Developing a successful business to business (B2B) relationship allows your own business to develop more swiftly than would have been possible without the partnership. Establishing a strong business to business relationship is often essential to the success of your business. Imagine having to mine the ore, smelt it into Iron, turn it into steel and all the other steps to make a toaster. In modern business no one can do everything or should they. It is much more profitable to specialize in one or two steps in the process.
B2B is a Relationship
But B2B, like personal relationships may require care to eliminate misunderstanding that can cause many of these relationships to fail soon after the initial agreements are signed. This is often due to conflicts of interest and strategy that exist between the two separate business models. Developing business to business relationships are different than business to consumer in that often B2B relationships last for years as one business is supplied by another year after year. But a B2C, customer may buy once and never buy again. So developing a good B2B working relationship can be more profitable in the long run than a B2C relationship. However, sometimes a particular customer or supplier may be more trouble than they are worth and eliminating the stressful relationships may pay dividends well into the future.
Get B2B Off on the Right Foot
During the formation process of the B2B relationship focus on common ground and shared goals. A mutual understanding of what each business wants and needs is key to moving forward successfully, as this allows each side of the partnership to fully understand what is expected of them.
Once both sides realize that the relationship will be mutually advantageous, the desire to make the details work will help keep things moving forward. But in larger organizations you may need to get buy in from key stake holders who may have a different agenda than the overall organizations goal. Things like turf wars and fights over control, are all too common.
Determining these individual agendas and getting buy in from these stake-holders can be a critical component to the success of the arrangement. Clarity and simple communication of everyone’s agreed obligations and requirements must be established early in the relationship, so everyone involved knows what they’re accountable for.
The volume of B2B (Business-to-Business) transactions is actually much higher than the volume of Business to Consumer (B2C) transactions. Mainly because in a typical supply chain there will be many B2B transactions involving sub-components or raw materials, and only one B2C transaction, specifically sale of the finished product to the end customer. So it is critical to make all of these individual relationships work in order to create a profitable business. So if you absolutely need to have a certain quantity and quality of a particular material available at a certain stage of the production process, it is imperative that your supplier understand those requirements and that they be specifically spelled out in the contract, so that you can both be satisfied with the result. Likewise, if they are running into difficulty in meeting the timetable it is key that they communicate with you so adjustments can be made. Just like in a good marriage a successful B2B relationship is made up of good communication.
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About the Author:
This article has been brought to you by Todd McCullough, an independent blogger and finance researcher. He represents the financial loan company http://wonga.co.za by producing guest posts full of useful business operation and organisation information for various websites.
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