by Intern

A How-To Guide – Aminah Mussa

Pulling Off Elegance, a how-to guide: 1). One marine-blue American Apparel maxi skirt, blown about with Marilyn Monroe effortlessness. 2). A beige button-up, also American Apparel, strategically unbuttoned for minimum reveal, maximum chic. 3). One Ms. Aminah Mussa, NYC’s resident beauty-with-style-brains, a designer working at (you guessed it!) American Apparel. We recently caught up with Ms. Mussa (designer name, Aminah Muse) strolling along the Lower East Side in an ensemble that BEGS to be copied. A woman this talented, it’s no surprise this isn’t the first time she’s caught our attention – check out her fierce African-print top on our fall Peach Pleasure, Sequoia Mitchell!

Groupon business coupons: social media buying comes to Anchorage.(MARKETING)

Alaska Business Monthly October 1, 2011 | Sergeant, Deborah Jeanne Social media buying programs have changed how people spend. Groupon.com has more than 15 million unique visitors per month since its launch in 2008, and now there are numerous similar companies online offering the “half-off” deals it made popular. Social buying programs are a great way of increasing foot traffic,” said Michael “Buzz” Bizinski, owner of Buzzbizz Studios in Anchorage. go to site groupon seattle

THE DEAL When enough deals sell, members’ credit cards are charged and they are sent a link to their printable coupon. If too few commit, the deal is “off” and no one is charged.

“A business can increase traffic during their slowest time,” Bizinski said. “People have saved their businesses like that. It creates opportunity for creating return traffic.” Alaska Computer Support offered its second Groupon deal a few months ago–a computer diagnostic, cleaning and performance upgrade at $69 instead of the usual $239.99. Owner Michael Wheeler says he only sold two Groupons when he tried a 50 percent-off deal for his first Groupon, so he made the second deal irresistible and sold all 20 coupons. Sticking with a small maximum number of coupons helped ensure demand would not overwhelm the computer firm.

C.J. von Imhof, who co-owns Acai Alaska in Anchorage, anticipated an eager response to their Groupon offer of $6 for $12 worth of products last November. He stocked supplies in advance and had extra staff ready, wise moves since Acai Alaska sold out their 600 coupons in two days and customers began redeeming right away.

Acai Alaska had a few glitches, such as staff not having time to correctly enter the coupon codes into the computer. The next time Acai Alaska tried Groupon months later, they used an iPhone to read and instantly redeem coupons.

Social-media buying programs usually require a 50 percent-or-more discount and divide that amount with the vendor, creating a thin- or no-profit margin for some businesses.

“Social buying programs are better suited for those who have a consumable rather than a long-term tangible product,” Bizinski says, “unless there’s a service contract or a repeatable service.” TARGET NEW CUSTOMERS Businesses selling an experience can increase exposure without incurring much overhead or touching the price margin. Anchorage Glacier Pilots General Manager Jon Dyson said he was surprised to sell 150 Groupons in an Ultimate Fan Pack for $25 each (a $60 value). The deal included admission and two drinks.

Because the deals were redeemable any time during the 2011 baseball season, the staff didn’t get overwhelmed or have to process the coupons on any particular day.

“A lot of people came who otherwise wouldn’t come to a game,” Dyson said.

Some people cruise businesses for deals and never spend beyond the deal. At Acai Alaska, Groupon “has brought in some new faces,” von Imhof said. “Many of the people who missed it went to our website. They would still come in, so we got a number of new customers who came in without it. I saw some people who came in one time, but we have a really good product, so some do come back. this web site groupon seattle

“The first time we did a Groupon eight months ago, it seemed people bought just for the deal,” yon Imhoff said. “The second time, about half who came in for the promotion started buying other stuff.” Ask if you can tie in a required purchase, such as a half-off lunch with purchase of a beverage to build in more profit margin. Coach staff to provide top-notch service. Wooing new customers can draw more of them into long-term relationships.

“More people know we are here,” Wheeler said. “We have tried radio to no avail. TV has been okay. This is a quick way to get in front of a lot of people.

“Do the math,” he added. “Make sure that you can afford to do what you are doing and remember that it doesn’t all happen at once. I have done Groupons for two of my companies and both have been successes.” Sergeant, Deborah Jeanne