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New : A Groupon for SMEs.. /

by on September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


There’s no question – it’s a tough time for small businesses 


“We’re going to celebrate our launch next week with some exclusive deals for our members, which we won’t advertise to the public. Sign up now to see what opportunities we have in store for your business”  

The Government openly recognises the importance of this group to the economy, although little is done to support them.  Small business owners have had to become more resourceful, using social media channels and searching online for deals when making purchasing decisions.  This online community of savvy buyers has created the perfect market for the concept of business to business group buying: a Groupon for SMEs.  Enter  , a new company with big plans for this growing sector.  This new website is the first B2B group buying platform to focus on connecting small businesses with local suppliers.

So, just how does B2B group buying work?  Every week the website offers a select number of deals from approved suppliers.  As these suppliers know they’ll get exclusive access to large numbers of SMEs, is able to negotiate exceptional deals for its members.  Connecting a community of small businesses together gives each one the buying power of a much larger company.  This economy of scale provides the opportunity for members to try new products and services, which help a small company expand their business – from online marketing expertise to advertising in the national media. 

Members can register for free and they will then receive an email every Monday with details of the weekly offers.  They then login and register their commitment to buy.  Once enough members ‘commit to purchase’ the deal is activated and the buyers make their payment.  The payments are then passed to the supplier (minus a modest commission) along with a list of their new customers.  Buyers then simply redeem the deal direct with the supplier.

Alex Harrington Griffin has a number of initial advantages over its existing competitors as 27 year old site founder Alex Harrington Griffin explains, ‘The site’s clean design  and innovations give you an indication of how we’ve tried to do things slightly differently – letting you be both creative and savvy with your purchasing.  This in turn makes it easier to personally negotiate impressive deals with well known and respected suppliers who are happy to align their brand with the site’. 

Thought has also been given to ways in which partners can create long term relationships with customers, how to reduce buyer perceived risk and the importance of supporting local business.  ‘You can meet face to face with the supplier offering the deal before you commit to buy from them.  Business Crayon only features suppliers whose offices are based in your area – this has obvious benefits for both the buyer and seller.’ Alex says, ‘Offering personally vetted offers from local suppliers reinforces the importance we place on supporting the business community on your doorstep’.

Buyer loyalty is also a key point for, both to the site and for the featured suppliers.  It is envisaged that the SME community will be a much more loyal membership than consumers – has therefore decided to launch with a loyalty scheme, rewarding its members for their continued use of the site by allocating points for every purchase, which can be redeemed against future activity or specially sourced rewards.

The site also offers a Deal Exchange service, a first according to Alex, ‘If you decide for whatever reason not to use the deal you’ve secured, you can relist it on the site and other members can purchase it from you – nobody need ever be out of pocket’.  This kind of practical attention to detail defines the company’s take on the B2B group buying sector. will launch initially in London on 12th September 2011 and will then roll out to the Home Counties and other major UK cities soon after.

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