He’s blessed with special gifts and is always on the side of good.
I feel the same way about small businesses. They are the good guys, they are the ones worth fighting for, and they are the ones that drive our communities forward.
Why, then, has the Voldemort of the daily deal industry descended on local merchants nationwide, forcing many of them out of business?
In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort is known as “he who shall not be named.” Daily deals burst onto the scene in the last couple years and worked great for some savvy businesses, but proved disastrous for many. If you’ve followed the destruction wrought on many businesses running deals without control over the terms, you’ll see why we often call the market leader “they who shall not be named.”
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community
Growing up in Bismarck, N.D., my life was fueled by local businesses. Friends were small business owners, employees of small businesses went to our church, small businesses always sponsored the little league team, and many meals were eaten at locally-owned restaurants. Small businesses were the lifeblood of the community.
Running a small business is a never-ending battle, but we always knew that dollars spent with a local business stayed in the community, and that meant a lot.
Daily deal vendors are like the schoolyard bully
It is with this background that I became appalled at the way we’ve seen local merchants treated by daily deal vendors the last couple years. The industry has been set up for the deal providers’ success, not local merchants’ success.
Daily deal providers have relentlessly held local merchants hostage to the tyranny of taking up to 50% of their revenues to run a deal. They have become the schoolyard bully stealing local merchants’ hard-earned lunch money every day.
Coming to the aid of small businesses
Examples abound about local businesses that have gone bankrupt after running a daily deal that didn’t work.
Rays of light are beginning to pop up, however.
We saw an inspiring case recently in which Food for All Market, a natural foods store in a Philadelphia suburb, was on its way out of business after losing over $10,000 running a daily deal with “they who shall not be named.”
Amy Kunkle, Food for All’s owner, sent an email (using Constant Contact) to her loyal customers with the sad news. Her email subscribers rallied, providing thousands of dollars of loans. These people were unwilling to see a pillar of the community lost.
The time has come for change
In the next chapter of the local deals industry, merchants will regain control.
They will be able to run deals that work for them because nobody knows their customers better than they do.
Deals won’t put them out of business because deals should bring new customers, not break the bank.
Loyal customers will be incented to tell their friends about a deal because word of mouth has always fueled growth in local businesses.
Help is on the way
SaveLocal will always stand up for the rights of small businesses. We will always fight in your corner. And we will do our level best to save you from the schoolyard bully.
Voldemort is easy to root against. He is always trying to get away with something, generally up to no good, and he can’t be trusted to look out for the interests of anyone other than his own.
We really don’t like that guy.
Have you ever used a daily deal to find new customers? Share your experience in the comments field below.