Social media and online promotions create new opportunities for small business owners, along with a dizzying array of new information to understand and track. This week, Denver-based startup Closely joined leading entrepreneurs and technologists at O’Reilly Media’s Where 2.0 conference to share a new mobile app designed to help small business owners understand the emerging digital dimension of their local business neighborhood.
Perry Evans, company founder and CEO, announced the launch of Perch: a mobile application that provides a new birds eye view of local business intelligence for the small business user. Evans explained that while small business owners are interested in reaching consumers with new marketing channels, they often struggle with understanding what is going on, let alone how to use them to their full advantage.
By delivering a live, personalized stream of deals, specials and social media activity from nearby businesses direct to a mobile device, Perch cuts through the noise and shows the activities of their business neighbors and competitors as they begin to more fully engage with this new media landscape.
“Small business owners tell us they feel out of control and just can't keep up,” said Evans,“a lot of this is a function of the limited time and confidence in their knowledge. We see an often visceral fear that their competitors may be getting a leg up on them.”
Perch starts with a live digest of competitive daily deal, Facebook and Foursquare activity, delivered to the business owner’s smartphone. The app empowers the merchant to be more in control and effective in their increasingly important digital promotion decisions. The first application of its kind, Perch allows the small business owner to gain perspective quickly without sacrificing time away from running the business.
"Perch is a totally unique business intelligence tool for small business owners," said Greg Sterling, senior analyst at Opus Research. "It provides competitive insights and data, which are not available from other services in the SMB segment."
Closely is offering access to Perch to a select group of beta users in the second quarter of 2012. To view details or request an invite, visit closely.com or CloselyPerch.com/.