Tuesday, September 3, 2013

There Is No Free Lunch… Not Always True

Before discussing the meaning of 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' it would be useful to go back to the days in which lunches were free. Free lunch was a commonplace term in the USA and, to a lesser extent in Britain, from the mid 19th century onward. It wasn't used to describe handouts of food to the poor and hungry though, it denoted the free food that American saloon keepers used to attract patrons.

The economic theory, and also the lay opinion, that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone - that is, you don't get something for nothing. The phrase is also known by the acronym of 'there ain't no such thing as a free lunch'.

You will find, however, that a free offer is a great stimulus to your business. A free ice cream cone can be a both a benefit and a draw to bring in new and existing customers.  You can of course tie the offer to a purchase or you can be brave and just offer a small cone with no strings attached.  Either way you will stimulate your business traffic.

You can use your blog or social networking to make your free offer so there will be little to no overhead for the advertising of the offer.  You will also train your customer base to look at your social media for special offers.

Using that type of social media response you can even target a slow afternoon or evening to attract customers. These offers can work for all types of businesses, not just the restaurant example we have given.

A dry cleaner could make an offer for a free shirt with a similar item.  A real estate sales person could offer a class on one of many aspects to selling or buying a new home. A travel agent might offer an incentive that they can arrange with a favorite vendor. Does the pet store you go to offer “free” treats for your pet?

Is Google’s Gmail free?  They place ads on your pages as a trade-off for their “free” email service.  They millions and millions of users taking them up on their free offer. 

Does an “all you can eat buffet” really make use of the “free” lunch thinking? If you have to buy a coupon that offers two for one pricing (also known as BOGO) really mean the second use is free?

The bottom line is always present… are you still profitable when you figure in the cost of your next free offer.  Does the customer bribe really work for your business and the overall way you do business?

What will you offer as a “free” incentive for your business next week?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302