Small businesses across the world rely on big-name products and services to keep their businesses running smoothly. Business coaching, credit card processing systems, payroll and accounting software and human resource management are just a few of the many services small and large businesses use every day. A “business to business service” or B2B is a company that provides the raw goods, components or business tools necessary for another company to operate.
A B2B company charges fees for its services, but although it can be expensive, it is often necessary to purchase materials you need or services that are outside your own expertise. Researching which B2B companies make reliable partners and which products you should (or shouldn't) use could save you time and money that would be better spent taking care of your own customers.
Top 10 Best Rated Business Services
ConsumerAffairs for Brands is a customer engagement platform designed to help businesses respond to customer reviews. It also helps businesses manage their online presence by creating more visibility in online search results.
|Read 60 Reviews|
iPayment is a credit card processing system used by more than 153,000 small businesses throughout the U.S. Services include next-day funding and dedicated account representatives. It also accepts all major credit cards.
|Read 263 Reviews|
ADP has been a global provider of cloud-based solutions for Human Resources, payroll, tax and benefits administration for over 60 years. Since its inception, it has worked with more than 610,000 clients worldwide.
|Read 470 Reviews|
Flagship Merchant Services offers credit card processing to businesses ranging from retail stores and restaurants to e-commerce sites and mail-order businesses. Solutions include POS systems and a digital loyalty program.
|Read 253 Reviews|
Dex Media provides marketing solutions for small businesses. Its DexHub service provides business website, social media marketing and online search results management, as well as print services like yellow pages advertising.
|Read 387 Reviews|
YP, formerly yellowpages.com, is a marketing solutions company providing business listings and advertising. YP owns the YP app and yp.com, which together help over 60 million consumers connect with business providers each year.
|Read 573 Reviews|
With over 80 years of experience, Hibu has helped thousands of small businesses to get found. We have strategically partnered with online leaders such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook in order to maximize results.
|Read 273 Reviews|
Founded in 2007, The Business Backer is a loan company specializing in small business financing options and offers an online application process. The Business Backer is a holding of Enova International, an online loan company.
|Read 11 Reviews|
Founded in 2005 and based in New York, Bizfi is an automated online marketplace for financing options, specializing in business loans. Their services include short- and medium-term, SBA loans, equipment financing and more.
|Read 12 Reviews|
Fonality offers both business and consumer phone services. Fonality’s business branch offers both VoIP services, which connects callers over the Internet, and hosted on-premises telephone systems, called PBX.
|Read 357 Reviews|
What B2B features matter most?
Accessibility and ease of use
A B2B service exists entirely to make your business operations easier. If the service is confusing, complicated, difficult to use or overly technical, you may not use it optimally or you may find that it complicates rather than simplifies your own business processes.
- User-friendly website: Especially if the B2B service provides an e-commerce or digital service that you will use regularly, like an online payment portal or scheduling app, be sure the website or app is simple and easy to use. You don’t want to keep your customers waiting while you try to figure out how to complete a digital transaction. Other companies may use a web portal to order or renew services or respond to customer service issues. Be sure these elements are user-friendly.
- Local and convenient: If you’re choosing a service provider that you will interface with in person on a regular basis, like a security or janitorial service, find one that is not only local to you but conveniently located. If you have an unexpected need, you’ll have less time to wait. Be sure that, regardless of the company’s physical location, your company is located in their prime delivery or service area.
- Simple and straightforward: Whatever service the company provides, they should take all the guesswork out of the process for you and make the process simple. If their company seems in disarray, they may be more of a headache than a help. They are the experts in their area and that should be apparent.
To succeed as a B2B in this competitive marketplace, a company must build a loyal customer base and provide consistent, helpful and cost-effective goods or services. Choosing a B2B provider with a good reputation can be a great way to increase the odds that the partnership will benefit your company. Check reviews online or ask around in your industry.
- Reliability: A company with a good reputation has usually been around a while, at least long enough to prove itself trustworthy with its customers. This can help you feel assured the company will stay around and continue to provide the service as long as you need. A new or start-up company may not survive and may leave you in the lurch.
- Legal compliance: A B2B company with a solid reputation is more likely to be in compliance with any local or federal laws that might apply to them or to your industry. Ask for accreditation, certification, licenses, permits or any other necessary documentation to be sure.
- Relevant: When choosing a B2B provider, it’s important to choose one that has a good reputation specifically among others in your own industry. While a B2B service might be helpful for some organizations, it might complicate business operations for others. A solid reputation indicates that other businesses like yours have successfully used the service to manage or grow their organizations. Ask a B2B company for references in your industry or one similar to yours.
Reliable customer service
If you are counting on a B2B company to make your own company operate smoothly or provide you with the goods you need to function, you need to know you can call with any trouble and have your issues resolved immediately.
