Tech companies the world over are consumer companies. Even if they are online, like Amazon or Google, they may be attracted to B2C (business to consumer) but they should not let that derail them from their plan. Starting from scratch (like a startup) means hunkering down and getting a game plan for how to do good business first. This means focusing in on a B2B company before thinking about a B2C company. There is more potential for growth, even if it seems a gamble at first.
As a startup, nothing is more concerning than losing control of the customer. B2B is in the control of the startup. Ask businesses what their problems are and think about products to solve those issues. It is about thinking through how to control the market, so the market doesn’t control the startup. B2B customers know what they want, but B2C products are just shooting into dark space, not sure if what they have will work. Customers cannot articulate what they want. Take an educated guess, but it is still lucky, at best. That is because customers make decisions based of actors outside whether products solve their problems. They don’t make purchases and use products based on rational thought. Some big hits are fads or solve problems people never knew existed. A B2B customer has 2 questions:
- Will this solve the problem
- Is it important enough to me that I will pay for it?
Clear Steps for Growth
A B2B is going to be more successful and grow quicker if it figures out how to do one product well. When it does that, they can add secondary products. Think of Google, which first developed its online platform. It branched into Gmail, Chrome, and other products which are successful, too. Second acts are not always going to gain as much traction as the first act, but may prove to be just as, if not more, profitable than the first. Some key ways to implement a growth strategy when looking at a B2B-oriented startup might include:
- Solving a problem for the startup
- Building something as an expert in the marketplace
- Take a shot and see if it works
Without taking calculated risks, a B2B will never know if it can be successful. There are enough features that they want to come to the company for more products. Don’t go B2C unless it means getting serious about solving an issue.
Think about passion and what it means to establish a startup in the current culture. It means solving a problem for consumers, but also solving that problem for the startup. Think through all the concepts and ideas that can happen when pulling things together for a plan to solve a customer’s challenges. There may be several ideas, all good, but only one worth pursuing in the moment. It is worth investing time and energy in a growth strategy that is going to harness potential for the future. Not all B2Bs are going to be successful. They may fail at what they try, but they should keep developing out their ideas, look at competitors, and seek new ways to innovate. Customers want to buy products they know work. Put together ideas and gather the means of doing it in a way that puts the startup at the top of people’s minds when they think of that product. It just might mean the difference between success and falling short of the goals needed to keep the business going past the startup phase.