Should You Give Friends and Family Discounts?

We've all been there, faced with the dilemma: do I give a discount for friends and family? While it may seem like a good deed to hook up our loved ones, let's dig into why offering discounts might not be the best move for your biz. Join me as I spill the tea on why it's important to tread lightly, when it comes to slashing prices for your nearest and dearest.

First of all, the model in our industry is trading time for money. There are only so many hours in a day, and doing hair, nails or beauty ain’t easy on the body, to say the least.

So what most people do, when they offer so called, ‘mates rates’, is they either do them in the week, which means you’re making less for that time than you would if you had a full-paying client, or you ‘squeeze them in’ to time that doesn’t exist, which leaves you feeling knackered (and maybe a lil’ resentful).

Or even worse, you end up trailing your kit along to the hen weekend or Christmas dinner! (This is both your reminder and permission to NEVER do that again, ta.)

Secondly, this can quickly end up feeling like a one-way street. Yes, if you do a freebie for a family member who takes care of your kids so you can go and work, then fill your boots. But for most people, the benefit of these discounts only goes in one direction.

And when you see your clients so regularly, these can soon stack up. Let’s say you’re giving a £20 discount every 4 weeks, that’s a whopping £260 per year that’s missing from your pocket. 

I’d always recommend looking at the numbers, because once you add up all the discounts and freebies over the longer term, you really see the true cost of not charging what you should be.

Finally, sometimes friends and family can be our worst clients. They can waltz in 20 minutes late, with a coffee in hand (and not even one for you!), whip out their hands full picked-off nails that haven’t even heard the words ‘cuticle oil’. Then, they show you a photo of the most intricately detailed nail art, and ask to be out in an hour so they can meet the girls for bottomless brunch.

They can also often see us as hobbyists, asking how ‘your little business’ is doing. And I wonder if this is because they know us first and foremost as their school friend, their baby cousin, or their next-door neighbour, and as a professional and business owner second? Whereas our clients meet us as the pro, then the personal relationship is built on top of that. 

A good rule of thumb is, ‘would I accept this from any other client?’. If the answer is no, then something needs to change. And yes, it’s hard. It feels like the stakes are higher when it comes to friends and family. Maybe you worry that they’ll think you’re ‘big for your boots’, or that ‘family should take care of family’. 

But at the end of the day, the best way to take care of each other is to respect each other. And in business, that means paying for your time and expertise, following your policies, respecting your working hours, and paying the prices you set. 

If they can’t do that, then there are plenty of other professionals they can go to (and pay their full price!)

Yes, we're all about showing love to our friends and family, but let's find better ways to do it than slashing prices and feeling resentful or taken advantage of. 

You deserve it.

Maddi x

P.S. If you want to grab my guilt-free, word-for-word script to scrap discounts, check out my FREE online masterclass: ‘How To Overcome The 5 Most Common Pricing Mistakes’ over at 


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