B2B or Not to Be?

Can you answer a resounding “YES” to these questions?

ü Am I willing to dedicate long hours every day for at least two years to get my business up and running?

ü Do I have or am I willing to learn (or hire someone) to network with other small business owners in my local community?

ü Am I able and willing to take direction from a franchisor partner?

ü If some of my potential customers turn me away, will I remain upbeat and steadfast in an effort to get new business?

If you can answer in the affirmative to all four questions, a business to business franchise may be the ideal opportunity for you. As a B2B franchisee, you will provide needed services to other small businesses, saving them time and money and making you part of their success while making a success of your own business. There are also advantages to being part of the B2B industry over retail businesses and the varieties of franchises in this area are vast.

Business Services

Services to small businesses include everything from ship and mail centers to business consulting, temporary personnel placement and IT support. Other B2B franchises provide such services as commercial cleaning, tax preparation and marketing. It is generally less expensive for a small business to outsource these services than it would be to have a dedicated employee on staff, so these types of franchises are in demand.

Outsourcing is becoming more and more popular as a way to trim operating costs. Additionally, it allows businesses – large and small – to focus resources on their core competencies while relying on the expertise of the service provider.

Business to Business Products

Some of the franchises providing products to local businesses include copier toner and ink jet suppliers and refillers, office supply companies, logo apparel businesses, and sign companies.

Numerous Advantages

There are many advantages to the franchisee who owns a B2B company. One obvious advantage is that you operate the same hours as your clients are open – Monday to Friday during normal business hours. Knowing that you have a traditional schedule and that your hours are limited can be a great advantage, particularly to the franchisee who is balancing work and family.

Compare these hours to those worked by the owner of a retail business (nine to nine, seven days a week) or a fast food franchise, which could be open from 6am to 2am, every day, and you’ll be even more impressed by a business offering a livable work schedule.

For those people transitioning from corporate America to business ownership, a B2B franchise will use many of your previously learned skills. You will not be working with the general public but calling on business professionals and offering them products and services they need. If you have a background in sales and marketing in any industry, you’ll find you can use those same skills in your B2B franchise business.

Another advantage is that as a franchisee, you will most likely have national buying power through your franchisor and be able to get better pricing on the products you sell or on the supplies for your services, and you will pass savings on to your customers.

A B2B franchise is often less expensive to get into than other types of franchise businesses and may also have smaller operating expenses. Because you will probably not be required to locate your business in prime retail space, your overhead will be less than that of a business catering to the general public.

Many B2B businesses, particularly in service categories, can run their companies from home offices, which can greatly reduce operating expenses. For example, service B2B franchise owners can manage a staff of technicians who travel to the site of the business. By eliminating the high overhead associated with a storefront, B2B owners can focus their resources on advertising, marketing and management.

Business to business franchise companies provide a much needed service to small business and they are one of the fastest growing sectors in the franchise industry. Whether you have a home-based or brick and mortar location or if you choose a service or product providing business, a B2B franchise can provide you with a low-cost, high-demand business opportunity with both a home-town feel and the support of a national franchise company.

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I use my skills and experience to guide you from the beginning to the end of the franchise investing process