Coupons can save you big money at your favorite stores, but how do they impact new businesses? New businesses can greatly benefit from coupon management software, since they may be starting out with a limited budget. If you’re planning to start your own business soon, or if you already have one, here are some things to keep in mind regarding coupons and their impact on new businesses.
What Are Coupons?
Though you may not have heard of them, coupons have become a part of almost every consumer’s life. Both brick-and-mortar and online businesses use coupons to lure in new customers and convince existing ones to spend more money. From frequent flyer points to grocery store circulars, coupons are everywhere. But how do they work? What makes them so effective? And why are they so controversial?
What’s the Difference Between Coupons and Discounts?
A coupon is generally a piece of paper with an offer from a business or retailer. You pay full price for something at one store, and you get an offer to use later for $5 off your next purchase at that same store, for example. A discount is when you pay less than what something would cost in a different setting.
If you buy a shirt for $60, but it’s on sale for half-off, you get a discount; if you get it at half-off from buying 10 other shirts from that seller, then it’s more like buying in bulk and getting access to quantity discounts. In some industries (like clothing) these words are used interchangeably; in others (like coupons), they’re not.
How do These Benefit Newly Established Business Owners?
While small businesses typically compete for customers by offering unique goods and services, coupons offer a similar type of value proposition that new business owners should leverage. By giving customers more bang for their buck, coupons help entice them to sample a company’s offerings without completely breaking their budget.
Offering these types of discounts can also help build customer loyalty early in a business’s lifecycle. Since discount-hungry shoppers love to use codes, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t harness that power to your advantage.
The Cost of Coupons
If you’re looking to launch a new business, you can’t simply rely on coupons to cut your costs; they impact your customer acquisition costs, but they don’t really lower your operating expenses. This can be problematic when customers come in expecting discounts and end up not getting them—that means you might lose new customers right away because they think you don’t offer any specials or coupons, which could harm your reputation.
In order to manage coupon expectations while still using coupons effectively as a marketing tool, think about how you want to structure your coupon policy and then clearly communicate it to customers.
How to Get Started with Coupons
While there are many perks to couponing, getting started can seem like a daunting task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small. Pick one store and go from there—you’ll be surprised at how quickly it becomes second nature! Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with couponing, it’s time to figure out what you want to do with all those savings.
There are multiple options for every business type: invest in new inventory, give away free products for reviews or guest posts (more on that below), or add coupons to your website as an SEO play. It all depends on where your passion lies; but remember, if you aren’t getting paid for your time and hard work, it doesn’t count as a business expense!
Advice for Someone Getting Started
My experience with coupons began in a rather unconventional way. I didn’t come from a family with an affinity for deal-cutting. And my first foray into couponing was more by accident than design. While some people might think that’s a good thing, they would be mistaken. While I enjoy saving money, it wasn’t just about saving money.
It was about saving myself time and energy; it was about preserving my personal freedom to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. And if there is anything that coupons can help you preserve, it’s your own freedom to make choices without excuses or limitations placed upon you by others.
When it comes to new businesses and coupons, there are pros and cons. The way a business uses coupons can affect its reputation. Therefore, understanding how consumers react to coupon promotions is crucial for any company. That is getting ready to launch a new product or open an entirely new location.
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