There Is No Panacea For Small Businesses

There Is No Panacea For Small Businesses

Tired of GroupOn? You’re not alone.

I’m writing this from my parents couch in my home town: Detroit, Michigan. If there’s one thing we know how to do in the D it’s drive. And drive, I have. Doing so has given me a great overview of the local business real estate market is a gluttony of vacant properties and, to some, opportunities. This isn’t only happening in the midwest, either. It’s very clear that small businesses need help with the changing marketing landscape, however the tools available to them today fall short of delivering success.

This isn't the only P you should focus on

Late last week Business Insider released a survey that asked businesses if they would use the unprofitable, daily deal site GroupOn again, and the answer is scary. Yes, the sample size is small, but the fact that 40% of the businesses that tried it thought it was a failure is a major red flag as to whether or not businesses will continue to use it. And, there’s major burnout by local businesses being asked to join other daily deal sites, too. Can these sites work? Maybe, but the velvet rope that GroupOn has had to implement to turn away some local businesses reeks of shiny object syndrome. Add in that 82% were dissatisfied with the repeat business they got and it’s enough to make a business owner pull their hair out.

Locally, I tried a GroupOn offer at a restaurant that I frequent. The result? The manager had no idea how to honor the deal, and I ended up talking on the house phone to the owner to explain that by me spending $20 they were coughing up $40 worth of food. He was flabbergasted, but I digress…

There are a lot of issues that small businesses face: increasing costs and competition, recession and an ever confusing landscape of new marketing options to push their business. And in case anyone forgot, there’s more than one P in the marketing mix. Focus on all of them and you’ll succeed;  the pipe dream that taking a flash in the pan, early-adopter strategy is going to grow or save your business can lead to potential nightmares.