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View Full Version : Starting a Groupon Deal


ColePyck
03-01-2011, 09:36 PM
Im seriously thinking about doing this as far as mulch delivery for the spring. Anyone else every thought of this and if so how did it work. I think it would be a great way to advertise and get some good leads. A normal delivery is between 45-50 If they get me say 50 customers and I can do the delivery for 25 I would be in fine shape on making a profit running mulch all day for a week or so. Thoughts, Ideas, Suggestions?

JB1
03-01-2011, 09:40 PM
sounds good to me.

MowingMowingMowing
03-02-2011, 01:04 AM
Just to let you know, Groupon declines over 70% of the businesses that apply, you have to appeal to the ENTIRE AREA, which many businesses do not.

Not sure if you already know this, but the way it works is as follows... Say the consumer buys $50 worth of services for $25, Groupon keeps between 50%-55% of the $25 and you get the rest...

I've never seen lawn care on Groupon, it usually caters to restaurants and services with fixed expenses where an additional sale is "gravy".... Let us know how it works...

lawn
03-02-2011, 11:52 AM
Just to let you know, Groupon declines over 70% of the businesses that apply, you have to appeal to the ENTIRE AREA, which many businesses do not.

Not sure if you already know this, but the way it works is as follows... Say the consumer buys $50 worth of services for $25, Groupon keeps between 50%-55% of the $25 and you get the rest...

I've never seen lawn care on Groupon, it usually caters to restaurants and services with fixed expenses where an additional sale is "gravy".... Let us know how it works...

so basicly you made aprox $12.50???? :hammerhead::hammerhead::cry:
I saw one for a landscaper on angie's list.

ColePyck
03-03-2011, 10:59 AM
Damn I didn't know that. I knew they took a cut but not 50% jeeze!
Posted via Mobile Device

grass-scapes
03-04-2011, 09:03 PM
There was a landscaper deal on Groupon here the other day. $50 bucks of landscaping for $25.

They take just over 50% of your cut, so the landscaper did 50 bucks worth of work for around 11 bucks. It looks like when I looked at it he had sold about 30 deals. I have heard of small businesses going out of business because of groupon and the response they got.

Gone Green
03-04-2011, 11:16 PM
Groupon supposedly drives a Ton of new business to advertisers....

If you have a maintenance business.... (does it work equally as effectively with design/build service?)

And enough business to cover the geographic area...

It's an interesting idea. Timing it for the spring weather break when people get out of their cabins... may give you a serious boost in new clients.

Serious question: What is the worst that can happen to you? (if you can't service the customers? can Groupon slap you on the wrist or just lose your brand quality to clients you would never have anyways?)

Gone Green
03-04-2011, 11:17 PM
Groupon supposedly drives a Ton of new business to advertisers....

If you have a maintenance business.... (does it work equally as effectively with design/build service?)

And enough business to cover the geographic area...

It's an interesting idea. Timing it for the spring weather break when people get out of their cabins... may give you a serious boost in new clients.

Serious question: What is the worst that can happen to you? (if you can't service the customers? can Groupon slap you on the wrist or just lose your brand quality to clients you would never have anyways?)

lawn
03-05-2011, 09:06 AM
I am wondering why these companies did not make it? could you post the article please orprovide more detail info?

Thx

New2TheGreenIndustry
03-05-2011, 11:44 AM
I am currently in talks with Groupon and it looks like they want to feature me within the next few weeks. I will not be making money off the coupons sold, but I should be able to cover expense. I look at as a marketing expense. Thousands of subscribers will see my name even if they don't buy a coupon. Then out of the folks that do buy, I should expect about a 20% retention/call back rate.

I was worried about selling too many coupons, so we have capped it at 150. Out of that 150 about 20% will redeem within the first month. 60% should trickle in within the next 6 months, and 15-20% never redeem the coupon all.

As far as Groupon's cut, it is about 33% for the deals I have offered.

I am pretty excited to get in on the deal and feel my application timing was perfect. They just came to my market so I was probably one of the first applicants. Plus with spring right around the corner, they want to have a landscape deal sooner than later.

Pair this with my 5000 postcards going out this month, I hope to be a busy man...fingers crossed!

tradeyouraccounts
03-05-2011, 06:40 PM
You might want to look into http://livingsocial.com its very similar to Groupon and do a comparison.

Ted at HindSite
03-07-2011, 02:18 PM
Be careful. I've heard that for a lot of businesses they have a really, really low retention / return-customer rate. People hitting up Groupon are looking for a cheap deal, and that doesn't always translate into the kind of customer who will be loyal.

