6 Tips to Entertain Clients on a Budget
For most business owners, entertaining clients and prospects is an expectation. Unfortunately, entertaining clients can get expensive and, if not properly monitored, can quickly bring a new business out of the black and into the red. To help curtail the costs without limiting the experience, here are 6 tips for entertaining clients on a budget.
Set a Budget – The most important thing to do if you want to entertain on a budget is actually set the budget. Too often, business owners talk about cutting costs and lowering expenses without actually setting a goal. If you want to lower your costs, set a budget and stick to it.
Free is Fine – Many great events are free. Entertaining clients doesn’t always have to mean dinner at an expensive restaurant or tickets to a sporting event. Look into local art shows, tickets to see a live filming of a TV show, or even hosting an event at your home. These events can dramatically cut the cost while still providing a unique experience.
Entertain in Groups – If possible, bring more than one client out on at once. If you are going to host a dinner or play a round of golf, bringing multiple clients can save the cost of multiple rounds of golf or multiple meals. The cost just to pay for yourself multiple times can add up.
Prioritize – Not all clients or prospects have the same potential value, so don’t treat them all the same. It is ok to take one client to dinner at an expensive steakhouse and meet another for lunch at Panera. Determine the potential value of the client, then determine how much their business is worth – in some cases, you may take a loss on that steak dinner.
Not Dinner – Dinner is the most expensive meal of the day when taking out clients. It can also be the most annoying time for a client who has a family to get home to. Instead, offering to meet for breakfast, lunch, or a cup of coffee can be just as effective and even appreciated by someone who doesn’t want to go to dinner after working all day.
Use Existing Events – Is there an event where clients will be anyway? Try hosting a party or buying drinks in the area before or after the event. You will be able to get in front of a larger audience as they will have a reason to go, and your event will be substantially cheaper than running a full event.
Entertaining clients on a budget can often feel like an uphill battle, but by strategizing and thinking outside the box, you can make it work on just about any budget.