Friday, July 20 , 2018, 2:04 pm | Fair 75º

 
 
 
 

Business

SBCoupons.com Bringing Merchants New Business and Saving Customers Money

Owner Matt Baer founded the Santa Barbara startup to provide cost-effective marketing for small local businesses

Matt Baer, owner of SBCoupons.com, says he’s determined to save Santa Barbara small businesses.

“I can only save one small city at a time. Why not start with beautiful Santa Barbara​?” Baer said. “The small businesses need help, big time. I’ve met a lot of business owners, and a lot of them have had to close their businesses. We’re really trying to provide a good service for the community.”

Baer, who was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Santa Barbara and attended San Marcos High School, told Noozhawk that he put a few different ideas together and came up with SBCoupons.com.

“I wanted to start a Web business and saw coupons becoming a big trend. Coming from Santa Barbara, I wanted to return and start a business,” Baer said. “I also have friends who own local businesses who talked about how expensive it is to market their endeavors. I put everything together over a year ago and started SBCoupons.com.”

He said the partnership between local merchants and SBCoupons.com is a cost-effective way for local businesses to draw in more customers. Businesses pay SBCoupons.com a fee, and SBCoupons.com incentivizes shoppers to go to those businesses for their needs. More than 100 businesses, from hair salons and accounting firms to plumbers, have coupons on the Web site.

“No one shops anymore without considering the best deals they can get,” Baer said. “Don’t just go to Amazon.com for everything. Shop locally and support our community, and (small businesses) will give you deals. SBCoupons.com is the central location where anyone can find deals.”

Local residents and tourists are using the free service.

“Tourists are finding us online and come to town and use the coupons,” Baer said. “Plus, we get all the locals.”

There are three ways consumers can acquire coupons. Log on to SBcoupons.com and print a coupon, have the coupon sent in a text message to show a merchant, or send a coupon to a friend who may be interested in a specific deal. Additionally, the Web site features a merchant directory, with company overviews, eight slots for coupons, a map of a business location and reviews.

“Businesses like using the various coupon slots so they can market different things for different kinds of customers,” Baer said.

Every merchant can track their statistics and see how many people are printing and text messaging their coupons. Baer said the company has been doing well since the Web site launched in November.

“The success of SBCoupons.com says something about where the country is right now. Everyone is trying to save money,” Baer said. “The growth of this business is coupled with the increasing accessibility of technology. Now that everyone has a phone and a lot of people have laptops, it becomes very easy to access our site and get coupons.”

Baer and his staff of six have crafted inventive ways to market the coupon service, including advertising in all the local movie theaters and MTD buses. The company also has distributed coffee sleeves with the SBCoupon.com name to all of the independent coffee shops.

“We’re really building a brand in Santa Barbara, and we’re committed to everyone knowing about us,” Baer said.

SBCoupons.com recently participated in an anti-drunken driving campaign downtown with local bars, giving out SBCoupon.com-labeled water bottles to downtown revelers.

“This campaign was our first foray into community-building marketing initiatives, and it was a slam dunk because the bars received a lot of free water,” Baer said.

Restaurants are the most popular coupons, but the Web site also features many local businesses in the service industry that have struggled to market their companies under the restrictions of a limited budget. Merchants found on SBCoupons.com include Mesa Communications, Avia Spa, KAMAP Property Management and Zemella Chiropractic.

Perfect Computers is our newest client,” Baer said. “The owner came to us said, ‘I really want to market, but what can I do locally that won’t break my bank?’ We work with a lot of people who fix appliances and perform other services because we’re so cost-effective.”

Baer says that SBCoupons.com fills a necessary niche in the Santa Barbara coupon market.

“When people go to SBCoupons.com, you know what you’re getting,” he said. “The name says it all.”

Noozhawk business writer Taylor Orr can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkBiz, @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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