February 24, 2012
Daily deals can be enticing. By using Groupon a business can send special deals to a potential client’s email inbox in order to generate a new sale. The business owner only pays when the customer purchases the Groupon. For a small business owner, especially one with a limited budget, the process is rather enticing. This concept makes better sense for some than for others. As for long term growth results from using the site, reviews are mixed. Before jumping right in to a Groupon campaign of your own, consider the following points:
Get the Scoop before You Group
Participating in Groupon makes sense for some businesses more than others. A bakery for instance, can afford to offer a limited number of items for less than half price and still not go through a major loss. In a bakery or any business with a variety of lower cost items, regular loyal customers might use the Groupon in conjunction with additional purchases. New customers may also come in and buy other items along with the item that was for sale, thus generating additional business. The business does not endure a great cost, even if no new customers return. There is little, if any, added stress on employees due to the Groupon campaign. Since the product is familiar to begin with, customer reviews will most likely remain positive. However, the results may be different for a different type of business.
Consider a catering service, five star restaurant, or specialty café. In this example, new clients may be giving a business or service a try strictly because it is such a great deal. A large amount of Groupon holders using their coupons at the same time can put a strain on the business. This holds true especially if the thriftiest of the deal seekers do not tip as well as the loyal customers. As a result, the wait staff begins to feel slighted. In addition, sometimes Groupon holders try a restaurant they normally would not try, and they end up less than satisfied with the cuisine that was a little outside the box. If the customer then posts a so-so review of the restaurant, the Groupon could eventually contribute to a decrease in business.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Most small businesses that use Groupon need to make it work by generating repeat customers. Some coupon holders are solely there for the deal and will not bring repeat business. This should not be reflected in the interaction with the customer. Try to get these new clients to sign up to an email list so that you can possibly entice a recurring interaction, or at least a friend referral.
When used with other social media tools, an occasional Groupon offer might be a good choice. Off season deals, overstock sales, or other offers that can offset costs might sweeten the Groupon deal for the small business owner. Different businesses will have different success rates with Groupon based not only on the products sold, but also on the variety of other social media utilized to net and nurture a repeat client relationship. In the end, Groupon is similar to other marketing tools in that it is important to do your homework first. Find out what other similar businesses are offering, then analyze what you might offer that is different. Figure out a strategy that incorporates all forms of social media. Doing so will reap greater benefits once the Groupon campaign is launched.
Other Tools for the Small Business Entrepreneur
Many small business owners are juggling family alongside their business commitments. Engaging in a Groupon offer to boost sales during specific date intervals might help you work around other schedules and constraints. However, there are other ways to grow a small business that may provide additional intriguing results.
Twitter remains a great way to gain followers and create a concentrated buzz at select times of your choosing. Suppose you are having a business open house or are hosting a lunch and learn for colleagues – “tweet” about it to spread the word. To maximize the use of Twitter, or any social media avenue, be sure you have linked it properly to your company’s homepage. Taking time to explore the lesser known features of Twitter can help you get the most out of this positive resource.
Strategically integrating and more effectively coordinating your overall use of social media is in itself a powerful tool for growing your business in the most lucrative way. Joining a discussion forum on LinkedIn about a hot topic in your field, or blogging about a salient business topic aimed at informing potential clients, are two ways to coordinate efforts in order to drive business toward you. Additionally, you will be actively surrounding yourself with strong colleagues and even potential mentors. In your effort to get others to engage with your business, make sure you are actively engaging in the process for your own professional development.
With the increased use of mobile devices, it is worth the effort to make sure your website works well on mobile platforms. If you optimize for mobile, you can more easily entice clients to engage in your site. Customers can remain connected to you through their mobile devices using a variety of tools, such as the Groupon application, which makes it that much easier for consumers to check the daily deals. When your mobile website is user-friendly, you can use it to post special offers, or send targeted email coupons to top-notch clients. Considering a website make over may be a good idea for a fresh start.
Seal a Daily Deal
There is a plethora of internet marketing tools available, but some will fit your company’s needs better than others. It is important to take the time to study the pros and cons of each social media resource. Don’t let a Groupon campaign destroy your brand and reputation. Make sure you are prepared to deal with the “Grouponers”, the influx of potential new business, and the loyal clientele. Having all your social media ducks in a row is essential before sealing a deal with Groupon, which can be worth every penny. Do your homework and beware of the pitfalls to avoid getting dooped by the Group.
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