This is a slight departure from my regular topics but not too far off track, just stay with it.
I recently received a coupon in the mail for a free doughnut, with the purchase of a beverage. It was from a doughnut shop that I had never heard of before, Top Pot Doughnuts.
Well, I have been known to enjoy a doughnut on occasion so I decided to go and check them out. After all, a free doughnut was involved.
Before going, I checked out their web site and then headed on over to downtown Bellevue. The place was in a good location and looked very inviting. The inside of their place was very large, it looked more like a large Starbucks than any doughnut shop I had ever been in. And yes they served a pretty darn good coffee and had a wide assortment of other beverages.
I presented my coupon and ordered fruit… an apple fritter… It’s made with apples so… fruit, it’s good for you. I also ordered a beverage of course… Well I have to say, the doughnut was fabulous and I highly recommend them. Check out the above link to their web site, they have locations outside of Bellevue as well in Seattle and Mill Creek. We’ll definitely go back and try some other treats soon.
But that isn’t the reason for this post.
The reason is, as I was talking with them I found out they had been in that location for about two (2) years. Two years! I had never heard of them before. How can a place like that be so close and I had never heard of them before?
FREE! That coupon for a FREE doughnut is what caught my eye, and my taste buds. Now, did they lose any money on that FREE transaction? Nope. They made plenty. I purchased a beverage, and the person I was with had a beverage and a snack from their ‘healthy” offerings. And I’ll be back to buy more. So no, that FREE doughnut made them a lot of money.
The point being, that sometimes offering something for FREE can end up turning quite a profit. But FREE has to be done tastefully…
So think about what it is that you offer: coaching sessions, products, artistic design, computer repair, whatever it is, I’m sure there is some facet that can be tweaked to attract the eye of more clients. A little brain storming can always yield creative ideas on how to stand out from the crowd. Or of course you could always offer coupons for free doughnuts…
Best of luck.