Should I Offer Discounts as a Booking Incentive?

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I am all about sales. I don’t buy anything at full price. I go to Macy’s with coupons in-hand so I’m certain that I’ll get the best bargain, I negotiate when I buy a car, and I use discount travel sites when I plan my trips. You would think that I would always be in favor of giving discounts when it comes to doing business, but that isn’t always the case.


Before deciding to offer discounts, you need to ask yourself some questions. First, what’s your brand image? If you are appealing to luxury clients, the last thing you want to do is become known as a bargain product or service. Many of my friends in the industry only want to work with the top one percent of wedding budgets. They need to keep their exclusive image in order to make that happen.


Now, let’s suppose that you decide that being a bargain product or service is right for you. You need to know how much money you need to make in order to earn a living. It’s easy to offer big discounts and start taking lots of bookings, but if you lose money with every sale, you will be working for free…or worse, working will actually cost you money!


How do you know what the minimum amount is you need to charge?


  • Figure out how much money you need for a salary for yourself every year.
  • Figure out how much it costs you to run your business. For example, most businesses have to pay for rent, gas, equipment, phone bill, staff, and advertising.
  • Add up what that costs you per month and multiply that by twelve so you know your expenses for the year.
  • Add your salary (don’t forget to account for taxes) to that number.
  • Figure out how much each sale costs you. For example, if you sell invitations, you need to figure out the wholesale cost of your average invitation and what you sell it for retail.
  • Once you know the profit of each sale and your total expenses for the year including your salary, you will know how many sales you have to make in order to cover your expenses and pay your salary.
  • Always cushion your gross sales in case of emergencies. You never know when you might need some extra cash.


Keep in mind, if you decide to discount you will have to do that much more in overall sales in order to cover your expenses and pay your salary.


So, should you offer discounts in order to book a sale? The answer is yes if it won’t hurt your brand and if you can pay your bills and your salary.


What do you think about offering discounts as a booking incentive? Leave your thoughts for me here.

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