Ohlone Archery Hits the Mark with Groupon
Built with Groupon Case Study: Ohlone Archery
The owner of Ohlone’s Archery discovered a passion for archery at a young age. Years later, he sought to make the sport more accessible to the community by opening a center for instruction in Northern California. After struggling to find an affordable marketing tool, he turned to Groupon to bring in new customers—and a profit.
Nico, head coach and owner of Ohlone Archery, tells his Groupon story:
Ohlone Archery promotes the enjoyment of archery by providing a fun, recreational environment for archery instruction, coaching, practice, and friendly competition. We are a shining example of how Groupon can foster the immediate success of a new business by providing what is essentially an outsourced, high impact marketing department for a small business owner who needs to focus on operations and customer service without worrying about how to initially get people in the door.
Ohlone Archery is so named as a tribute to the indigenous people of the Central California Coast who used the bow and arrow for thousand of years before us. My father introduced me to archery at an outdoor range in the hills of Oakland California where the Ohlone were sure to have roamed. I’ve enjoyed archery my entire life since, and have in the last 10 years allowed my passion for it to lead me into competition, teaching, and coaching. I operated Ohlone Archery for a year in “pop-up” venues and finally decided to take the leap and open a permanent home. Seeing how successful Groupon was for other archery shops, I went into my venture with confidence.
My biggest challenge before using Groupon was marketing. None of the other alternatives were accessible, turn key, or affordable for a small business. Where else can you get such a powerful and effective marketing engine with no out of pocket expense? The impact was immediate and has so far been sustained; within only 3 months my business is already at capacity and profitable. This would have taken a year or longer without the help of Groupon.
I chose the City of San Leandro because of it’s friendliness toward new small businesses. I am proud to be part of an initiative to make new creative use of industrial space in ways that will positively benefit the community. The combination of locating my business in a lower-cost, less traditional commercial area and offering archery lessons through Groupon has enabled me to make archery affordable and accessible to a community that hasn’t been able to enjoy archery as a pastime for decades. There is nothing more fun than watching the look on someone’s face when they hit their first bullseye and realize they might just have a new hobby!
My advice to new business owners is threefold:
One, use the awesome resources available to you on the Groupon team to help you structure your deal. Don’t rush—take your time and think it through. How will each aspect of your deal play out operationally and is your “house in order?” Are you ready for the influx of new business? What surprises can you anticipate and plan for? For example, what will you do if someone shows up without their voucher?
Two, provide great customer service and treat Groupon customers like you do any other new, first time customer. Roll out the red carpet, make them feel special—your goal is to get them to come back. Don’t dwell on the discount—instead put all that energy into ensuring they come back.
Three, add staff if you have to and make sure they are fully trained on how to redeem Groupon vouchers, etc. These customers should have an uber positive experience, not a marginalized one. Be cool to these customers, willingly redeem expired vouchers, get them to walk away feeling as good if not better about the experience as they do about the deal.