- Hours of operation: A B2B company’s hours should at least match your own operating hours, and ideally their customer service lines should remain open even when your company is closed for the day. If your website goes down during peak business hours, you’ll need to be able to call your provider and have the issue addressed right away.
- Responsiveness: Customer service agents or business representatives might be available to take your complaint or question right away, but may not consistently get back to you with a resolution promptly. This might be because they have a long queue of clients in front of you or because they aren’t efficient, but either way, it can mean a longer wait for you until your business is up and running smoothly again.
- Online portal: Many B2B companies utilize websites, email, or digital apps for customer service or troubleshooting. This can be more convenient than leaving telephone messages and waiting for them to call you back. You’ll often get a “ticket number,” email confirmation and status updates to let you know that your issue is in queue for resolution.
B2B services make money by charging for their services, but they should not put a financial strain on your business. A B2B company is only a good investment for your business if it means that it will ultimately help your company make more money. For instance, the money you spend on a janitorial service means you will have an extra few hours each day to work. As long as you will make more profit by working those hours than the janitorial service costs, the service may be worth securing.
- Per-use fees: Some B2B companies that are infrequently utilized will charge a single fee for their services. For example, you may pay a graphic designer one time to design your company’s logo, but if you want to use their services again in the future for your marketing materials, you’ll have to secure a new contract.
- Recurring payments: Many B2B companies charge a flat-rate service fee on a weekly, monthly or otherwise recurring schedule. You may have to pay a fee up front to set up your account, then a set payment amount according to the schedule in your contract. Web hosting companies and janitorial services are examples of B2B companies that might charge on a recurring basis.
- Volume discounts: If you are using a B2B company for raw materials, component parts or other services that come in bulk, ask about a volume discount. If you have the storage space and the product is non-perishable, you might save money by buying in bulk.
What are different types of business service companies?
Raw material and parts providers
Companies that manufacture or create products or goods for sale rarely create the product from scratch. Instead, they must purchase their raw materials and component parts from another provider. Some companies specialize in raw materials like iron, minerals or rubber; others create component parts like pipes, electronics parts or cake frosting.
Internet based e-commerce partners
Many companies rely on web-based software, apps and digital scheduling services to conduct business. B2B companies that fall into this category include website and email hosts, online payment portals, field or fleet management software and many others.
Business supply companies
These types of companies provide goods or materials, but not for your company’s final product. For example, if your company sells t-shirts, you will probably also need ink pens and notebooks to record business information. The office supplies are not part of your final product but still needed to run your business. Other examples include companies that supply vending machine stock and toiletries.
General business services
Some B2B companies do behind-the-scenes work that can help your business run smoothly by saving you time. For example, cleaning services, marketing or other consulting firms, caterers and corporate lawyers all provide business services to other companies.
What businesses need business services?
Businesses of all sizes
Almost any business can benefit from certain services from a B2B provider. Generally, the larger and more profitable the business, the more B2B companies the business will need to work with to optimize productivity, efficiency and profit.
Small business owners or entrepreneurs
B2B service companies can provide business services and goods for the smallest business. Even one-person consulting firms can often benefit from B2B e-commerce, banking or tax service partners.
Growing or struggling companies
While businesses of all sizes might need to work with a B2B company, companies that are experiencing growing pains might especially benefit from their help. A business service company might help a struggling business with scheduling, debt collection, marketing or a number of other services that can help turn a business’s prospects around.
Government and nonprofit organizations
Even though they are referred to as “business services,” these companies also work with government entities and nonprofits, supplying goods and services needed to run these organizations effectively and efficiently. Some B2B service companies even provide discounts to governmental or non-profit clients.
What do the experts have to say?
Progressive Leasing helps retail stores and merchants obtain financing for their customers with less-than-perfect credit by offering an alternative to traditional financing. It offers a lease-to-own purchase program for stores to offer their customers as an additional payment option, ensuring they are able to leave the store with the purchase they came in for.
- Best for retailers who want to offer their customers another payment option.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
11 – 40 Best Rated Business Services
TriNet is a full-service human resource solution for small- and mid-sized businesses. TriNet administers insurance, benefits, vacation time and more for businesses. Business employees create profiles and manage accounts.
|Read 27 Reviews|
Founded in 2008, SiteLock is a digital security company that uses cloud technology and website maintenance and repair to secure client webpages. SIteLock works with businesses to detect malware, block spam and more.
|Read 9 Reviews|
Achieve Today, formerly known as Prosper, is a Utah-based business coaching service that specializes in employee engagement, retention and satisfaction as well as individual employee performance coaching.
|Read 20 Reviews|
Founded in 2000 in Florida, EmbroidMe is a promotional product franchise company, specializing in custom embroidery on products like aprons, hats and more as well as branded hardlines like travel mugs and cell phone cases.
