For the most part, daily deal Web sites targeting small businesses focus on niche markets with their product offerings. But BizGrouper.com based in Miami wants to change that by offering more varied and wide-ranging deals in addition to more niche discounts.
BizGrouper.com, which went live in February, offers small businesses discounts on everything from products to services that business owners buy on a regular basis plus lesser-known items that haven’t become as mainstream.“What’s going to happen is that instead of general b2b [business to business] daily deal sites, we will see small b2b daily deal sites like lawyer products selling to lawyers and accounting products selling to accountants,” said Alex Miranda, president and co-founder. “We plan to jump on the niche train as well.”BizGrouper users will be able to view the deal of the day or week, as well as click on tabs to search for niche deals through the site’s partners, said Miranda.While the daily-deal Web site market shows no signs of slowing, the business-to-business deal Web site market is still in its infancy and was born out of what startups see as an unmet need.Indeed, Miranda said he was driven to start BizGrouper.com after Groupon turned down an offer by his Web development company to get half off Web site design. “Groupon said it doesn’t do b2b stuff,” said Miranda, noting that the interaction served as a catalyst to fill the void in the market place.Like the majority of daily deal sits, BizGrouper takes a cut of the sales, and because the deals typically cost more than the ones offered on consumer sites, Miranda said the offers can stay on the site for as long as a week instead of a quick 24 hours. “We need to give business owners time to make a decision,” said Miranda.Currently the company is averaging one to two deals a week, but is aiming to hit four or five deals a week in the second quarter. He noted that BizGrouper.com isn’t going to run deals on the weekend and is finding that Friday’s are a slow buying day in terms of discounted deals.For the site's first deal, it teamed up with the Miami Chamber of Commerce and offered membership for $500, a $300 discount. The deal, said Miranda, was well received by business owners. “We feel that in order for small business owners to truly be successful in the local economy they need to be involved with a Chamber of Commerce or an Economic Council,” he said.While the company did not disclose how many users it has, Miranda said printing deals on items like business cards or brochures are popular among members. Previous deals also include texting services, cleaning services and photography services.BizGrouper.com is currently focused on the South Florida area, but plans to expand in the future.“We have a lot of things to learn about the daily deal market before we can expand nationally,” said Miranda.