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One of the benefits I offer is a discount on future project work. For example, if they want to add a eCommerce to a site down the road I will quote them for adding this onto the site, but give them a discount for being a maintenance plan customer.
Platinum gets 20%, gold gets 15% and silver gets 10% discounts respectfully. However one of my clients on the platinum plan recently had me add a database application to the site. I billed them and applied their 20% discount and realized it took quite a bite out of the invoice, more than I was thinking it would.
Now I realize I have several months that go by where the client requests no work and I still keep the money, which means it is all gravy. However I am wondering if others offer this discount and if so how much of a percentage discount do they get? I am thinking my discounts are bit high and that I should shave at least 5% off each category, but I wondered what others thought of such a plan.
figure out how much it costs you to give these discounts
I can't really do this because it varies so much. It depends on what projects a client commissions outside of the maintenance plans, how often they do this and how much those projects price out at before I apply the discount. For example, I have one client that has been on the plan two years. He has never asked for a single project outside of the general maintenance. He may someday, but so far he has not. A person like this is worth a lot to me as his fee is gravy most months.
I have other clients that want a new project outside of maintenance at least once or twice a year and sometimes they are sizable. I put the discounts in there to entice people to stay on the plan and let them know that I give them benefits for working with me on a future basis by staying on the plan, which I use to try and even out cash flow. It really depends on a lot of factors I can't really quantify or at least I am not sure how I would do that.