Deal Sites; A Small Business Owners Thoughts

I have admitted that I am a coupon freak. There is nothing I love better than saving some cash. When Groupon first came about I had to give them a call. At that time they only had a database of about 30,00o people. The sales rep told me that he didn't feel people would be interested in an organizer. Really dude. So that is why I work 6 to 7 days a week. I guess your place is pristine.

I have a thriving organizing business and thought it would be a good way to get some advertising and attract some new clients. A friend put me in touch with the owner of Deal A Day. This was a local site. I also ended up doing some deals with Got Spot.

On the upside, The deals have been great for business. I have gotten some amazing clients and referrals from them. I have given people an opportunity to try out my services. I have a very high percentage that schedule more time at the regular rates.

On the downside, I have experienced yelling, anger, and a little craziness. Usually on the morning of the deals, I would get calls starting around 6 am with people that wanted to be the first ones scheduled. I bend over backwards to make sure that everyone gets scheduled in a timely manner. It never fails that someone gets mad or doesn't like the time I have open. Again, I am very flexible.

I learned very early on that I have to put some stipulations in my deals to protect myself. I require 48 hour notice to reschedule. I just had one person wait till the last minute and cost me a full day of work. They didn't seem to mind. I also had one person not show up for an appointment. They expected me to reschedule( I had parked in their building and paid as well). Then there was the client that called one day before expiration and wanted me to honor the 16 hours she bought. I did it! It was crazy but I made it work.

I also have gone to extent of emailing people before the deals expire to make sure they use their time. You would be amazed have many people don't respond or call after the expiration date. Legally you have to honor the deals for face value for 5 years. I have honored many of them.

Just as a salon or a car shop, my business is a time business. That is how I make my living by my time. Being an organizer, I try to make a good use of it as well. I have sold two hour packages and people have bought multiples of them. I have it written on the deals that you must bundle your time. Again people want to use only one at a time. I have constantly had to explain myself.  I thought more people took business 101! Guess not!!

All in all, its been a great ride. I have learned alot from these experiences. I think it has made me a more productive business owner.

I have taken a much needed break from the deals. And yes, I am getting complaints from clients. Just this week one told me she would use me for more work only if I honored a past deal rate!

Hey! This single gal has a mortgage to pay! My half decorated hacienda still needs more furniture. Give me a break!!

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