(Ambrosio’s note: GroupPrice is a terrific resource for small business owners looking to grow their businesses online, at a fraction of the cost of dealing with service providers directly (up to 90% off regular prices). Similar to GroupOn, GroupPrice uses a daily deal tipping-point strategy where a certain number of members must commit to buy at a set price for the deal to be “on”.
GroupPrice employs a weekly deal fixed-price strategy, where business members can see the great deal, buy it, and share it with colleagues in a few minutes. With the deals available all week, it gives harried business owners time to research and compare to ensure the local service, software or supply meets their exact needs without missing out on a great limited-time deal.
When I signed up to receive GroupPrice’s daily deals, I found a variety of very interesting offers that fall under the following categories:
- Printed Material – postcards, business cards, brochures, custom stickers, custom biodegradable plastic bags
- Public Relations – consulting, coaching, high volume PR headline views, geo-targeted press release distribtuion
- Online Marketing – search engine optimization, social media services, online conversion rate optimization software, email marketing, banner ad creation
- Video – production of animated videos, photo montage videos, and traditional videos; online video spokesperson services
- Design – logos, web design, social media branding
- Web and Mobile – hosting services, mobile marketing, custom mobile site design
- Accounting and Legal – prepaid legal services, debt collection services
- Coaching – investor pitch document review, business coaching, venture coaching, strategic networking toolkit, memory training
I believe that franchisees should allocate a meaningful percentage of their local advertising budget to their online and social media efforts. This is where GroupPrice really shines. GroupPrice opened me eyes to the wide range of help available to small business owners, at a price that makes sense for small business budgets. Check them out.)
Van Jepson is a serial entrepreneur and founder/CEO of GroupPrice. His business and technical experience spans decades of results in defining and launching profitable mobile, Internet, commerce and networking solutions. His roles include periods in engineering, manufacturing, marketing and sales in several startups (i.e. Marimba, AboveNet), and in large companies (i.e. Apple, Sun).
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you share with us the story behind the creation of GroupPrice?
Van Jepson (VJ): I have long held a passion for bringing the latest technologies in social, mobile and commerce to the small business market. Having been a small business owner myself, I know that they spend most of their 9-to-5 day working with their customers. This leaves their other hours to look for ways to grow their business while cutting costs. Small business owners currently endure a 30-minute long and tedious process of searching, evaluating, comparing and buying for each piece of software and each service they purchase. I wanted to dramatically reduce their time and dollar costs by leveraging group buying and fitting the whole process into a five-minute slot in their day. So whatever they want to buy — a service, software or necessary supplies — they could get a great deal on it in just five minutes! Using GroupPrice, they now can quickly find and group buy the services, software, and supplies required to grow their business while keeping costs within budget.
FC: For those unfamiliar, please describe how your service actually works.
VJ: Any small business can sign up for no cost and receive our daily emails. Once they sign up, they can find and buy great deals in just five minutes, from their computer or mobile phone.
FC: Are there any specific requirements to become a member of your site and avail of your daily deals?
VJ: Our service is free to all small business owners and their teams, as well as marketing, sales, IT and office managers.
FC: What types of products and services are typically featured on your site? How big of a discount can your members expect on the deals? Are the vendors usually national or local service providers?
VJ: GroupPrice offers software and services that enable an online business to “grow and manage their business for less”. Our discounts are up to 90% off the list price from the best national service providers around.
FC: What have been your most popular deals to date?
VJ: The deals that enable a small business to GROW their traffic, customers, revenue and profit. These include deals on PR, SEO, video and social media.
FC: How do you go about choosing the deals to feature on your site?
VJ: Two ways; we have a list of requested deals from our members and we reach out to the best merchants who offer those requested services or software. We also have a self sign up section on our website and Facebook page for merchants who want to “Run a Deal”.
FC: How do you ensure that the vendors who offer the deals are actually capable of fulfilling the orders on a large scale, and that the level of service will not suffer because of the huge discount?
VJ: We carefully validate each merchant and have them meet strict performance criteria for their service, for their delivery, and for their support of our members who purchase. We also offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
FC: What has the response been from small business owners and vendors so far?
VJ: They tell us “GroupPrice’s service is just what we small business owners need to grow our business for less” and our merchants say, “GroupPrice has helped us find new customers for half the cost of our normal methods, while also bringing us customers that are loyal”.
FC: How do you distinguish yourselves from your competitors (now and in the future) who also offer daily deals to small businesses?
VJ: We are the first site for small businesses and we are the knowledge leader because we understand the type of deals small business owners want. We also have the largest number of merchants and the most traffic to our website according to Alexa traffic rankings.
FC: Is there anything else you wish to share about GroupPrice?
VJ: We have a great reputation in the industry and great news coverage. You can check us out on Fox Business for a past segment.