B2B might not seem flashy, but here is why more entrepreneurs are choosing cash over flash
Business to business professionals will be the first to tell you that while finicky “business to customer” clients spend a lot of time “window shopping” without buying, there are a great many B2B clients who are sophisticated, professionally trained buyers and they have money to spend on exactly what they want. If you have what a business to business client wants and can bring them a solid return on their investment, you’ve got them – and if you satisfy them you could have them for a very long time.
A great portion of B2B success comes from dedication to generating AND nurturing leads, while those in the B2C world spend a lot more time focusing on making sales in one step from customers who don’t always come back. In a B2B environment, it is important to build lucrative win-win relationships that are beneficial to both parties. Business to business companies have more money to spend than individual consumers, and they are more likely to come back to you for bigger purchases if you can provide quality services and discover ways to help them grow.
The Human Element of B2B
Stephan Parmett, Minuteman Press of Williston Park, NY, reinforces the notion that while it’s primarily “dollars and cents” for B2B clients, the human element still plays a major role in securing sales and having freedom to choose with whom you do business is another neat perk of business to business ownership. He explains, “Even though this is a B2B, we also do business with individuals, such as invitations and corporate items. I just did a job of 50,000 envelopes. My feeling on business to business services is that I don’t do business with anyone that I can’t speak freely to. I like to be able to pick the businesses I want to deal with. This is a very important thing, this choice. Truth is, the nice thing about b2b is that once you satisfy them, they will keep ordering. And the beauty of printing is there is so much re-ordering. Once you get them on board, it’s a constant return business situation. It is also a relief as it is not ‘recreating the wheel every time’. It’s easier. The volume is there and there are a tremendous amount of reorders.”
ROI is Key
Business owners will need good, practical reasons for every purchase they make and the more expensive the purchase, the more practical they become. Therefore, the return on investment (ROI) needs to be worth the money they are spending, especially on new purchases. If you are in the position the help prove that the services and products you offer to them will indeed deliver a sound payoff, they will go with you and also look to you for advice. As a result, the advantages to B2B ownership can prove to run deeper than B2C by virtue of repeat business.
Building Respect among Fellow Small Business Owners = Referrals
There is inherent value and distinct advantages that come with business to business ownership, starting at the local level, your own backyard. You will be building relationships with other local businesses and join the tradition of small local businesses that have successfully developed roots within their communities. A business owner has a unique opportunity to build respect, increase recognition, and generate trust with members of the community, and that’s a unique way to attract and keep customers. When you connect with other business owners, they are more likely to remember and recommend your business (provided of course that you are not in direct competition). Often they are owned and operated by local residents who will want to look out for one another. Once you have the respect of the small business community, it is easier to work with larger business members.
To shed light on the personal satisfaction perhaps overlooked by typical reviews of B2B opportunities, know that many have discovered that business to business ownership is truly a situation to be enjoyed while becoming profitable, with entrepreneurs discovering the advantages of working with business people as clients. They usually know what they want, when they want it, and they usually have a specific budget with which to work. They also have very specific expectations regarding quality, and timelines for completion of the product. Business customers are very knowledgeable about their products.
Why Mentors and Allies within the B2B Arena are Priceless
While examining businesses for sale or even franchise for sale opportunities, keep in mind that exploring the right options and discovering the best mentors can help you to find just the perfect fit in the B2B world and help you appreciate its many advantages. For instance, while examining franchising opportunities within the business services industry, many people have come through the doors of B2B pros, Joe Brenneis and his partner Greg Duffey, owners of The Minuteman Press franchise in Norwalk, CT. Joe and Greg welcome such visits with honest, practical advice, as they have the experience to share the benefits of B2B entrepreneurship.
Joe shares, “Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President Jim Galasso brings prospective buyers in all the time and we tell them directly: ‘You don’t have to be a printer.’” And the fact is that Minuteman helps find you the right employees, which is a major benefit if you do not have prior experience in certain areas. Let’s say a stock broker doesn’t know about printing and needs advice on good designers, and print operators. Well, he is covered because Minuteman Press International helps get these people. Plus, guys like Greg and me, guys with experience in the industry, are more than happy to assist fellow franchisees once they are on board.”
Joe is also able to share with anyone who conducts a Minuteman Press review at his location the truth about franchise ownership as an advantage if one wishes to pursue into business to business success – welcoming access to the highest of the executive-level staff. Joe says, “Minuteman Press International President/CEO Bob Titus and Executive Vice President & Director of Training Mike Jutt are nice guys, down to earth enough that they will interact with you at social events. Compare THAT to other franchisors where in some cases it’s a horror story where you simply cannot reach anyone. But I can call Mike or Bob and they pick up the phone. When you go to a regional meeting, it is made clear every time that they genuinely want to see you succeed. Any doubts about franchising or B2B potential is alleviated once you get to know these guys.”
Another advantage of B2B, therefore, are the options one has that go beyond striking out alone. Franchising opportunities (the good ones) within the business services industry, allow you to become part of a grand network of supported B2B entrepreneurs who feel assured by the cushion of a time-tested, proven system with advisors who become invested in the growth of your business – AND they put their own expertise to work for you along the way.
Mike Arndt, along with his wife and co-owner, Julie, took advantage of the chance to own and operate a thriving digital print, design and marketing franchise. They own two Minuteman Press locations now in Brandon and Plant City, FL, and point not only to B2B advantages that positively affect their wallets, but also allow for a lifestyle more favorable than other entrepreneurial options. Mike explains, “B2Bs have, obviously, more professional clientele and are therefore more likely to honor payment terms. They also order more products and when their businesses are successful, WE are successful! Business hours of operation are favorable too, operating 8:30am-5:00pm hours or “business hours” is a perk. Also, B2B clients usually know what they are doing and what they want.”
3 Advantages of B2B Business Ownership
Minuteman Press franchise owner Julie Arndt offers these 3 advantages of B2B business ownership:
1. Provide Help to Spur Growth: In our industry, print and marketing purchases for business purposes are about growth and have an impact on bringing in new business. When you can help another business grow, you, in turn, will reap the benefits.
2. B2B Clients Plan to Spend on a Recurring Basis: Business to business clients plan to spend and there is a recurring need that provides ample opportunity for repeat business. Personal purchases from individual customers are usually more budget dependent and may occur on a more random basis.
3. Loyalty! There is simply more loyalty with B2B clients and less turnover in customers.
There is Plenty of Opportunity in B2B Operations
Some say business to business operation isn’t as flashy as business to customer options, but greater potential for cash is all the flash you need if you are a serious entrepreneur and so is the chance to have a lifestyle that doesn’t force you to work around the clock. The fact is that B2B customers are professional buyers who know what they want and they have the money to buy it. If you secure customers as a business to business services professional, you will find that they tend to be more loyal than business to customer clients, so there is that chance at greater stability if you tend to your existing customer base as it grows.
To top it off, if you look at all of your options, you will quickly learn that it is not necessary to strike out into the business services industry on your own. So, explore all of your options including potential franchising opportunities and you might find that the right one will fortify your investment with a solid brand identity, support and systems of marketing and business management that will allow you the chance to become profitable with greater peace of mind – and in any business, there are no greater advantages than those.