Plenty of applications exist — online, for smartphones, tablets, and more — that allow consumers to look at an area and visualize, in any number of ways, all of the promotions, deals, and coupons that are being offered by the local businesses there. Websites like Yelp led the charge into the idea of crowdsourcing a database of reviews, tips, and opinions about local businesses, and a slew of other companies including Google have invested themselves in making the local consumer experience something that’s more streamlined and social at the same time. At the same time (and perhaps even because of this), online marketing has become more and more a vital part of pretty much any business’ owner’s MO. A company without an online presence is severely limited in its prospects for a lot of reasons, and any business establishment that relies upon foot traffic to a brick-and-mortar location must absolutely be enlisting the help of the Internet to spread awareness. Social media has more or less seamlessly integrated itself into actual social activities at this point. The Internet is about as ubiquitous as it’s going to get, and what’s more is that the vast majority of the population has access to it on a regular basis. The modern smartphone is essentially a small computer that happens to be able to make phone calls — all of this is hugely important to the small business owner. Promotions and discounts have more ways than ever to reach the consumer, and for exactly this reason, many entrepreneurs can wind up feeling overwhelmed.

One of MapQuest’s co-founders, however, has seen this problem, and aims to correct it. His startup Closely has just recently released an application called Perch that aims to do for small business owners what a bevy of apps and web services are already doing for consumers. Plenty of entrepreneurs just don’t know where to start in terms of online advertising and promotions, but an application like Perch — which is available for both the iOS and Android operating systems — will allow them to visualize all the promotions and discounts being offered by competing businesses in the area, so they can get an idea as to how they might hope to have a fair shot at joining the race. The application is subscription-based, and hopes to give a competitive edge to a number of small business owners that might have otherwise not been inclined to invest their time or money into promoting themselves online.

It’s never been easier to get users to click here and offer them an exciting discount, coupon, or promotion. Knowing how to do this is an important part of your business’ ability to compete, and an application like Perch can really help to give you the edge you need. Many investors have already expressed a pretty serious interest in this exciting new application, and your business might be able to seriously benefit from some of the information it can offer you about your competitors and how they’re using the Internet to their advantage.