One of the biggest challenges of running a small and local business is the factor of seasonal downtime. The inevitable job of paying rent and salaries when fewer clients are walking through the door can eventually lead to bankruptcy if not managed carefully. To prevent a slow period impacting his bottom line, small business owner tried and tested the new marketing trend that is daily deals this winter.
“Our occupancy went from being almost empty to having 60% occupancy for July, which is unheard of in our area over the winter months,” says Philip Goodger the owner of IIita lodge in Great Brak River.
Usually in the hospitality industry, the cold winter months are considered off season or down time. “Over the last couple of months the tourism industry really took a dive for the worse and everybody is feeling it. Not only were we able to fill beds and sell additional services to those guests but word spread about Ilita Lodge and we have received numerous new clients,” says Goodger.
The concept of daily deals has become even more appealing for new businesses looking to enter the market during the current tough economic times. Daily deal sites like Groupon specialise in marketing products or services to a database of registered users are growing in popularity as a marketing tool. This is especially true for businesses that are facing challenges during the yearly seasons.
Tiaan Swart, Founder of Seaverah health and skincare products says, “Since starting up in mid December 2011 we have managed to grow by an average of 32% per month. A good portion of that comes directly and indirectly out of relationships we have managed to build with customers introduced through Groupon”.
With consumers becoming more mindful of how they spend their hard earned cash, the concept of a daily deal offer becomes a tool no business trying to grow in a struggling market can ignore.
“Right from the outset we have been able to build a vibrant and successful venture with Groupon’s team and business model due to their team’s impeccable service which has really been a blessing to our business,” says Swart.
Even businesses without a website can benefit from the power of daily deals, everyone from the small restaurant owner who wants to see more foot traffic through their door, to the private guest lodges that, during the off season traditionally go dormant. The power of group buying and daily deals means that there really is no such thing as a down time.
“When challenges crept up, we were able resolve them on the spot and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. We could depend on the Groupon to do their part when we needed them,” concludes Swart.
Beauty salons are not the only sector that slows down during the cold winter period and before the festive season when people are saving up money for their holiday. Quiet business periods happens across all industries and the lifeline that daily deal sites offer has proven to be beneficial to businesses in various sectors. Car maintenance companies such as Budget Auto Glass also experience is “down time” especially during school holidays.
“We ideally wanted to advertise during the ‘quite time’ of the school holidays, as this is where we wanted to keep the ball moving,” says Mik Horvath of Budget Auto Glass. It is not only the dead of winter that could potentially be dampening the sales performance, the lack of brand or business awareness can have the same effect.
By boasting business with a daily deal, Budget Auto Glass could fill the empty gaps in between customer peak hours to keep their staff busy while servicing new clients.
“Running our daily deal campaign with Groupon was definitely beneficial for our company, it helped us with our walk-in revenue, website marketing and drive by exposure would definitely recommend Groupon to all big and small companies as there service is extremely good and communication between Groupon and us was excellent,” says Horvath.
Daily deal sites have become both the helping hand which supports emerging businesses in today’s challenging economic climate and the boost that already stable businesses can rely on to bolster their sales figures, throughout the year.