5 Reasons Why Christian Business Owners Should NOT Lower Their Prices
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
If there is any struggle all Christian Business Owners share it’s probably this - The temptation to lower prices at the behest of others who know us.
Have you ever faced this? You probably have.
It’s a horrific experience to know that you’ve set your prices based on what it will cost you to fulfill the service and include enough room to make it worth the time. This is your profit margin and you need it to stay in business, pay your bills, and feed your family.
But, what happens? Family, friends, colleagues, and church people come up to you saying how proud they are of you and how awesome your products are. They say “Man, you’re the best at what you do but *sigh* I sure want to hire you but you’re too expensive.” Then they talk about how you can hook them up and cut your prices and that will get you more “experience” or “exposure” for your business. Some even have the audacity to expect your high-quality service for FREE when you’ve got a power bill due next week.
Those who are ignorant to the demands of business and the concepts of time = money are understandable since they simply see it as their friend should help them out. These situations simply require us to stand up with a bit of boldness to protect our businesses. But there are those who not only ask for the reductions but will use the Bible and Christ as ways to “shame” legitimate business owners into lowering prices to their own hurt.
Let me take a moment to share 5 Reasons why you as a Christian Business Owner should NOT lower your prices under this pressure.
1 - You’ve Already Paid The Price For Your Business
You didn’t just wake up one day and say “I’m going to start XYZ Business.” No, you’re educated and trained in your area of expertise. You paid for training courses, degrees, counselings, and some of you worked for low and no pay just to learn the details of the business you’re in today. You spent countless hours looking at your computer screen researching the strategies. You’ve read more books than you can count to understand how to run your business. AND, the biggest cost of all, you’ve tried and FAILED before. You’ve lost money that you worked hard to earn attempting to get your business dreams off of the ground.
Since they didn’t pay these prices and they weren’t there during your seasons of study and sacrifice, they have no authority to request personal price drops that will hurt your bottom line.
2 - “They” Don’t Realize The VALUE Of Your Business
The irony of hearing someone close to you say something you sell is too expensive is that you priced your products with the people around you in mind. Many small business owners price their products and services competitively but with their surrounding community or target market at the forefront of the price choice. In other words, you were thinking about “them” when you set your prices in the first place.
When you think about all of the toys and trinkets people choose to spend their money on, you would probably start taking personal offense to them attempting to have you bring your price down. How much will they spend when they finally pay off that iPhone (understanding that the vast majority of people don’t pay it off upfront but finance over time)? How much do they spend eating out each week on companies that don’t care about them? How much will they spend on toys for their kids during Christmas that those same kids will stop playing with by February? The point isn’t to shame your friends and family on how much they spend on non-money-making items but to bring the realization that spending with your small business is an investment in the community, friendship, and entrepreneurship. We should want to see our friends get to a place of financial freedom. Asking them to cut their prices is the equivalent of asking them to take longer to get to their goals.
3 - “They” Will Easily Pay A Stranger Double For Your Same Service
As mentioned in point 2 with the example of a new phone, “they” will pay exorbitant amounts of money for services from people they will never meet. These people they will never meet don’t care about them, won’t see them at Thanksgiving, and the CEOs will never give them their personal cell phone numbers, right? Yet, they have all of this on you. They know you. They met you in college. They attended your wedding. They see your kids occasionally. And they know you are doing everything in your power to give yourself and your family the best out of life.
So, why do “they” feel so comfortable asking you to cut prices? It’s a mentality that doesn’t catch the full picture.
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you charge $100 for a professional event flyer. You not only provide a custom design but you also provide multiple file types, the original photoshop file, a few rounds of changes, and you’ll throw in speaker picture adjustments up to 5 speakers (for those in the church world who have attended big conferences, you know that some multi-day conferences can have 10 speakers and/or singers - the designer has to work on each individual picture to fit it into the design). So, depending on the competition, this is a great deal. Your friend loves your work but starts trying to talk you down to $25 because he/she saw another designer (who really isn’t as good as you) post a $30 design offer.
They don’t know that you spent hours in Adobe training, you took graphic design classes in college, you’ve worked with some of the best in the business, and you plan to move to full-time design work. Cutting your prices cuts into your bills and reduces the profit margin on your time. It hinders your ability to pay off your business costs and move forward to upgrading your systems. They also don’t know that the $30 designer just got started last week and only watched 2 YouTube videos before posting that deal.
All of this said; while competition is a serious consideration if you know your expenses and the pricing that will keep your financial head above water, don’t bend on the pricing. You’ll only be hurting yourself.
4 - God Expects You To Be Profitable
For my fellow Christians, I believe we need to take a serious look at how much we tend to manipulate Christian Business Owners through our beliefs. We often “shame” business owners into “sowing” their products and services into churches without having discussions or allowing these owners to offer these services on their own. Perhaps it's a youth leader that wants food for an event. He asks the private chef in the church if she can “give” some food to the kids during the youth event adding the words “the Lord is definitely going to bless you.” Depending on the chef’s relationship status with the people in the church, she may now feel the pressure to provide, especially if word got out saying “Yes, Chef So and So is cooking for the youth!” Little do they know that the chef’s business is just getting by due to the pandemic and the lack of business in recent months. Giving services away is not only unwise, it will cause an immense amount of pain. Some may say “Just say NO!” This isn’t always easy with the good people at the church. They aren’t thinking from a place of business savvy but of the giving hearts of the non-profit. They assume that all church members are in “give” mode but the truth is that before church people make these assumptions efforts should be made to have open conversations regarding services and pricing.
Looking in the scriptures, we’ll find a great number of examples of God expecting those whom He has gifted in the business world to be savvy with those opportunities. The parable of the talents shows us that the Master expects a profitable return. The parable of the minas shows us that the Master expects us to be profitable. The parable of the unjust steward shows us the reward behind being business savvy and strategic in this world. Abraham - Rich, Jacob - Rich, Joseph - Rich, David - Rich, Solomon - Rich, and Lydia was a successful businesswoman selling purple cloth. They all needed to use their wealth and influence wisely. The blessing of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow. He gave us these gifts, inventions, and ideas. If He called us to use them to make profits and take care of our families AND finance the Kingdom through our tithes and offerings; we need to protect these investments by making sure we don’t shortchange God’s expectations for our businesses.
5 - You Need To Eat
Lastly, you need EAT! There’s nothing deep about this. You’ve got bills. You’ve got a mortgage, rental fees, school tuition, clothes to buy, kids to raise, trips to take, car maintenance, home maintenance, health costs, student loans, and more! You’ve got to LIVE!
When someone asks you to cut your prices, they are asking you to take food off of your table. While there may be times that you will make the best deal for the moment you can never forget that you’ve got dreams, you’ve got visions, you’ve got goals, and you’ve got to eat.
Stand strong and build that business. I’m looking forward to seeing you on the other side of great success full of thankfulness because you believed in yourself enough to stick to your prices.
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