There have been numerous articles on the effectiveness of Groupon and whether small and medium businesses should use the service. For some businesses, the use of Groupon has been very positive in attracting new customers. For others, Groupon became not just a minor annoyance, but a nightmare.

So is Groupon for a small business a good deal? Well, it depends. Your business needs to structure the deal properly and think through both the positive and negative results that can occur. Going into the deal with the idea that Groupon is going to make your business money hand over fist is a sure way to lead to a major headache.

Do your research before pursuing any type of local marketing deal like Groupon, Living Social and the like. You should also look at how the Groupon business is structured and how and what kind of customer data they provide to you.

A recent story on Groupon’s business structure is an interesting look at a business segment that looks like it will need to evolve to grow.

Groupon SEC infographic