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Working For Free: Why You Should Give With No Expectations

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There are benefits in working for free, on occasion, in small business.
There are benefits in working for free, on occasion, in small business.

In a recent post we talked about the times when businesses should work for free, which we referred to as ‘added value’. We cover value-related exercises, such as determining and setting your prices in the module of the same name in our Small Business Management Course.

Sometimes working for no charge at all and outlining where this so (that’s important — people need to be informed that you’re doing something for nothing otherwise they mightn’t know!)  discourages hagglers and nuisance clients always looking for a discount at every opportunity.

At the Beginning, When Things Were Free…

It’s not uncommon to see companies offering their products or services for free when they’re first starting out or launching something new. When that company or product becomes more established, however, they tend to become less inclined to offer than service for free.

But every business should devote a certain percentage of their time to working for free, whether it’s each week or month or quarter — take the time to give.

Why Working for Free Works

Aside from doing something nice for the sake of doing something nice, which is valuable in its own way, there are a couple of reasons why working for free can be invaluable to your business:

  • Those who can afford it won’t accept your work for free, because they’ll want to call on you again. There is the perception that larger businesses get ahead by using smaller ones and not paying them, but this isn’t always so. Most businesses, if they can afford to pay you, will.
  • Those who can’t afford it will never forget you, and they’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about the work you did for them. You can’t buy this kind of good publicity for your business, and though not an entirely altruistic reason to work for free, it’s still a good one.
  • You’ll learn about yourself and your business. When you’ve been in business for a while, it’s because you’ve found a formula that’s proven successful in the past and you’ve continued to replicate it. When you work for free, there’s the opportunity to try things you haven’t done before, and the things you’ll learn will prove invaluable to you and your other customers.
  • You can be creative. As we’ve just said, you’ve been in business a while, you’re successful, you have money to pay for the quick, easy, mainstream fixes. When you’re working for people with a limited or no budget, you need to find other ways of doing things, and there’s no reason why you can’t take those ideas and use them in your business.
  • More than likely, you get to feel good about yourself. How you feel about yourself and your business and what you do is important. It’s the reason you get up in the morning, no?


Believe it or not, in business, not everything needs to have a dollar value attached to it. Sometimes the only reason you need to give something to someone is for no reason at all. Find out more about how to set your fees and charges in your small business by reading up more about our Small Business Management Course.

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1 thought on “Working For Free: Why You Should Give With No Expectations

  1. […] in another post that many companies start out by offering their services for free and then gradually introduce fees once they’re established. As a new business trying to get those first few customers, this is a great way to offer people a […]

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