Why Yoga Studios and Other Wellness Service Providers Should be Cautious with Discounts

You have a regular price for something. A yoga class. A yoga workshop. A 60-minute massage. A Reiki session.

Why would you discount it? What makes it worth less? 

The reality is that nothing does, and, it is not actually worth less. You are just accepting less. 

For the most part, a good rule of thumb is to avoid discounting services. But not always. 

A few examples:  

  • you need a quick cash flow infusion
  • you are trying to reach a new demographic, or pull in customers from a different area/background
  • you want to focus on quantity of people rather than quality

Products are what get discounted and there are good reasons for that. These are physical things we can hold in our hands.

A few examples: 

  • A pretty dress on the clearance rack. It's on discount because it's last season and no longer as fashionable. Or, it's out of season.
  • A used car. It's not new anymore. It's worth less.
  • Food. If it's about to expire, the store better sell it and take in a smaller profit or throw it out and take a total loss.

 

I'm in the red fleece in the foreground teaching yoga on top of Masada (Southern District, Israel) at sunrise in 2011.

I'm in the red fleece in the foreground teaching yoga on top of Masada (Southern District, Israel) at sunrise in 2011.

Your yoga class...is it worth less because you've taught it before? No. It's worth more. 

This is how service-based pricing works for the most part. Education is wrapped up in this too.

When we teach something (think yoga workshop or yoga class) the value is in what is being taught. And it's up to the student to make the most of it.  

I've had people hire me for an hour or two to consult with them on their wellness business. They ask me for my opinion on their branding, marketing, pricing and business structure. I offer my opinion, and provide them with an explanation regarding where that opinion comes from.  I give them a to do list, and reasons for those to dos. I tell them why and how completing that to do list will positively impact their business.

Some leave my office and go and make changes. Some leave my office and do nothing. 

Is the value of my consulting any different? Nope. 

This is how it is with wellness services. They don't actually decrease in value because we, as wellness service providers, only improve  with experience. Our value should be increasing.

This all comes back to my big point: 

Do not undervalue yourself. Just because you offer a service that is intangible, it doesn't mean it's worth less. We kid ourselves in thinking that the same rules that apply to physical products should apply to services.

 Also, be aware that when you offer big discounts, they can become a really bad habit. One that you might not be able to break. One that you might become dependent on.

Like a drug.

And your bad habit will only breed negative results for you and your business.....and for the community in which you work as well. Yoga studios and group discount websites are a perfect example of this. One yoga studio developed a group discount coupon habit and found they could only get people in the door for $5/class. Their regulars left. They stopped being profitable. Then they stopped breaking even. Then they closed. {This has actually happened in multiple cities all across the US. But this is for another discussion.}

Don't think people buy only on price. The ones that do are probably not your target clientele. The ones that don't aren't into discounting. They are coming to you for the value of your teachings and the value of your skills. 

People buy according to value.