One of my massage therapist friends was in the process of being featured on Groupon, so I took notes. The first day, 50 people had purchased a massage and by the next day it maxed out at 100 sold. A 90-minute massage was offered at $100.00 value, sold for $49.00, leaving $24.00 for the therapist and maybe a tip. They offer a service for half of its value and then take half of that. The good news: The massage therapist collected $2400. The bad news: It will take 150 hours of massage, in addition to telephone time to set up appointments over the course of 4 – 6 months. Two years ago December I opened a new office. January – May is our season and I did okay, but the summer months were going to be tough. My Groupon listing would come out in August and it was limited to 50. By November, I should have some new clients and it would not interfere with the busy season. This was my plan. The first week of August my phone would not stop ringing. Typically about 25% of the people that purchase a coupon will call for an appointment immediately. After a week or two it slowed down to a reasonable pace. However, just before it expired four months later I was inundated again. My goal was to get my name out there and to retain a percentage of the clientele. I met both goals. The second time I had a late start with unforeseen circumstances that arose. The Groupon representative had assured me that when a 100 were sold; only 10 services would be released and offered for sale each month until season was over. It was ambitious, but I would make it work. My plan was to collect 400 emails and then offer my own deals. The phone calls were not easing up and it was then that I realized the offer was still running full throttle. By the time I reached the representative who had apparently gone on holiday, over 325 services had been sold. Yikes is right! The representative left the company employ, but I was left holding the bag along with my reputation at stake. If I gave the money back I looked bad, if I did all the services during season I would go out of business. It was a predicament. After moaning, crying and coming to my wits end, I did the only thing a person with no way out could do. I knelt down and prayed. The answer came and the matter was settled. I would only do 10- 15 Groupon services a week, which left the remaining 40 for my regulars. I was booked over a month in advance for 5 months, working 60 hour weeks, but I survived, praise God! The primary reasons to do Groupon is to get your name out there, retain 10% of the clients and then use the emails for a future deal of your own. Be sure to give an excellent service. I recommend Constant Contact. Also, be a stickler about a 24-hour cancellation policy. I don’t recommend reminder calls, as the client will use this as an opportunity to reschedule. Find yourself things to do, as you will have no-shows. If you found the Groupon blog helpful, please comment or hit the Share button.

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