Starting a Groupon Deal

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ColePyck, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. GainesvilleLawnscaping

    GainesvilleLawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    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.
  2. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    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.
  3. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    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.
  4. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    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 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
  5. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,023

    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.
  6. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Messages: 309

    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 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
  7. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    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.
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I'm gonna buy your coupons and give them to the customers I don't like since you are so close to me :).
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. CircleC

    CircleC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NW
    Messages: 309

    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
  10. ACutAboveKevin

    ACutAboveKevin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    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.

Share This Page