An interview with Lesel Radage of @GroosterVan
A few months ago, I began talking with Lesel Radage of Grooster, a group purchasing local venture. I’m always keen to profile local entrepreneurs, and more so if they actually answer to my questions when they’re challenging (I am an academic, after all, I think about things in a more analytical way).
Lesel was very gracious in meeting with me and answer my numerous questions. These are four that I thought would be particularly interesting to my readers. Thanks Lesel for giving me an insight into Grooster!
1.- What makes Grooster different from other group purchasing agencies here in the Lower Mainland?
A. Grooster is a super lean start up, with just one full-time employee. The success of any business is directly related to the intimacy with which you know your clients and customers. I’m really looking to learn what our subscribers and businesses want, so that Grooster can adapt and change to provide a better model before we start to scale.
B. We really look to develop on-going relationships with the businesses we work with. We focus on working with our client’s objectives to develop promotions that are sustainable and meet the objectives they set. As a result, the deals you find on Grooster may not appear to be the best ‘price’, but the value to the business and consumer has been well thought out to ensure the best experience for all parties. Remember – cheapest price does not always mean best quality.
2.- Why did you launch Grooster in Vancouver, when the market for group purchasing seems so competitive?
The space is extremely competitive, but there is an amazing opportunity that remains largely untapped. Literally thousands of businesses are looking for new ways to reach new customers. The existing group-buying companies are barely scratching the surface of all the local businesses that want to participate in the space. Vancouver proper has a population of around 600K, but there are another 1.5M people in the metro area. Only in recent weeks has the odd offer from Port Moody or Coquitlam started to appear. The model as you see it today will change very soon, as companies are innovating and the game will change very soon. Fierce competition requires innovation, nimble operations and stellar execution – so far, Grooster is managing all three.
3.- What kind of deals would you like to advance with Grooster? (e.g. local companies, small companies, etc.)
I am keen on featuring great businesses and business owners. I like to feature locally run, small companies both well known and off the beaten path. Meeting with business owners and hearing their stories is one of my favorite parts of this job. I like to feature retail and product based stores.
4.- Do you collaborate with any other group purchasing agency? Is the landscape too competitive?
I think that it is critical to consider collaboration with other players. I take the time to meet with other local and not so local entrepreneurs in the social, mobile, local advertising space. We share information and look for opportunities to work together. I am currently looking into a few partnership opportunities.
- My interview with @BCBusiness (thanks @dgodsall)
- A profile of Social Shopper
- An interview with Tony Lam from GoodNews.com
- An interview with Annalea Krebs of @EngageTheChange
- Eating out and the construction of Canada Line on Cambie