Monday, August 31, 2009

What Businesses Have the Most Risk of Failure?

Coming from a family of local business-owner/entrepreneurs (of varying success levels), I have first-hand experience of the difficulties of trying to start your own business. When I was young, my father started a restaurant in Huntsville, TX, which was successful enough, that he had to work 12 hour days, 7 days a week. I know this because I spent my single-digit years running around that restaurant! He sold the restaurant a few years later to finally get some rest and started another restaurant venture in Conroe, TX, which failed. Eventually, he owned a super market in Santa Cruz and a burger joint in Boulder Creek, CA, which I spent my teen years working EVERY single weekend. I am not bitter. What teenager doesn't want to work every single weekend while everyone else is out enjoying beautiful California weather?

My aunts and uncles have also had varying degrees of success starting and running their own businesses. I've even had my own thoughts of starting a business, but which ventures have the most risk of failure? I came across this interesting article on Yahoo!, titled: The 7 Most Overrated Businesses. No surprise here - 'restaurants' shows up on the list.

Here's an excerpt:

...about 60% of restaurants close in the first three years, according to a 2003 study at Ohio State University. That's quite a bit higher than the roughly half of all start-ups that close in the first five years.

The reason: Restaurants typically have low profit margins and need strong managers who can run an ultra-tight ship through seasonal fluctuations and other struggles. Most people don't have that kind of intense managerial ability to pull it off.

Well, I guess I should think twice about opening up my Houston Rockets-themed restaurant in California. In the meantime, no matter what business you start or have, MerchantCircle is the ONLY free network that allows you to blog, build coupons and newsletters, and email them to customers.

Join the free network here today or communicate with other local business owners in our forums here.

Community Relations

Monday, August 24, 2009

YellowPages versus MerchantCircle

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We're always flattered when local business owners blog about their success using MerchantCircle. It's even better when they blog about their lack of success using the YellowPages, which we've always felt is a waste of time and money. Well, don't take our word for it, read A+ Affordable Upholstery & More's blog here. Below is an excerpt:

Honestly, I've received more calls (and jobs), with Merchantcircle than any other paid or free advertising...craigslist, facebook, boys and girls club, name a few.

For the record, A+ Affordable Upholstery in Norfolk, VA, is a free member! One of the keys to their success on MerchantCircle is the frequency of their blog posts. Keep up the good work!

Community Relations

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What the Deal Means to You

MerchantCircle and today announced a partnership that will grow your network of local businesses by more than 100,000 members. With more than 20 million local unique consumers visiting MerchantCircle each month, we're excited to have an even stronger network or members creating more coupons, blogs, and newsletters, than ever before. Today, we have over 900,000 members and are on pace to hit 1 million before the end of the year! will power many of our high end services like custom web design for individual businesses, analytics and tracking, and marketing. All of our services can be found here by logging into your MerchantCircle account.

Read the press release here.

Here are some of the write-ups and mentions of the new expanded partnership. Thank you all for covering:

Local SEO Guide - Where is the Facebook Platform for Small Businesses?

Screenwerk - MerchantCircle Expands Ties with

Local Onliner -, MerchantCircle to Market Each Other's SMB Services

BIA Kelsey Group -, MerchantCircle to Market Each Other's SMB Services

adotas - Industry News on Hirings, Partnerships and New Offerings

DMNews - and Team Up

FOX Business - and MerchantCircle Expand Partnership to Improve Online Visibility for Local Businesses

CNN Money - and MerchantCircle Expand Partnership to Improve Online Visibility for Local Businesses

Community Relations

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Best Place For the Local Consumer Search Experience

From day one, we've been committed to providing you with the best tools and products to attract and engage local consumers. Whether it's tools to blog, build coupons, send e-Newsletters, or advertise on search engines like Google and Yahoo, you've been able to do everything easily and effectively. Our network of 800,000 local merchants, now sees more than 20 million unique consumer visitors a month!

With our new partnership with Demand Media, (read the press release here or here), you can now add dynamic, unique business content on your local listings. Say you're a consumer searching for a local auto mechanic, once you get to a MerchantCircle member's listing, not only will there be your created content (blogs, newsletters, pictures, coupons, etc.), you can also have content like the articles shown below on automotive issues and news. This will give your potential customers a truly one-stop shop for all their business-specific needs and interests.

Pluck Content

Find out more about adding Rich Content through your MerchantCircle dashboard here. eNom, a Demand Media company, will also be powering our Instant Website and unique email offering.

Community Relations

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Finding Coupons on Twitter in Chicago, Phoenix, and Beyond!

FOX Chicago recently ran a story featuring two of our merchants from Chicago who actively use MerchantCircle to promote their business. MerchantCircle recently began feeding Merchant-built coupons instantly onto city-specific Twitter pages. In this case, coupons in Chicago can be found @MCircleChicago where we have more than

Go in and say hi to Mario Alonso at Bella Bronze Tan or Wilbur Sutphin at Deadwax Record Store in Chicago. Tell them Kevin says hi. Don't forget to check out their local media debut on FOX Chicago below.

Build your coupons now on MerchantCircle! We'll do all the work to promote you locally.

Community Relations