Groupon has taken some heat this year from small businesses who felt they lost money offering Groupon discounts to customers. A new program offering entrepreneurs free online education in marketing, customer acquisition, and customer retention might enhance the daily deals company's image.
Groupon announced that it has teamed up with SCORE, the nonprofit volunteer corps of small business mentors that is funded by the Small Business Administration.
The organizations have introduced a "pragmatic toolkit" for small businesses in any industry, with extra resources for two sectors that are big Groupon users: bars and restaurants and healthy and beauty businesses. The Groupon Customer Acquisition & Retention Toolkit, available on SCORE's website offers tips on attracting customers, employing online marketing, taking advantage of new marketing tactics, making the best of daily deals, using social media to win customers, and building better customer relationships. SCORE and Groupon will also collaborate on research and development, seminars, and merchant workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
"Joining forces with SCORE is a great way for Groupon to help small businesses grow and become more successful," said Groupon VP of Merchant Marketing, Sanjay Gupta, in a statement. "Given SCORE's thousands of daily interactions with local businesses, we're able to reach and impact a wide cross section of merchants."
SCORE CEO Ken Yancey called Groupon's merchant products and services and its knowledge of marketing best practices "huge assets to our network of small business owners and volunteer mentors."
For recent Yahoo! Small Business Advisor coverage of daily deals strategies, see: