane Meeson was given a word to inspire women. Since then, Sarah-Jane dreamed about how she could inspire women and unite them together. She knew it was going to be for God and she knew she had a passion for business and just to see people thrive and be all that they can be: no matter what past they’ve had, no matter how much money or where they come from. It’s about them being the best person they can be for God and to help share their story of how God has worked through their life and business.

After chatting with a girlfriend and sitting on the idea for a while, God kept prompting her heart to bring this movement of women together. After some time, Sarah-Jane knew what she needed to do; she bit the bullet and now here it is. Christian Women in Business – a movement of Christian women pushing forward for God in their businesses … and it’s great!

Sarah-Jane xo

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