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Jim interviews Byron Bennett, owner of a NYC chocolate shop about how a small business uses Facebook, Twitter, QR codes, Websites, and his experience with Groupon.

– Download podcast: Via iTunes | Save to computer (Right click, Save As)
– Play it below:
 

It’s one thing for media companies to be on social media, but lately I’ve been fascinated with how small businesses are doing this. I met with Byron Bennett, the owner of The Chocolate Library, a small-business in Manhattan’s East Village and we discuss the challenges he faces.

Besides, he just happened to bring along some of his amazing inventory of chocolates from around the world. He tells me that 97% of people enjoy chocolate.

Count me in as one of them.

Summary of Topics covered:

BACKGROUND
– Byron’s background at a wine store before he started this business
– Why wine stores and supermarkets need a kiosk to help shoppers
– The similarities between wine and chocolate
– The effect of luxury goods during a recession
– The story behind the “library” classification in his store, and how he ended up on The New York Times.

SOCIAL MEDIA
– His store’s presence on Facebook
– Why he choses NOT to run his own Twitter page
– Why Google Local and Yelp are so important to small businesses
– His goal of ranking for the word “chocolate”
– The advantage QR codes have for retaining customers

GROUPON CASE STUDY
Just a few days before our interview, Techcrunch ran a story titled “Groupon Was The Single Worst Decision I Have Ever Made As A Business Owner.’ This made me even more curious to talk about his experience.

What did Byron learn? Listen to the podcast to hear about:

– The 2 other group buying services he used before trying Groupon
– His goal of reducing inventory — and the pitfalls of mismanaging that for small businesses
– The average transaction for his store — and whether or not the Groupon test exceeded that
– Whether or not the program attracted NEW customers to his location
– What type of businesses are better suited for Groupon and Living Social deals

– Bottom line — Is it worth it for a small business to try Groupon?

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