In the world of franchising, the most common demographic to aim at is the general public. By choosing a franchise that appeals to everyone, you have a higher chance of expanding your customer base and spreading further out into the open market.
However, by tailoring your franchise to target a specific audience (and in particular a business audience) can have its plus points too. B2B franchises benefit from having a ‘warm lead’ marketplace, as well as more targeted marketing opportunities. From stationery supplies to IT management, B2B franchises do well, thanks to the ability to focus on a smaller but more receptive marketplace. Here’s a selection of the best B2B franchising opportunities, and a look at why they’ve been so successful.
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Why start a B2B franchise?
B2B franchises offer their services or products to existing businesses, this in turn can end up saving a lot of time and money.
High Customer Loyalty
Once you establish a trusted relationship with a buyer and show them that you are reliable as a supplier, it’s likely that you will have an ongoing connection with them, as it can be a lengthy and costly process for buyers to keep changing their suppliers. Let’s use a signs franchise for example. If they prove reliable and dependable to the local council and a string of secondary schools, then they will likely continue to use the franchise. Repeat customers are almost guaranteed if they do a good job for a good price.
- B2B Definitions
- B2B - What is it?
- B2B E-commerce: How Can You Do It Yourself?
- B2B Enterprise: Create a Franchise
- B2B Sales: Start Your Own Business
- B2C – What Is It?
- What Does B2B Mean?
- What is B2B Marketing?
Predictable and Stable Market
B2B businesses often experience more predictable and stable markets because the B2B sector doesn’t change as suddenly as the B2C market. Similar to the previous point, once B2B businesses have secured relationships with other businesses, they should have relationships that last a number of years. Also, the contracts that they sign will often outline pricing and the agreement so they can plan budgets accurately.
Disadvantages of Starting a B2B Franchise
B2B businesses are at a disadvantage to B2C businesses when it comes to digital marketing. B2C businesses often use social media to entice customers to buy their product/service. It can be more complex for B2B businesses to engage their clients online and with social media. Therefore, this is something that B2B businesses need to think about carefully or seek the help of an outside agency.
Less Potential Customers
In the B2B market, the number of potential buyers is lower than the consumer market, as B2B businesses sell to the businesses that then sell on to consumers. The customer pool gets smaller again if you offer specialised services or niche products. Many businesses may already have established a supplier for the product or service that you are offering, so you may need to poach customers from your competitors, particularly if you’re operating in a small sector.
The Best B2B examples to look at
Auditel specialises in providing businesses with strategic cost management services. The company has been operational for over 20 years, and currently has 160 business management specialists looking after 3,000 clients from a variety of different sectors.
This is a franchise for serious professionals. Auditel takes the cream of the business world and through ongoing training (78 days training a year for an extended support period of 5 years), turns them into financial experts with the ability to review a business’ finance, and then provide the client with methods to accelerate their business performance.
Auditel has been shortlisted for Franchise of the Year, is a full member of the British Franchise Association, and has been awarded the bfa’s Franchisee Support Award. They provide a franchise that’s scalable, with a format that makes it easy to transfer your existing skills into their model. The franchise comes with a full range of analytical tools, and the training to be able to use them effectively.
The initial minimum investment is £20,000, 70% of which can be provided by lenders. The total investment will cost £37,950. A royalty fee of 12.5% of gross revenue has to be paid annually.
Activ Net Marketing
No business can exist without a website these days. While there may be millions of SEO and online marketing analysts out there, there’s one name that tends to stand head and shoulders above one-man-operations and local webmasters, and that's Activ Net Marketing. Activ Net is the leading online marketing franchise and has a solid reputation in the business community.
That gives its franchisees a significant advantage in what is a very crowded marketplace. There's no need to be a webmaster with half a dozen programming languages under your belt, as Activ Net focuses on the SEO and social media marketing side of things, rather than the web development. Activ Net provides all franchisees with in-depth training and ongoing support, enabling franchisees to tap into the 35% of UK businesses that still don't have a web presence.
It's a low-overhead business plan that can be operated from home, so expensive costs such as premises are avoided. However, you will need to get ‘out and about' to talk to local businesses within your franchise patch and have the drive and creativity to make the business work.
An investment of just £9,995 is needed to get involved with this exciting franchise opportunity.
Logistics is a huge sector, with the vast majority of UK goods being hauled by road. That means haulage and logistics companies are always on the lookout for good drivers. Rather than spending money advertising themselves, they prefer to use dedicated employment agencies to find qualified and experienced drivers for them. That’s where Driver Hire comes in.
With three decades of successful operations behind it and five ‘Franchisor of the Year’ awards, Driver Hire is a trusted and respected brand that has powerful connections to some of the largest hauliers in the UK. Franchisees run their own office-based recruitment business, specialising in providing the logistics industry with temporary and permanent drivers, as well as other logistics staff. With a marketplace that’s worth over £32billion, and an average annual turnover of £1.18million per office (compared to the UK franchise average of £378,000) Driver Hire franchises are highly desirable and very, very profitable.
Franchisees get a fully supported six-week training period and ongoing support, including specialist teams to help with everything from HR to PR. No previous experience in the recruitment business is required.
The minimum investment is currently £32,000, whilst the total investment is £40,000. Franchisees can look forward to projected revenue after two years of £500,000.
Post & Packing
If there's one thing that businesses who send out products need, it's P&P. How much you charge your customers for postage and packaging can make or break a company, so minimising costs and getting everything in one place is a big business USP.
Post & Packing is a post shop for businesses and retail outlets that provides easy access to a big range of logistic services including courier services, order fulfilment, storage services, archiving, and post box rental. It may seem like a relatively unglamorous aspect of everyday business life, but P&P can make or break a business. This e-commerce B2B franchise acts primarily as a portal between companies and postal services of all kinds.
B2B e-commerce examples don’t come much simpler than this, or more effective. Because every business will need these types of services at some point in their operations, there’s a huge marketplace to tap into, as well as a solid franchise brand that’s trusted throughout the business community. Ongoing training is offered, and funding support is available.
To become a Post & Packaging franchisee, a minimum initial investment of £25,000 is required.
This consultancy franchise is designed to help small businesses optimise their performance. The franchise is low-overhead, high return, and has a strong brand identity within the business sector. Business Doctors essentially act as ‘trouble-shooters’ for businesses, helping them streamline their operations and become more profitable.
Franchisees will need a solid business background, preferably in management. Previous experience in consultancy is not a prerequisite, as full support and initial training are provided.
A total investment of £39,500 is required to become part of this franchise. Support with funding of up to 70% of working costs is available, based on your financial history. The royalty fee is 6% of the net turnover.
B2B franchises, including B2B e-commerce franchise opportunities, are ideal for those who have a good business background and would prefer the streamlined B2B marketplace compared to the busy B2C one. While opportunities are less readily available, they do tend to generate high returns in a relatively short time. For those who’d prefer not to take on a B2C franchise, B2B opportunities come in both office-based and home-based formats, dealing with everything from consultancy and recruitment through to something as basic but utterly essential as postage.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©