Coupon Clicking

Sweet deals could sour for overeager business owners

With megasites Groupon and LivingSocial trumpeting daily deals that lure throngs of customers with up to 70 percent discounts on everything from dinners to skydiving lessons, it’s no surprise local businesses are signing up. After the deal is on, though, does the promise of new customers and more revenue add up?

Jun 30, 2011 Carol Crenshaw
Fred Sconberg, Upbeat Workouts Apps

Nonprofit Revenue

Charities raise money through social enterprise

A Sacramento software startup has launched an iPhone application for runners that picks music to go with a workout and can add customized coaching instructions along with the beat. When users pay to download the coaching data, a donation goes to a nonprofit of the coach’s choice.

Dec 1, 2010 Adam Weintraub

Chain Selling

Local entrepreneurs sell through big retailers

Like many independent business owners, Christine Trice has a product she believes in and plenty of potential customers. Trice, the owner of Sacramento-based Brown Bag Botanicals, also has a limited marketing budget to reach those customers.

Dec 1, 2010 Linda DuBois

Where the Green Hype Grows

The hazards of marketing eco-friendly products

As consumers fill their lives with reusable shopping bags, organic foods and energy-efficient vehicles, touting the environmental friendliness of goods and services has become an increasingly important marketing strategy for companies worldwide. This, coupled with vague government guidelines for green marketing claims, is causing challenges as competitors, consumers and environmental advocates demand standards and verification of these claims.

Sep 30, 2010 Christine Calvin
Mas Cocina Mexicana in Roseville.

Good Eats

Restaurants get creative to pad the bottom line

Mikuni Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar felt the recession in April 2008 when catering sales began to slide. When the financial pinch hit the chain’s eight restaurants in the second and third quarters of 2009, its management team refocused marketing efforts.

May 31, 2010 Joanna Corman
Christee Owens, co-owner and president of Icing on the Cupcake, has sent cease-and-desist letters regarding branding issues.

Brand of Others

When it's time to protect your company

Don’t mess with Icing on the Cupcake. The two-year-old specialty bakery in Rocklin has trademarked its name and isn’t shy about protecting it. Go open your own boutique bakery and sell cupcakes if you want, but steer clear of that brand name if you don’t want to hear from a lawyer.

Jan 1, 2010 Robert Celaschi