How to Serve Clients Who Can’t Afford Your Services

Now, you might see the title of this article and scratch your head because business owners are in business to make a profit.  And the very thought of serving clients who can’t afford you may appear to be contrary to that very goal.

And in general, you’d be right to think that upon reading the title.  BUT I do believe that as business owners we should create a plan to serve clients who can’t afford to hire us.

Yes, a plan.

By determining in advance and creating a strategy to leverage such an initiative, you can build a profitable business while giving back to others, which in my opinion is the most amazing way to serve this world.

In my own business, each year, we set aside a specific number of scholarships for our programs and events for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to gain access to our life and business changing information. And believe it or not you can too.

I am of the belief that when you give, you get back more than you gave and from places you wouldn’t have expected.  This is the universal law of circulation:

The law of circulation states that all things in the universe are always flowing in circulation but at an ever expanding rate. What you give to one person, you will receive from a different source. So you don’t have to give with the expectation of receiving back from the same person you give to, but knowing that it will definitely come back to you multiplied from other sources. It works according to the law of cause and effect where the universe always mirrors back to you whatever you do.

You could also call this the law of sowing and reaping.

So when Sharon submitted the question that I am answering this week on Incredible Factor TV, I admit, I was secretly proud of her for wanting to make sure she added a little “give back” into her business model:

“Hi Darnyelle.  How can we provide our products/services to those who can’t afford it?”

See my response to Sharon’s question here:

As I share in the episode, there are really three options to serve those who can’t afford what you offer without offsetting your ability to build a profitable business. But, you must ensure that serving those who can’t afford to hire you isn’t your sole business focus (because you won’t be in business very long – unless you are a non-profit with tons of donors.)

Option 1: Make scholarships available through your for-profit business. Like IOE and many others, you can make a calculated decision about the number of people you want to serve each year via scholarships.  These can be partial or full scholarships.  You can set whatever stipulations you’d like to have in place and you can have people apply for them or just give them away. My recommendation is that you take into account every aspect of awarding a scholarship and that you reflect the costs appropriately as this will likely have some type of tax deduction for your company. (Please check with your tax advisor.) As I stated, we designate the number of scholarships we will offer for each event, training, and our year-long programs. You’ll want to think through the numbers to ensure that what you’re proposing will not adversely affect your ability to achieve your financial and revenue goals.

Option 2: Develop a Non-Profit arm or division within your for-profit business.   You may also decide to establish a non-profit organization that is a division of your for-profit entity.  This is a great way to be able to make your offerings available to a wider audience while making yourself qualified for grants from major corporations. It can get hairy when your business has a for-profit division and a non-profit division so be sure to do your homework, due diligence and talk with qualified advisors to assist you in the process.

Option 3: Become a Non-Profit Organization, period. You may decide that you want to serve any and all who desire your services without restriction, prejudice and if so, that’s awesome.  I will share that deciding to become a non-profit organization really affects your tax filing status and how you manage the money in your business.  But please know that you’ll still need to understand basic business building principles to ensure that your organization is able to achieve their annual operating budget.  I always share that being a non-profit doesn’t turn off the business building faucet; you still need to know and leverage strategies that will allow you to grow your organization in every way. My recommendation for both options 2 and 3 is to consult a non-profit consultant so that they can help you get everything set up correctly to avoid fines, delays and inabilities to secure funding.  Having worked for a non-profit prior to starting IOE, I know how rewarding it can be as well as how taxing it can be to adhere to all of the guidelines (pun intended.)

At the end of the day, it’s your business so you can do what you want to do, but I recommend that you seek guidance to do it in a way that achieves your core goals for getting started in the first place.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?  How do you allot for serving those who can’t afford to hire you?  Is this a part of your business model?  Why or why not?  If not, would you consider offering something like this to give back to others less fortunate than yourself?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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