Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Marc Horne. Marc is a co-founder of DailyDealBuilder.com, provider of daily deal software, solutions, and sales training.
Let’s face it, one of most common objections negative investors and naysayers have of the daily deal industry’s future is that the barrier to entry is too low. To launch a daily deal website, or a deal component to your existing company and become a small – medium sized player in the deal industry can be accomplished relatively easily.
The savvy business owner can do it without VC’s, as small businesses have an incredible opportunity with the growth of crowdfunding opportunities. Instead of getting a few companies or individuals with a lot of money to invest, you get a lot of regular individuals to invest a little amount of money. You could do it without a huge team, or even large advertising budget. Run a powerful contest, implement a solid guerilla marketing campaign, focus on building subscribers, and solid relationships with subscribers and merchants, and you’re on your way.
You could actually put yourself in a position to compete with the bigger players. I’m not suggesting competing on a large scale initially, but instead, focus on one particular geographic market in which Groupon or Living Social is currently offering deals. People like supporting the local community, and unfortunately Groupon and Living Social are too big, too well known, and too large to come across as a hidden gem or town hero type of website.
I do however believe that in order to really compete, and build out a long-term, sustainable, and profitable business, you must go well beyond the Daily Deal Industry and offer and deliver additional services, value and long term results to your merchants. Don’t get me wrong, the daily deal industry is not going anywhere… People have always and will always love getting deals, and merchants will always want to run some form of advertising campaigns in order to bring in new customers, but the fact is that some businesses shouldn’t run a daily deal, period.
That doesn’t mean they do not want new customers, more exposure, traffic, and customer loyalty. I’d go as far to guess that the majority of businesses that deal sites work with may just benefit from a website re-design, SEO help, video services, organic and paid traffic help, photography services, Google Places listings, Social Media help, mobile applications, etc…
Deal sites with a lot of money can acquire smaller companies to help with the above. Smaller deal sites could skip the acquisition hassle and simply broker deals and build strategic partnerships with the right companies or skilled web professionals.
Yes, as a deal site, your primary and initial motivation is most likely to sign a business up for a 50/50 split and run a deal for them, and potentially broker the deal on additional deal sites or traffic sources; but the companies who understand their prospect’s actual needs, will be able to refine their pitch, refine their offerings, and strategically help the business truly meet their goals.
To become a company that truly helps businesses acquire new and loyal customers, the relationship must not stop at simply running a deal.