If you enjoy negotiating, making sales and helping people save money, starting a coupon-book business may be for you. It has low start-up costs and requires negotiating skills and some work upfront. But with more people trying to save money whenever and wherever possible, it can be a lucrative business.
Formulate a business plan, including the area in which you are targeting businesses and target market. Decide on a business structure, such as sole proprietorship or limited-liability company, choose a name for your business and file a business name with your county. Order business cards and file a sales-tax permit with your state.
Target local small businesses for your coupon book because people do not need to buy a coupon book for coupons from large businesses. They can usually get those coupons online or from manufacturers' inserts in local newspapers. Small businesses usually are looking for good ways to advertise. If you live in a very small town, go to the nearest big town or city where people would do most of their shopping and target small businesses there. In addition, start with a couple of businesses where you know the owners or shop frequently. After you have a few businesses sold then that gives your businesses legitimacy and that will help you secure additional businesses. Have each business give you a business card or ad. Feature the amount of the discount prominently.
You can make money by selling pages in your book to these small businesses or by negotiating a discount from each business and selling the book to customers.
Plan on how many pages you book will contain (this will depend on the number of small businesses you have secured) and how many books you want to sell. Then visit a printer to get an estimate of the printing costs. If you are selling pages to each small business, divide the estimated cost of printing by the number of coupon pages. This is how much you will charge for each coupon page. If you are selling the books to customers, decide on a reasonable cost, after figuring your expenses, that will allow you to make a profit.
When you have all of your ads, the businesses have approved the final look, and you have designed your extra pages, including any additional pages, take it to the printer. Be sure you give it to them with the pages in the exact order they will occur in the printed book. You will want to have a cover designed and a price set. Include the cost of the book on the cover and be sure to include an estimated value of the coupons inside.
Sell your books. There are lots of organizations looking for a way to make money. Let them use your books as a fundraiser. If you do this you will need to give them a portion of each sale and you will also need to come up with incentives that can be offered to the people selling. For example, if you price your book with thousands of dollars of coupons in it for $12 each, the organization could get a percentage. Go to local schools, dance studios, Cub Scouts to sell books as fundraisers.
When you are selling ads, be sure to go to a wide variety of places. Your coupon book will appeal to a wider customer base. When selling, be sure to go out every day and give the businesses a projected date for the book to be sold. Check back with businesses who have purchased ads to see what their return has been. If they see those coupons come in, they will want to buy with you again. Always upsell. If a business buys one page, be sure to find out if they might be interested in multiple pages.