discount couponsLook around the malls, supermarkets, department stores, food shops and even in the Internet shops. Almost everybody is offering discounts. Why? Because prices are rising, this is one way of attracting the customers to buy. The money savings entice people to try products they might otherwise not have.

But what if you discovered that by selling a special type of coupon can make you money. How? By starting a coupon publishing business.

Businesses put discounts only in sign boards and in newspapers, why not make it more personal and use coupons instead. Sure, they put discounts in sign boards and in newspaper ads. But you can give them the opportunity to get their ads using coupons directly into the hands of the exact customers they need, and at a far better price than the local newspaper.

You can produce a Local Business Coupon Book easily, inexpensively, and profitably, if you follow some basic steps.

The first step in running a successful coupon publishing business is to find the businesses that will advertise with you. Any business that relies on local advertising is a good prospect.

Here is a short list of businesses you should consider:

Hair Salons, Real Estates, Beauty Shops, Fast Food Restaurants, Record and Music Stores, Laundry Shops, Bar and Resto, Supermarkets, Internet Cafes, Car Washes, Repair Shops, Jewelry Shops, Hotels and Spas, Clothing Stores, Arts and Craft Stores

Basically, any store that could reasonably use a coupon to draw in new customers is a prospect. You may want to specialize in one area, such as fast food restaurants. Or, cover the whole gamut.

Look through your local business directory for businesses you might not have thought of. When you approach these businesses, target a group within a five mile radius. It will be more time-efficient for you, and you can use the area grouping in your sales pitch. Stress the fact that around 80 percent of their business will come from that five mile radius. Tell them that you plan to distribute the coupon book within that radius, so it will draw the best results. To be really profitable, you should get at least 15 – 25 businesses in the book. The more, the better.

How much to charge? That depends on how many books or sheets of coupons you will be distributing, and what your costs are including service fees. Better ask your printing press, if you plan to outsource the coupon printing. They should be able to provide pricing information on these and other binding methods.

The second step is to create the coupons. If you have a computer, the job of designing the coupons can be quite easy with some of the word processor/ graphics packages available. If not, research in the Internet. You will find some ready-made templates for coupons and you can just fill in the blanks. Be sure to put your business name on the coupon (in small print, so it doesn’t distract). Subconsciously, people will remember your business name and associate it with saving money. In any case, you will need to put the
advertising business’ name, address, phone, logo (if any, many businesses will have them ready made for you to use), the amount of the discount, any conditions they may have, and an expiration date.

Assembling the coupon books can be done in a number of ways. The easiest, and recommended, way to start is by simply stapling them together. Only one staple will be necessary, on the left side of the stack of coupons. Make a cover coupon with your business name and the name you’ve chosen for the coupon book. Put that on top of the stack before you staple. Other methods are perforating/padding, and perforating/perfect binding.

The third step is distributing. You have already identified the establishments and radius within which you will distribute your coupon books. It’s better if you can do it personally or hire a staff to distribute it to prospect customers, this will also gives you a good impression from your business clients. Deliver a copy of the coupon book to each business that has advertised in it, so they know that customers will now be bringing them in. There are two methods of delivery you can use. You can either deliver them by car or foot, or you can bulk mail them. Bulk mailing is infinitely easier and more efficient, but requires a bit of paperwork and registration fees.

The fourth and final step is follow up. You need to know how your coupon books are doing. Ask the businesses that advertise in your book to write the amount purchased by the coupon-bearing customer on the back of the coupon, and to hold them for you. Stop by at least once a week and pick up the redeemed coupons. Besides giving you purchase totals that you can refer to in future sales to new customers, this also gives you a chance to talk to the businesses about purchasing coupons in new books. You can show them right then and there the results they have gotten, and they should be enthusiastic about signing
back on.

It is important to maintain a good relationship with the businesses who advertise with you. Show them that you are committed to helping them increase their business. If you care, so will they. This is a fun business that can be started part-time, and can easily move to full-time.

Photo: puredesigngraphics.com