With on line coupons one of the newest successes in marketing, companies such as Groupon have become a new source of revenue, especially for small businesses. An Asheville entrepreneur has developed a similar approach which more strongly supports local business.
Leah Howard said her new company, Live Local, allows businesses to keep a higher percentage of the payment for their goods and services while still offering an appealing discount.
“While companies like Groupon take half the total, we take only 25 percent,” Howard said. “We try to start from a business aspect rather than a consumer aspect.”
Known as social media marketing, the concept allows businesses to post on line special bargains for their goods and services. The organizer sends out emails, text and messaging alerts to let their consumer members know about the latest deals. The more people who purchase the deals, the lower the cost.
Live Local offers a daily deal bin on their web site for local businesses to post bargains. The deals may stay up as long as a month, or for only a couple of days.
“We work with the business to take a mark down that works for them,” said Howard. “If the business isn’t there [operating] and profiting it hurts the economy.”
Howard has been in sales and marketing work since she graduated high school. She currently runs a marketing and event planning company and started Live Local in June of this year.
“We’ve already had great success,” said Howard who began with ten consumers. They now have more than 500.
Howard said the unique thing about Live Local that businesses don’t find with other social media marketing, is their consumers are all local.
“This gives the businesses a greater opportunity for repeat business,” said Howard who explained one problem for many businesses using sites such as Groupon, is that tourists come in and take advantage of the discounts, then never return.
Howard works out of her home office and has three local consultants who work with her, making Live Local a completely local business. However, Howard is excited about an upcoming possibility they may be expanding into Wilimington.
The types of deals offered on Live Local include sandwich shops, toys and games, day spas, massage therapy, nails and facials. Some of the businesses working with Live Local include Glitter and Lace Photography, Georgetown Beauty Salon, Ruth and Ranshaw Bakery and Celebration of Being Massage Therapy. To find out more about Live Local and sign up for great deals visit www.livelocalwnc.com.