News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

SavvySME brings social commerce to small business

Sydney-based startup SavvySME is looking to disrupt the booming Australian business-to-business (B2B) online market by targeting the local small-business products and services. Australian B2B e-commerce is big business. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey released in 2012 shows record high revenue of $189b in online sales in the 12 months to 2010-11, majority of which were B2B sales orders.

What makes SavvySME unique is its application of social commerce by building a community marketplace that is focused entirely on the needs of small businesses and startups. SavvySME integrates a social network with an online marketplace, providing a single platform for startups and small businesses.

SavvySME has launched its first beta release, which is a social network for businesses to connect with their experts, peers and service providers. The platform allows members to share and collaborate through Quora-style Q&A, as well as blogging and online engagement using a series of powerful social features. The platform will also feature the B2B marketplace soon.

“SavvySME is a social network where you buy and sell business services”, said founder, Phil Khor. “Think of SavvySME as LinkedIn meets Quora and Amazon, for small businesses in Australia” he explains.

SavvySME has been designed specifically for business owners and entrepreneurs to connect with those who can help them with starting and growing their businesses. SavvySME cuts through the clutter that plagues existing global social networks, and promotes rich and relevant content and interaction on the site.

Phil is a seasoned management consultant with 15 years experience, who has also started and run a property development business. In 2010, he left the corporate world to focus on property development. In the process, he found an opportunity to fill a gap in the market by helping other business owners find the help they may need.

“I found it nearly impossible to scale my business without the proper support of service providers I trust. Worse still, looking for reliable service providers was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. That’s when it hit me. Surely I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. That’s when SavvySME was conceived.”

According to Sensis 2012 e-Business report, after email and Internet banking, the most important uses of the Internet for SMEs relate to looking for information and suppliers of products and services for their business.

“Small-business owners often struggle to find the right professional advice and support, while their service providers waste too much time manually targeting prospects and customers online,” Khor said.

The concept behind SavvySME combines the latest digital marketing trends and web technology, with B2B and e-commerce sales. It helps drive interaction between businesses and services in a more effective and productive fashion than existing online B2B channels.

There are now over 400 local businesses and startups already on-board and using the site actively since its beta release last November. The network is growing quickly, and with a bold and ambitious plan, SavvySME is certainly a startup to watch out for in 2013.

Startup Daily