Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a Deal!

Here are a couple of small business ideas I've come across recently.

The first is a website that allows small companies to promote their specials and sales online. The deal aggregator,, is eventually going to charge entrepreneurs a $299 subscription fee.

But for the first three months, or first 50,000 small businesses that sign up, site owner Jan Stuart is waiving the fee. That means entrepreneurs don't have to pay anything to create promotions and announce deals on a site that will market itself as a place for consumers to check regularly to find bargains in their neighborhoods.

If you're a local business owner, this could be a great way to get some buzz for your upcoming sales, as well as a no-risk chance to dip your toes into Internet marketing.

The second is a project aimed at supporting local retailers called The 3/50 Project.

Promoted by retail consultant and blogger Cinda Baxter, the idea is to "Ask consumers to frequent three local brick and mortar businesses they don’t want to see disappear, and to spend a very affordable $50 per month doing it."

The idea is to raise awareness of the perils facing small businesses, particularly those pillars of the community that pay local taxes, contribute to community decision-making and donate cash and time to the schools, sports programs and charitable organizations around the country.

I'm all for supporting small companies, and I've always frequented local retailers, so I'm happy to promote Baxter's idea. But in our free-market economy I think it's tough for these kinds of causes - even good causes - to succeed.

Right now, something like The 3/50 Project may help small companies over the hump. But for the long term, small businesses still have to provide a better product, better service and better customer relations if they want to succeed.


  1. Hi Karen, These are fantastic resources! I especially love the 3/50 project since my town is losing so many businesses. All the empty stores are a sad reminder of the economy. I am going to spread the word about 3/50.

  2. I love the 3/50 idea!

    When The Taco Spot in Eagle Rock first opened, I ate there at least once a week—whether I was hungry or not—because I really wanted it to do well.

  3. Paula, I could easily eat at the Taco Spot once a week if it were closer to me. Yum!