Entertaining a customer or client can be good for business, but in today’s economy, finding extra money in the budget is tough. However, if you are innovative, it’s possible to discover some affordable deals for business entertaining.
For example, most restaurants offer special promotions to customers who are willing to share their email address. I recently signed up with one local eatery and received a $15 certificate for use on my next visit. You can use these discounts to offset the cost of entertaining business associates. If you feel uncomfortable about pulling out a coupon, arrive early and give it to you waiter in advance. (For Internet marketing ideas that can boost business for your own company, click here.)
Don’t forget about restaurant birthday clubs too. You don’t have to give the same date every time — space them out so you’ll get special offers at different times of the year which you can use for business entertaining. Of course, don’t join more than once at any venue.
One program I belong to is called Passport Unlimited. For an annual fee, you get a list of restaurants in your area that offer a buy-one-get-one-free discount. The card looks like a credit card so it is easy to include it with your credit card when the bill arrives at the table. Most of the restaurants permit multiple uses of the card.
If you are traveling on business, check out Restaurant.com where you can purchase discounted gift certficates at a variety of venues across the country. Also, watch for promotions advertised in local publications such as pre-fixe lunches and dinners.
Consider coffee or breakfast instead of lunch or dinner. Not only is this a less expensive alternative, but some clients may actually prefer it because they don’t care to interrupt their day for lunch and/or they have family responsibilities in the evening.