When talking about business models, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the different types and all the nitty-gritty components that go into having a business. Which business model is right for me? Which is effective? How are they effective? How are they different from each other?
To understand what a business model is, we first have to understand what it is not. It is not a set of directions of how you should run a business. It is not a long-term plan. And it is also not a single set of formulas that solve how you should conduct business operations. If that were the case, every company would be the same. Bottom line, there is no single answer for how a business is operated.
Yes, the cliché is true. “Success is a journey”. There is no single path to success. There are suggestions of how to get there, but it’s up to you to make the vehicle and drive it. Therefore, we now define a business model as “a plan for the successful operation of a business, identifying sources of revenue, the intended customer base, products, and details of financing.”
It is a blueprint and a roadmap that gives you a basic template for how you create the parts that make the vehicle run. It is a suggestion, not law. Because ultimately, things can change when it starts functioning. Expect that it may not be a perfect vehicle at the beginning. It may be a little clunky, but it works.
B2B v. B2C Marketing and Sales Models…What?
Exactly. Let’s break this down.
In figuring out your “path to success”, your business needs to communicate with the market, and whether they are individuals or other businesses. Let’s say you want to open up a bakery. You’ve been baking since you were 5. It was a hobby you did with your grandma. And you have years of experience. Great, but how do you do it?
Let’s be real here, the first thing you’re probably going to do is “Google” it. Google will say “Figure out what kind of bakery you want to open.” And you say, ‘I want to open up a pastry shop.’ Then Google says, “Okay, next, you make a business model…”
Huh. Now you’ve got a Pandora’s Box of questions you need to answer:
- You need to figure out what kind of pastries you’re going to sell i.e. your menu.
- What are the ingredients you’re going to need to make them?
- Where are you going to get them?
- How are you going to get them?
- And how much are you going to need?
- Of the product, how many are you going to make in a single day?
- Who do you need to talk to to make all of this happen?
It sounds overwhelming but basically, you just need to start making a lot of phone calls and doing a ton of research. This is where commercial transactions come in. They are types of interactions “between two or more parties in which goods, services or something of value is exchanged for some type of remuneration…” Essentially, it is the different ways you interact between a person or a business, where you swap a product or service in exchange for something in return.
The Business Model That works
B2C and B2B are forms of these commercial transactions. B2C stands for “Business-to-Customer”, which is a process of selling goods directly to individuals.
B2B, on the other hand, stands for “Business-to-Business” which deals with selling to businesses. This could also be called “wholesale”.
Going back to our “bakery” example, you can either set-up shop at a local farmer’s market and sell to individual customers (B2C) or you can go to other (sometimes larger) food chains and set up a partnership to sell to them (B2B). Another example of B2B is the relationship between a bakery and the companies they source flour and sugar from. The farms they get their eggs from, as well as the entity that supplies their to-go boxes, paper plates, and utensils. This now creates an ecosystem where wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers interact with each other.
Streamlined Communication Tools with SeeBiz
Now that we’ve dealt with the differences between B2B and B2C, we’re going to narrow the playing field even more to just B2B. To create the relationships you need to run your business, you need effective communication tools. Again, this is one of those things where you have a ton of options and you won’t know where to start. They are all different and they all vary depending on how you transact, your sales strategy, how big your business model is, scope, and pricing. It’s crucial that you choose the right one.
The great thing about SeeBiz is that it is a versatile, online networking platform that can be tailor-fitted for your company. Whether you’ve been running your business for a while or starting from square one. Everybody gets a chance to succeed by bringing on the people you trust. When you invite your connections on the platform, you get a network that you can begin with.
From here, you can start organizing them into categories, which you can find on the left-hand side of your profile. SeeBiz has already given you 3 to start: “wholesalers”, “distributors” and “manufacturers”. Feel free to add more and modify however you like.
Your Products Take Center Stage
When you post a product, you can price them accordingly and even select which groups get to see them. These products can also be categorized into catalogs, which allows your connections the convenience of seeing your products collectively. This is a more streamlined approach to commercial transactions, since it eliminates the need for third party software.
SeeBiz Messenger, which is a combination of email and instant message, lets you interact with your connections based on how they are grouped. It gives you a space to make negotiations privately and securely.
The platform also gives you the added benefit of exploring other companies through the “Companies You May Know” feature by suggesting businesses that you can reach out to that are within the same industry, location, or have the same product.