Groupon saved my business - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Groupon saved my business

By Jennifer Warnick - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Three years ago Chloe Minyon turned her talent into a home business. 

"Our whole slogan is custom printed stationary to suit your personality," Chloe said. 

She created English Tea Paperie, where customers can order her hand drawn customized stationary. She did what she could to find customers online. 

"Using different types of cheap, free advertising, I'd link to other blogs," she said. 

Advertising is expensive and Chloe's client list wasn't growing to her satisfaction. She even shut her shop down for a few months, reconsidering whether she could make her hobby a successful business. 

"There are 100's and thousands of stationary companies in the United States and to compete with that is hard." 

She decided to reopen the Paperie when Groupon called. 

"This is the new wave," said Sally Witsky. 

Witsky is a marketing guru for small businesses. She pushes digital media as a way to capture the widest audience. 

"It works really well for restaurants, salons any kind of service business and if you have an online business, from an awareness standpoint it's great," Witsky said. 

So Chloe said, why not. 

"It's the cheapest form of advertising, as long as you're making above your material costs," said Chloe. 

She sold 120 discount vouchers. Before the sale, her client list included customers from all over the country; Groupon's local access opened thousands of Richmonder's eyes to her existence. 

"Groupon was the best thing to happen to my business. You're still making money, Groupon's making money, everybody's happy," she said. 

Groupon's commission ranges from 20-to-50 percent. But in Chloe's case, the mere exposure from her sale established a long list of local clientele that she plans on keeping for years to come. 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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