But, to be fair, Groupon does mostly spa and restaurant deals, so who knows? Let us know how it goes

chris@perfectlawncare
03-09-2011, 08:14 AM
We had a landscaper in my area that did a Groupon... he became way too busy and looked bad because of it.
Posted via Mobile Device

Ted at HindSite
03-09-2011, 12:23 PM
This came into my inbox today. Granted it's aimed at retailers, but might be worth a quick read.

Tips for Surviving a Groupon Promotion (via SmartBrief on Small Business Newsletter).

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/mar2011/sb2011038_090899.htm

h2oskier
03-10-2011, 01:52 AM
Heres the skinny guys i just ran my ad on Groupon as of yesterday and my suggestion woul be to make it a point to be very very specific as to what your Groupon will provide. I have my ad stateing for a basic mow, blow edge and srub pruning for $80 for $40. The problem i seem to be getting is that people who are wanting to purchase the Groupon want to use it for say cleaning multiple flowerbeds that have never been maintained. This said you should be very specific as to what you tell your representative what the potential customer may or may not use the Groupon for such as upgrades to other services. If you would like to know as to the percentage as to what Groupon receives for this type of marketing it usually starts at 50%, but can be negotiated.
You can also see this ad as it ends tomorrow, Groupon San Angelo Tx. By the way be perpared to have someone available to answer your phones, and I say phones because you will be getting many calls as to what other services you provide.
Hope this helps, for those considering using this method.

AintNoFun
03-10-2011, 07:59 AM
Heres the skinny guys i just ran my ad on Groupon as of yesterday and my suggestion woul be to make it a point to be very very specific as to what your Groupon will provide. I have my ad stateing for a basic mow, blow edge and srub pruning for $80 for $40. The problem i seem to be getting is that people who are wanting to purchase the Groupon want to use it for say cleaning multiple flowerbeds that have never been maintained. This said you should be very specific as to what you tell your representative what the potential customer may or may not use the Groupon for such as upgrades to other services. If you would like to know as to the percentage as to what Groupon receives for this type of marketing it usually starts at 50%, but can be negotiated.
You can also see this ad as it ends tomorrow, Groupon San Angelo Tx. By the way be perpared to have someone available to answer your phones, and I say phones because you will be getting many calls as to what other services you provide.
Hope this helps, for those considering using this method.


so how much work have you generated from it? would you do it again?

New2TheGreenIndustry
03-10-2011, 08:45 AM
I am in the pipeline to publish next Tuesday. I have a cap set at 150 sold and I don't expect to sell that many. We'll see soon enough.

h2oskier
03-10-2011, 02:26 PM
so how much work have you generated from it? would you do it again?

Being that i live in a area that is small and spread apart i have generated about 15 to 18 new cliets from the ad.

nepatsfan
03-10-2011, 02:51 PM
Being that i live in a area that is small and spread apart i have generated about 15 to 18 new cliets from the ad.

That sounds like a pretty good response. Did these people sign up as weekly customers or just one time jobs?

h2oskier
03-11-2011, 03:54 PM
That sounds like a pretty good response. Did these people sign up as weekly customers or just one time jobs?

Yet to be determined as that they have until June 11 to redeem the "groupon"

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03-13-2011, 11:36 PM
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New2TheGreenIndustry
03-14-2011, 09:44 PM
My feature runs tomorrow @ Groupon-Athens, GA...wish me luck!

h2oskier
03-15-2011, 01:12 AM
My feature runs tomorrow @ Groupon-Athens, GA...wish me luck!

Hope it works out for ya. Be prepared for the ones looking to exchange for different services though.

New2TheGreenIndustry
03-15-2011, 07:31 PM
So today went fairly well with 29 sold. I did not have as many calls as expected; just a few that wanted to ask if I would go out of the coverage area, and a couple that just wanted more info in general. I took h2oskier's advise and tried to make things as descriptive as possible. At first they had the mowing option listed as "professional lawn management". I had them say specifically mowing, edging, and blowing. The deal is good for an additional 24 hours, so I hope 10-20 more will sell. Overall, I think this will be a positive marketing strategy. I plan on leaving maintenance quotes for every job I complete. Regardless, my name reached thousands of people.

h2oskier
03-15-2011, 10:35 PM
So today went fairly well with 29 sold. I did not have as many calls as expected; just a few that wanted to ask if I would go out of the coverage area, and a couple that just wanted more info in general. I took h2oskier's advise and tried to make things as descriptive as possible. At first they had the mowing option listed as "professional lawn management". I had them say specifically mowing, edging, and blowing. The deal is good for an additional 24 hours, so I hope 10-20 more will sell. Overall, I think this will be a positive marketing strategy. I plan on leaving maintenance quotes for every job I complete. Regardless, my name reached thousands of people.

