ASH AMBIRGE

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Should You Offer a Payment Plan?

In: Business 101, Money Talk, Selling,

Yes—but only as a last resort.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: that $2,000 course you’re thinking about taking is COSTS APPROXIMATELY THE SAME AS A SMALL HORSE, however—that’s not to say you wouldn’t purchase a small horse (neiiiighhh!) if you could, say, put $97 a month toward the beast in all its glory.

Which seems to make the argument for offering payment plans, right?

But now look at it from the business owners perspective. That’s a lot of risk s/he’s taking on, by trusting you to make those payments over the course of, oh you know, TWO YEARS. A lot can happen in two years, namely the really annoying expiration of credit cards and/or moral compass. Which means mama doesn’t get paid, no more—and that’s a significant business liability.

So from the business owner’s perspective, it’s less than ideal. The $2,000 s/he is owed is now tied up for as far as the eye can see, which means she can’t use that money in the meantime. Which means her cash flow gets cut off at the knees. Which means she can’t grow. Which means that offering a payment plan should not be her first course of action.

However, by offering a payment plan, s/he stands to make a lot more overall revenue as a whole while also bringing on new customers and being a bang fucking smash of a success.

So what’s a business owner to do?

Here’s my rule of thumb:

Make your offer at full price.
Stand confident in that price.
And do your job well in marketing it and selling it and launching it beautifully at that price.

And then, if and only if you feel comfortable taking on the risk, you may wish to reach out to the folks who *are* interested, but haven’t bought yet, to see if you can make it work for them another way.

This way, both parties get the benefit: you can prioritize cash flow (which is your #1 job as a business owner), and the folks who *truly can’t* afford it, get a Hail Mary.

Because while we all wish that our small horses will just fly right off the shelves, sometimes the best way to make an offer, is by making it another way. 

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