B2B franchising is something of a buzzword at the moment. Take a look at any franchising website or industry publication and you're likely to find an article on the benefits of B2B franchising. But what does the term actually mean and who are the big B2B franchises to look out for? Here, we take an in-depth look at the B2B phenomenon.
What is B2B sales?
B2B stands for "business-to-business" and describes transactions that take place between companies. This can be contrasted with B2C (business-to-customer) companies, which aim their products and services at individual consumers.
So, what do B2B companies look like? Well, they come in many shapes and sizes. They might sell products, offer training services, operate recruitment processes or advise on finances. Depending on the industry, B2B franchises can supply their business customers with a diverse array of products or specialise one niche. For instance, a B2B marketing company may offer their clients products that include leaflets, brochures, signs, branded stationery, clothing or digital advertising guidance.
B2B sales companies in particular sell products to other businesses. These could be parts, tools, equipment, supplies or marketing materials. Here are a few examples of B2B sales companies:
- Wholesalers that sell products to high-street stores
- Tyre manufacturers that sell tyres to car dealerships and garages
- Accounting companies that help businesses with their taxes
As you can see from the accounting company example, B2B sales includes transactions involving services as well as products.
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The B2B sales sector
The B2B sales industry has always played an essential role in the modern economy, but large-scale changes are making it even more central to the economic wellbeing of western nations. One of the biggest drivers of these changes is the internet and e-commerce.
The internet has radicalised the B2B industry because many companies now need help developing their online presence. Most businesses are still working out how to use digital technology effectively and efficiently and require the help of trained professionals to do so. This has created new demand for niche digital knowledge and expertise, resulting in a boom in B2B digital marketing, software development and analytics companies.
However, there is also a diverse array of B2B franchises succeeding outside of the digital sphere. In most cases, they offer their business clients high-quality products at affordable rates by being highly specialised.
Why should I join the B2B sales sector?
The B2B sales sector is a thriving industry, and once you’re a part of it, there are plenty of ways to capitalise on the market. Here are some key statistics from Articulate Marketing that demonstrate how you could start a profitable B2B business:
- Online B2B sales will generate $1.2 trillion in revenue by 2021
- 71 percent of existing B2B businesses think easy-to-use websites are one of their most valuable features – so, by creating a user-friendly website, you can put yourself ahead of the competition
- 95 percent of buyers search for businesses that offer relevant, informative content and 82 percent read at least five pieces of content before making their purchase – so, by developing high-quality content, you can make sure you attract trusting buyers
- 64 percent of salespeople that use social media reach their quotas (15 percent more than those who don’t) – by creating social media profiles and carrying out online activity, you can increase your sales
- Salespeople who carry out lead nurturing are 20 percent more likely to complete a purchase – therefore, it’s clear that lead nurturing can dramatically boost your profitability
- 76 percent of sales emails never get opened – so, if you take the time to learn about the content customers value, you can make sure your emails are read, while other companies are ignored
As you can see, the B2B sales industry holds loads of potential for entrepreneurs, and there are definitely ways you can get ahead of your competitors and create a lucrative business model.
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Our top 5 B2B sales franchises
There is a huge number of B2B franchises trying to make it in an increasingly competitive market. However, the quality of their offerings varies enormously. Consequently, we’ve made a list of our top five B2B franchise opportunities in the UK.
1. Activ Net Marketing
Activ Net Marketing is one of the UK’s best established digital marketing franchises, and primarily focuses on supplying businesses with attractive and intuitive web designs. It boasts a network of over 25 franchisees and a franchising team with over 11 years of experience. That’s why this business knows what it takes to deliver high-quality B2B products and build a business' reputation.
To become a franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of approximately £9,995. This grants you access to the business' web design software, enrolment on a thorough training course and ongoing support from the franchisor's development team.
2. Mac Tools
Mac Tools is a US import that benefits from excellent brand reach and one of the most comprehensive franchise packages available on the market. With more than 58 years of experience in the UK market, the organisation has had plenty of time to perfect its franchise model and put an effective support system in place. All franchisees are allocated an exclusive territory with enough customers to sustain a successful franchise. As a van-based business, Mac Tools allows for greater flexibility and a better work-life balance too.
A total investment of around £50,000 is necessary to become a Mac Tools franchisee. This will buy you everything you need to get your business off the ground, including a van, stock, training, marketing materials and business supplies.
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If you enjoy a little creativity in your work, you may want to consider a FASTSIGNS franchise. Specialising in the design, manufacture and installation of business signage, FASTSIGNS is one of the UK's leading sign manufacturers. Boasting more than 675 franchise units across 10 countries, the franchise is now a global phenomenon, with its business model having proven successful in multiple international markets.
To become a FASTSIGNS franchisee, a total of investment of £120,000 is necessary. This will buy you a protected territory and assistance selecting a premises, as well as both practical, product-based and business management training. The franchisor will also help you with your grand opening and provide you with ongoing support as you grow your business.
4. Minuteman Press
Although Minuteman Press isn't an exclusively B2B franchise, the vast majority of its services are aimed at business customers. The company focuses on providing its clients with high-quality print and marketing products, ranging from shop signs to brochures and leaflets. In recent years, the franchise has focused on updating the technology at its franchisees' disposal, ensuring that they're able to stay abreast of the latest industry developments.
A Minuteman Press unit will cost approximately £84,000, but this figure is likely to differ depending on the location and size of the business premises. Excellent training is provided to all franchisees, who will also benefit from the resources of one of the most experienced franchisors in the business.
Snap-on retails precision engineered tools to business customers around the country. Focusing on providing automotive equipment and tools to mechanics, the franchise is van-based and involves franchisees taking their wares to the numerous potential customers situated in each of their territories.
A minimum investment of £16,000 is necessary to get a Snap-on franchise off the ground, but the total cost is likely to be more than £100,000. The franchise offers in-house financing options to those who require financial assistance, so you should be able to get the funding you need to launch your new venture.
Become a B2B sales franchisee
This article has focused on some of the best B2B sales franchises out there. Coming from a wide range of different sectors and demanding vastly different investment prices, there should be something to suit every taste and budget.
As the internet becomes increasingly important to businesses across the world, now is a fantastic time to join the B2B sales sector. As we’ve explained, companies can make a huge different to their profitability just by making a few simple changes to their strategies when it comes to online activity.
Become a B2B franchisee
Point Franchise has plenty of B2B sales franchises for you to get involved in. But this isn’t all – in our directory, you’ll find a whole host of franchises in the B2B sector, from flexible workspace providers to healthcare recruitment agencies, couriers and technology cleaning businesses.
The B2B industry is a fairly large one, encompassing every business that carries out transactions with other commercial enterprises. If you’ve decided it’s the right place for you to start running your own business, you’ll have a lot of different options to choose from.
Use our specialised directory to find the right B2B franchise for you. You’ll be able to filter and sort the selection by location, investment cost and popularity. Once you’ve narrowed your choice down, you can read about the opportunities you’re interested in and request more information.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©