I can see that there are other people already doing this, but that shouldn't be a problem because it's a local business idea and there are so many towns/cities in which you could do this.
My idea is simple. You have a coupon website. Lets say you live in Columbus Ohio as an example. You can get a domain like www.ColumbusOhioCoupons.com or whatever. Then you can setup your website, however you would do that.
But, the basic idea is that you would approach the local businesses to see if they would like you to create a coupon or coupons for them on your website. People could then come to your website and print up the coupons that appeal to them. And while they're there, they can also subscribe to your list to receive a weekly email that keeps them up to date on local deals/coupons.
On one site I was on, it looked like they even had a text coupon option that allowed people to bring the coupon up on their cell phones and I guess redeem them that way. I'm not exactly sure how that worked.
You make money by charging the businesses for the service. The coupons stay on your website for a set period of time before you either take them off or charge them again.
A lot of businesses are already paying for advertisements in different places, maybe even for coupons to be printed up. But, with a coupon website like this, I would think you could save them money since there no printing costs at all.
When you first start such a website, you might have to lower your prices considerably. Or you could just tell the businesses that the first time is free since you're still need to spread the word about your coupon website. Not to many people will be interested paying you for the service if nobody knows about your site yet.
But, you can grow awareness of your coupon site with flyers. You can put one on the bulletin board at grocery stores or wherever. Advertise it in the newspaper, etc.
Once the word is spread and your website becomes more popular, then you can raise your prices to what you originally intended them to be, as long as it's still worth it to the businesses (less than what it cost them to have coupons printed). That way everybody wins.
And once you've become the go to website for coupons in your town, you can branch out and do the same thing in surrounding towns.
So what do guys think? Is there any reason why this is not a good idea? It seems like it would be a very easy business to run once you get the website built. The hard part I would think, would be getting the website built. What do you think?