Article Written by Robyn Larkin on August 31, 2016

“Can I get a Discount?” – The Entrepreneurs World


For a lot of my entrepreneur friends out there, you have probably already caught a glance at the title of this article and I am sure you must already know the road I’m heading down. For a lot of us business owners, small and large one of the most common frustrations we face is the good old “Can I get a discount?”

We are a generation of rising entrepreneurs and each day more people are leaving their day job to pursue their passion and follow their dreams. There was a quote spoken by Steve Jobs which states;

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

and more people seem to doing exactly that.

Now for the most, day jobs are still a great part of our reality. It’s not like once we decided to go out on our own and start a business we lost a piece of our minds and forgot what it’s like to work a 38 hour week for an employer, although sometimes it does feel as though we’ve lost our minds, maybe just a little. None the less we know what it’s like to work for someone else. We know what it’s like to work in a time where employment sucks, jobs aren’t stable, bosses are assholes and money is tight. Which brings me to my next point.

Its downright hard to save these days, so people seem to be wanting to save a dollar in any way they can, which I can totally relate too. We all have a rough time here and there in the money department and I’m sure we’ve all been in the pasta sauce aisle comparing whether to get the $2.50 sauce with extra vegetables, garlic and basil or whether you can just deal with the good old 90c Home Brand tomato sludge. It’s only natural that we as humans want to cut back our spending where we can in times of hardship.

But does cutting back mean that we should be putting the pressure on others to lose out so that we don’t have too?

It’s totally understandable that people will ask to get something for a bit of a better price when they are friends or family to somebody who owns their own business, but when does the line become blurry and when are you just being downright selfish and disrespectful? I have noticed more people who expect discounted prices because they have been a client for a few months and you have worked on a number of projects together, because they have purchased something off you once before and sometimes they simply just expect it because they know you and to me, a discount is something to be cherished and respected, but now it seems to be becoming an expectation and the more business owners I talk to, the more I realise how unrealistic people are being. I was talking to my very dear Mother about this exact frustration only the other day and she said to me “I shop at Coles every week and have done for years, do they give me a discount because I choose to go there to buy my food?” I had never heard anything so damn true and it’s stuck with me ever since.

A lot of us as entrepreneurs have a vast skill set that we haven’t just woken up with on a Thursday morning because we decided to start our business, and for those of us who have been in business for over 3 years, it means that we have made mistakes and learnt from them. We have lost money, we have spent hours researching, watching, adapting, practicing, meeting with people, spending money on conferences to learn even more and often we will go days or weeks with food that shouldn’t be classed as food and no sleep, looking like a hybrid mix between some kind of wolf hound and a zombie that hasn’t eaten in 3 months. But yet people still seem to think that they have the right to expect and sometimes even demand something at a discounted price, or even for free.

At the end of the day, we all need to respect peoples efforts. A lot of lot entrepreneurs are grinding through each day barely coming out on top and some days it feels like you’ve been thrown in a river by the mafia with a 10kg ball and chain strapped to your ankle. Don’t get me wrong, being self employed has it’s perks but somedays it’s really, really damn hard.

Anybody who knows me, knows that I would give my leg to somebody who needs it, but I am just hearing people demand favours way too frequently. So, If you know somebody who owns their own business or is really good at something and offers it as a service, I ask you to keep in mind that our time, our dedication and skills are devalued when you expect or pressure us to work for a discounted price. We have worked our absolute butts off to get where we are and I can speak for a lot of business owners when I say that were damn tired of hearing you ask for things for cheap, or free because “things are tough” or “you don’t really have the money.” I guarantee you we have been exactly where you are, if we’re not already there right now with you. We haven’t just woken up one day with the ability to do what we do. It takes a hell of a lot of time, hard work, persistence and about an aisle of Costco coffee – and for those of you who know Costco, thats a freaking lot of coffee. If I am totally truthful with you, investing yourself in somebody’s business will go a lot further than expecting favours. I know If I ever become a millionaire, I will remember the few people who didn’t expect favours all the time and supported my hard work over the people who thought only of themselves.

So I guess the point is no, you can’t have a discount – and unless you want a parade of over worked underpaid entrepreneurs chasing you down the street, you should probably stop asking for one. If you choose to take your business somewhere, be willing to pay full price and invest yourself, after all you obviously take your business there for a reason. If you are offered a discount by a business owner, by all means snatch that up – just don’t take it for granted.

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