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Read our guide to learn about and choose the best business service company for you. Researching which B2B companies make reliable partners and which products you should (or shouldn't) use saves you time and money that would be better spent taking care of your own customers.

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. 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 B2B company charges fees for its services, but it is often necessary to purchase materials you need or services that are outside your expertise.

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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.

Reputation

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 respond to your issue 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.

Cost

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 would benefit from B2B 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.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Business to business service author reviews

    AUTHORIZED PARTNER
    Hibu

    Hibu offers digital marketing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States. The company’s services include digital listings management, search marketing, display advertising, directory services, website creation, social marketing and SEO optimization. It is headquartered in Uniondale, New York and has been in the marketing industry for over 80 years.

    • Unified marketing: Hibu offers everything from website design and SEO optimization to advertising and social marketing. This array of services mean businesses get a unified marketing campaign.
    • Facebook Marketing Partner: Hibu is one of only a few business to be a Facebook Marketing Partner for Small Business Solutions. The Facebook Marketing program ensures that businesses can find reputable marketing companies to help them with social advertising.
    • Other partnerships: Hibu is a Google Premier Partner, Yahoo Preferred Partner and Bing Ads SMB Select Partner. All of these partnerships indicate Hibu’s experience in the industry and tell business clients that the company has the expertise to provide advertising services.
    • Free consultation: Business clients interested in Hibu’s services can fill out an online form to be contacted by a company representative. They will receive a no-obligation consultation to help them determine whether Hibu is a good fit for their needs.
    • Blog: Hibu’s website includes a blog with articles many business owners and decision makers will find useful. Topics include SEO versus PPC, website design, social media advertising and more. Articles are available for free.
    Read 1230 Reviews
    Progressive Leasing

    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.

    Read more about Progressive Leasing

    Compare Reviews for Top Business to Business Services

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