Your going to notice the second day usually does better than the first, looks as if you did pretty well with 29. Keep us informed as how the total out come is. By the way you also be impressed with the ones who will tell their friends that they found a awesome deal on "groupon" and will then call you to see what kind of offer you will give them. GOOD LUCK to ya.

Gilmore.Landscaping
10-07-2011, 02:16 PM
Had a buddy use groupon for selling design services or his design build company, they also do some maintenance. It worked pretty good for him since he is really only out his own labour costs for doing the drawings and what he got paid from groupon pays for his gas/time to go around and meaure up sites.

The key is that you sell design services for $100, but then design $5000 in landscaping and you are easily making back your money.

memphis.landscape
10-07-2011, 02:55 PM
A friend of mine did a groupon for lawn spraying. He lost a lot of money, while only retaining less than 5% of the properties. He said most of the people that bought the deal were in the lower income parts of town.
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J-Thomas
10-07-2011, 05:00 PM
Be careful. I've heard that for a lot of businesses they have a really, really low retention / return-customer rate. People hitting up Groupon are looking for a cheap deal, and that doesn't always translate into the kind of customer who will be loyal.

But, to be fair, Groupon does mostly spa and restaurant deals, so who knows? Let us know how it goes

Be careful with social deal sites. 96% of customers will not spend a penny more than what the deal was and there is even a higher percentage of customers that do not return to the business. Meaning people will buy the groupon, you will provide the service and you won't hear back ever. So you made 50% of the groupon which was 50% of your price once. Great way to move product or get one time customers, but nothing past that.

-Andrew
________________________
Get a free Kawasaki string trimmer ( www.goo.gl/vtM1K ) with a $750 order now when you order from J-Thomas. Call 1-800-828-7980 with the promo code "KAWI"

J-Thomas
10-07-2011, 05:15 PM
However, Groupon did announce last week that they will have a special program for returning customers.

Here is the Tech Crunch article on return customers: goo.gl/RnLIX

-Andrew
________________________
Get a free Kawasaki string trimmer ( www.goo.gl/vtM1K ) with a $750 order now when you order from J-Thomas. Call 1-800-828-7980 with the promo code "KAWI"

Deal ends on 10/10/2011 at 5:30 PM EST. Next week's deal "High Lift Mulching Blades."

Like us on Facebook for weekly deals: http://goo.gl/zSx8J

ptjackson
10-09-2011, 10:04 PM
Everyone on this thread has done a good job of outlining the issues. I think business need to think long and hard about doing a groupon to get new customers. Here are things you should think about

1. Can you afford it? Groupon doesn't give you all the money as soon as they sell your deal. Can you cash flow your expenses until you get paid? Can you make any money when you have to give groupon 1/2 of sold coupon price, after giving a 50% discount? That means for a $100 service you would get $25- credit card fees.

2. Can you keep up? What if 500 people bought your groupon? Do you have the staff to handle all that traffic? Remember most groupon buyers aren't long term customers, you aren't the exception.

I can't tell you how many small business owner stories I've read about thest two issues. Just make sure you've thought thru them, I know there are many groupon success stories, if you offer one figure out how to become one.

GainesvilleLawnscaping
11-09-2011, 06:32 PM
We ran a Groupon today. Have 21 sold in the first day. Just using it to spread the word about us. Not expecting to bank on it... just fill up our crew's workload during the off season and hopefully get a few new customers out of it.

New2TheGreenIndustry
03-11-2012, 11:33 AM
I wanted to follow up and let you guys know how my deal went. I had about a 25% call back rate. Some for regular service and some for one time shrub trim, installs, etc. There was a lot of bs customers just looking for a cheap cut, but I did pick up a number of contacts. Some people who purchased the groupon gave my number to friends, and I picked up 4 or 5 jobs just off the referrals from one customer.

I am in talks with Groupon about running a second add. This time around we will be offering a mow/blow but for 1,3,or 5 weeks consecutive. The hope is that if someone hires me for 3 or 5 weeks straight, they will see the quality of work I do and have me continue the rest of the year. I know from the last deal you're not going to win them all over, but in reality I picked up more new work from the Groupon than my 5k postcards I sent out.

One thing to think about when considering a Groupon is how much free time do you have? If your capacity is 100 yards and you are currently doing 95, you will end up shooting yourself in the foot. If you are a young company and have the time do FREE WORK just to get your name out there, it is worth the hassle.

Just my 2 cents.

ptjackson
03-15-2012, 07:48 PM
Wow New2 that's great news to hear it worked well for you. One thing I've heard is groupon is slow to pay you, what was your experience.

