What does your business do?
I own the Warrington printanoffer.com website. It is a discount voucher website offering exclusive local deals to the residents of Warrington and the surrounding areas. The idea is that companies put offers on in the form of a discount voucher as a way of promoting their business, and the users look for a bargain, which everyone is looking for nowadays! The companies get the first month free and after that it costs £12 per month. There is no contract, it works on a month by month basis so the offer can be removed at any time.
The web site is:
email: [email protected]
We run a prize draw where any users who leave their email address will be entered to win either £250 (national draw) or £40 gift vouchers for a local restaurant
What made you decide to start your own business?
I have two young children and wanted something I could run from home. I liked the idea of this because I felt it was of benefit to both the community and local businesses. It’s a very cost effective way of advertising, and everywhere you look companies are running offers so it’s a good way to centralise them all and get people looking!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Undoubtedly getting local businesses to overcome their preconceived ideas of advertising! I get the impression that many have been ‘stung’ before by being tied in to long term contracts that they couldn’t get out of. Getting people to trust the name, and generally getting it known around Warrington is very hard. I am doing some advertising with the Warrington Wolves which has helped get users on board, but businesses are still very skeptical!
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m still really overcoming it, even people who say they are going to put an offer on the site don’t follow it up a lot of the time, because it’s not at the top of their list of priorities. I try to get myself involved with other businesses as much as possible through social media and networking events, and although I do constantly promote the site through fliers, emails etc. I try not to make people feel ‘hounded’, as I know from experience it can be very off putting.
What advice or tips would you give to other business owners?
As I don’t have much sales experience, I’ve learned that follow up is absolutely essential. If you find someone who sounds interested, always expect to have to go back – don’t sit back and let the customers come to you – unless you’re selling a phenomenal product (or food!) they won’t!
What’s your favourite quote?
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” -Benjamin Franklin
Who inspires you?
Ray Kroc (founder of McDonalds) – although not really as a person but as an entrepreneur, he never gave up, he knew what his business was about and what he wanted to achieve, and never gave up. Success came later in life for him but he always believed in himself.