The daily deals moshpit has mostly been a consumer affair so far. But it was probably only a matter of time before it leapt over to the business world. And while business customers (like those guys pictured up top--they look ready to spend!) probably won't be looking for massages, martinis, and manicures--at least not without some pretty creative accounting--RapidBuyr CEO Tom Aley thinks there are nevertheless plenty of products that could catch the eyes of procurement managers at small and medium-sized businesses.
RapidBuyr is launching both national and city-based lines, with 40 cities lined up now and, Aley says, as many as 100 by year's end. The startup is teaming up with American City Business Journals--the parent company of city-based publications like Silicon Valley Business Journal and Boston Business Journal--to leverage their sales force and bring vendors on board.
"Large companies like Microsoft and HP spend an enormous amount of time trying to find small business people," he says. By working with ACBJ, RapidBuyr "is going to get them ten to twenty million impressions advertising their product"--their deal--"the day they run it."
Yesterday RapidBuyr launched its first deal: five licenses to online backup service MozyPro--a $400 value--for only $199. In the months to come, expect to see offers on everything from computers to accountants to courrier services to cloud-based software.
While procurement managers are notoriously stodgy--hardly the type to leap at the kind of impulse buys that are fueling the consumer deals space--Aley, a former senior vice president at Dow Jones and founding partner at Reed Elsevier Ventures, tells Fast Company he thinks there’s huge opportunity to sell to businesses that know what they need but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. And vendors, he believes, will jump in, if only for the advertising possibilities.
[Image: Flickr user bade_m]
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