Cadzilla
03-16-2012, 11:55 PM
I am in talks with Groupon about running a second add.
If you are a young company and have the time do FREE WORK just to get your name out there, it is worth the hassle.

Just my 2 cents.


This is a joke. Right?

Seriously. Free Work? Whats wrong with you people.

No offense but I think theres a lot of guys in this business that have no business being in it. If you don't know how to get jobs that actually PAY.....you need to go work for someone else who does.

Referrals are great but theres absolutely no reason you should give your services away hoping someone will recommend you or whatever...UGH.

That being said. If anyone wants to cut my lawn for free. Send me a PM. I hate cutting grass.

Just my 2 cents

JFGLN
03-17-2012, 02:48 PM
I would never sell mowing, weeding or trimming shrubs with a groupon type deal. I would consider something like aeration ware you have a chance to up sale things like fertilizer, overseed and moss control.

CircleC
03-17-2012, 04:20 PM
I did a "groupon" type deal with a local "groupon" type service. It did turn me a lot of business. I did it for blow outs in the fall once I was done with my already scheduled blowouts. I had to do a 50 percent deal and then they kept half of that. I normally charge $30 for blows, but with this deal I charged $30, half off, $15 to customer. I made half of the $15 ($7.50).

The Good: I got 350 blowouts. I personally talked with all of them. I got 1st and last names, email addresses and phone numbers. I personally walked each property doing the blowout. I did get 3 full service accounts 3 more leads for spring, and 1 small HOA worth about 4k. I met with 5 diffrent people who own mulitple properties that I will get off/on work from. I now have a list of 350 people to hit for spring advertising and everyone of them will get cards from me to do blow out this year for full price. I made a quarter of what I normally would have made, BUT I think of it this way. If you spend 5k on advertising its a shot in the dark. This way I made direct contact with a real "hot" lead and I got payed for it. $2500 to advertise $2500 to met these people and make a personal impression on them. I'm not "just" a post card.

The BAD: took 90 days to get payed. I took a lot of cancels because people wanted blow done NOW they didn't care what I was doing they wanted to be first. Took an S-load of phone calls probably 400+...it wasn't easy scheduling. I had to argue with a lot of people over service (people where rude!).

Overall it was good, I might do it again. I would really look at the numbers if you are doing it with some sort of material like mulch or fertilizer. I had countless people say " ya, I got 5 stations" show up and there are 10. It would be really had to control material cost. With blow outs I owned the conpressor, it was just sitting, and I wanted to advertise.

Know your numbers don't guess and be ready to kick it in high gear. People are going to want you to show up as soon as they click purchase....and that's not JOKE!

Good Luck....
Posted via Mobile Device

ptjackson
03-17-2012, 04:29 PM
Circle C does the site give you the name and email addresses or do did you just ask each person? the reason I ask is I don't think groupon will thus your deal makes more sense, like you said you can email them once a month and over time get more contracts.

FYI mailchimp and tinyletter allow you to import those addresses and you can see who opens, clicks etc. all for free for up to like 2,000 names or something like that.

cgaengineer
03-17-2012, 04:37 PM
My feature runs tomorrow @ Groupon-Athens, GA...wish me luck!

I'm gonna buy your coupons and give them to the customers I don't like since you are so close to me :).
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CircleC
03-17-2012, 04:40 PM
I got email addresses originally, and it was their responsiblity to call and schedule. Once they called I asked for 1st and last name, phone number, and address. I'm not going to pound them with advertising just something for spring, summer, and fall blow outs.
Posted via Mobile Device

ACutAboveKevin
03-20-2012, 02:31 PM
I figured I would share my experience with those of you who think groupons is a good Idea. I did it last year and ran a couple of times. Did people call for work? absolutely. I ran $80 of mowing for $40. So, you got two mows. The type of people it brought in were NOT the kind of clientele I wanted. I found that these people buying were the naggiest, most rude, and biggest liars of any people I've ever dealt with. Yes, they want a deal, and they will do anything to actually end up getting their money BACK so you end up with squat even though you already did the work. I would have considered it was my crews doing a bad job except for the only people that were complaining were those that bought the coupon and I was getting compliments from my normal clients. I had a lady accuse me of breaking her sidewalk with a 36" wright stander....get real. Never again will I use groupons or anything similar. I wouldn't advise anyone else to either.

E-lawns
03-23-2012, 05:17 PM
Would it be wise to narrow the area of the groupon. Utilize it for zip codes of higher income areas, who maybe are trying to same a little money, but you might pick up as a regular customer because they were looking for a lawn care company anyways.

ie, zip code 22306 average household income of $180,000 vs. zip code 22309average income of $60,000. the higher income area most likely will have a better outcome for more business and sustainability?