|Read 8 Reviews|
Founded in 1975, the Mike Ferry Organization specializes in real estate business coaching and sales training. They specialize in seminars, workshops, clinics and retreats for individual realtors and realtor companies.
|Read 11 Reviews|
Stores Online is an e-commerce hosting company that provides businesses and entrepreneurs with the online tools they need to grow an Internet-based business or build a website for an existing brick-and-mortar store.
|Read 129 Reviews|
Founded in 1998, Cynergy Data, now merged with Priority Payment, is a payment processing service. Their services include point-of-service credit card processing, price setting services and mobile pay options for businesses.
|Read 15 Reviews|
Based in California, Leaders Merchant Services provides credit- and debit-card processing services for businesses. It works with businesses in all 50 states and offers both point-of-sale swipe pads and online merchant services.
|Read 28 Reviews|
Service Net provides business services including warranty management, claims processing management, service network management and other service management support. Service Net is a branch of insurance company AIG.
|Read 29 Reviews|
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Intuit provides financial software to individuals, small businesses and accountants. Its payroll software is used by over 1.3 million small business across the globe.
|Read 88 Reviews|
Based in Pennsylvania, Progressive Business Publications provides business information services. Originally a newsletter publisher, PBP now has fifteen product lines including online training, publishing services and more.
|Read 173 Reviews|
In business for more than 23 years, Industrial Chem Labs & Services is an industrial chemical manufacturer and distributor based in Deer Park, New York. They offer over 100 products including aerosols, disinfectants and more.
|Read 144 Reviews|
Originally called Quicken and founded in 1983, QuickBooks is a flagship software product from software company Intuit. QuickBooks is designed as a small business solution for managing accounting, payroll, payments and taxes.
|Read 646 Reviews|
Founded in 1995, eFax is an online fax service for small businesses. Clients use their site to send and receive faxes from phones, computers or mobile devices. eFax is a brand of j2 Global Communications, a cloud service company.
|Read 130 Reviews|
WageWorks is an online consumer-directed benefits (CDB) company for businesses. WageWorks implements and monitors CDB programs for employees such as flexible spending accounts, health service accounts, commuter benefits and more.
|Read 186 Reviews|
In business since 1997, ProPay is a Utah-based corporation that provides credit card processing services to businesses and individuals. It provides services for Internet businesses, small and home-based businesses and more.
|Read 15 Reviews|
TeleCheck is a check processing service by First Data, a business solutions company. TeleCheck provides point-of-service check acceptance and processing and risk analysis for businesses, with verification and warranty services.
|Read 338 Reviews|
First Data is a business solutions company that provides payment processing and related services for organizations of all sizes, including small businesses, large merchants, national and global financial organizations and more.
|Read 291 Reviews|
Founded in 2003, Merchant Service Group is a processing company based in Huntington Beach, California. It provides payment processing for businesses of all sizes, and offers multilingual customer service in over a dozen languages.
|Read 15 Reviews|
Headquartered in Connecticut, Pitney Bowes was founded in 1920 and is now a leading provider of business services ranging from eCommerce solutions to shipping and mailing services, customer information management and more.
|Read 55 Reviews|
TransTech Merchant Group is a merchant services company based in Carrollton, Texas. It provides payment processing technology for point-of-sale and eCommerce retailers, including credit, debit and check processing and more.
|Read 37 Reviews|
American Express Merchant Services is a business service offered by credit card company American Express. It offers buyer-initiated-payments, Amex Express Checkout, merchant financing and methods to manage payments and disputes.
|Read 24 Reviews|
Axis, an international bank based in Mumbai, India, offers business services through its Axis Merchant solutions program. Services include cash and payment management, business and corporate financing and internet banking.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, IDCServCo is a business services company for office supply companies. It offers merchandise location and shipping, customs clearance, invoicing and accounts collection services.
|Read 7 Reviews|
Formerly Intuit Websites, Homestead is a professional website builder and host for businesses and eCommerce sites. Homestead allows clients to choose a site design, sell online, increase SEO and more for a monthly fee.
|Read 16 Reviews|
Established in 1992, Global Contact, Inc., is an export and import company that works with U.S. companies. They offer cost reduction audits, U.S. compliance assurance, duty drawback, import and export management and more.
|Read 12 Reviews|
Founded in 1973, Minuteman Press International is a franchise company specializing in design, print and marketing services for businesses. They offer brand identity services, embossing, direct mail, lead generation and more.
Found over 15 years ago and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Progressive Leasing offers an alternative to traditional financing through a lease-to-own purchase program. It services of 20,000 retail locations in 46 states.
|Out of Business||Read 8 Reviews|
|Out of Business||Read 217 Reviews|