How To Start A Daily Deal Site

This title of this post is the first Google search people make when they come across our daily deal software product Deal Current.

I love the fact that Groupon, Living Social, and the hundred other daily deal sites are starting to pop up. From a business stand point the market is definitely being flooded, but I personally love it because Groupon has sparked entrepreneurship. It is obvious that most people are copying Groupon, but people are capitalizing on a new business model. This is pure capitalism. Some will succeed and many will fail, but the best practices will be defined through this process.

As a company we are focused on serving one market niche with our daily deal product Deal Current. As a result, we turn away some incoming leads, but I wanted to share my knowledge with people or companies looking to start a daily deal program.

First! – Running a daily deal site is much harder than most entrepreneurs realize. The software and website are the easy part. The operations, systems, and brand are the most important.

Second, here is a list of questions and things you need to think about when deciding if you should start a daily deal site or if you are interviewing a daily deal software provider.

What is your distribution or marketing plan? The number one thing once you have a brand is distribution. How many emails do you have? What partnerships can you put in place? Do you have a marketing budget?

What is your daily deal brand? Are you going to center your site around a niche? Are you going to tie into local city culture? Think hard on this. It will define your future.

Are you going to build or license software? We license our software. This is great for media partners and large organizations who want to plug a program into their existing organization. If you are an entrepreneur, it means you don’t own the proprietary platform. So you should probably invest 10-15k into your own software. This takes more time and commitment, but entrepreneurship is not easy.

If you are working with a software provider, what other services and support do they provide? Here is what we provide to clients as a reference of services for you to ask about when you talk to vendors.

  • Technology, management center, and reporting
  • Design support (paid)
  • Sales training and sales collateral
  • Merchant agreements
  • Customer support
  • Merchant payment and accounting
  • Credit card processing
  • Writers
  • Market research

Lastly, what research have you done? We researched 50+ competitors in 66 markets and interviewed over 100 merchants who ran a daily deal with various sites to develop our daily deal software. To run an effective program and be successful you need to invest time and money in research. Do you have this commitment and patience?  In a very competitive market, knowledge is key, so do your research.

Daily Deal Software Design

  • Mike

    Great article. I agree that people may think all they have to do is get the website going with a boxed app. If you think of the capital infusion Groupon got and the fact that it now employs 300 in Chicago alone its quite a bit of work to be successful.

    • Jimmy Hendricks

      Thanks Mike. A real marketing budget and sales plan is definitely the key.

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