Top 5 Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners in the B2B Space

March 25, 2022
the INFT Team

In the two years or so of the pandemic, things have changed so drastically that the business world has changed and adapted. 

The pandemic, some experts expound, became the catalyst for revolutionising the business world, regardless of industry.

"Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity." — Nan Henderson

The resilience, agility, flexibility, and adaptability of a business will be common drivers of success going forward. That’s why, within a couple of years, there was a rapid increase of business owners signing up for virtual business accounts which allows them to manage their finances and budgeting. 

A report by Accenture revealed that 61% of businesses now start online. With more informed buyers, they are also more demanding and have higher expectations from your sales and marketing team.

The More Savvy Modern-Day B2B Buyer

The demand for visibility and discernibility for businesses is growing. 

While this is something easier to tackle on the B2C front, the high expectation and bar to entry for B2B businesses are rather challenging.

The process is far simpler for B2C companies because of the easy entry into marketplaces like Amazon, Shopee, Lazada, Shopify, eBay, AliExpress, Etsy, and even unconventional competitors in the form of Grab and TnG

Look around and you'll notice there aren't many similar solutions for B2B businesses where the target market is not directly the consumers. 

Furthermore, most marketplaces' focus is on promoting and selling products, not SaaS solutions. The world needs more such opportunities to provide businesses with similar visibility. For example, with INFT, using an app to manage the use of company budget can be done completely online and on-the-go with credit cards alone.

1 - B2B is different from B2C

B2B is simply different from B2C. Period. 

It's far more complex because we're dealing with other businesses and there are nuances and rules associated with them.

While B2C is to-the-point, digitising a B2B business has to be able to solve the differing buyer experience based on the user's preferences and industry norms. That’s why B2B platforms like Proxtera will play a crucial role in helping SMEs grow.

The B2B platform would have to accommodate the customer in terms of their internal management protocols, requirements by their fulfilment centres, catalogues and pricing, ordering systems, documentation, and offer customised experiences. 

Things get a little more complicated when your company deals with both B2C and B2B customers. You would have to have a system that works well that can pivot between dealing directly with your customers and managing wholesale deals

2 - Customer Acquisition is Challenging

The challenge of dealing with B2B customers is trying to resonate with your customers through only a handful of channels. The focus is always on providing a top-tier user experience and a seamless UI/UX.

B2B customers simply need more proof and convincing. 

Selling user-centric products, all you may need could be a website with eCommerce capabilities. With B2B, you need a tailor-made, intuitively-designed website.

And to capture quality leads, the platform must have the ability to automate processes and streamlined processing. Of course, another B2B business challenge is privacy and confidentiality. 

Businessmen and women have also become accustomed to doing their own research and learned about the importance of self-evaluation using nothing but a laptop or a smartphone. 

B2B customers have a very different set of expectations from B2C customers. At times, you'll find B2B customers congregating and networking through online communities and finding funding and financial opportunities digitally through connections. 

That is why the solutions offered by companies like Proxtera works - by offering businesses the opportunity to build a network of connections online.

3 - Maintaining a Relationship in a B2B Realm

In B2B, there has to be more listening, more partnerships and collaborations, and more engagement. Trust has to be built.

Almost 75% of B2B business owners say that there is crucial importance for relationship-building, with 67% of respondents citing event marketing and community building as their main strategy.

Business deals in the B2B sphere, more often than not, rely heavily on problem-solving for each other, prioritising value or price, humanity marketing, and clear communication of the company's story. 

B2B business owners want to communicate with people, not landing pages, websites, and Facebook pages.

4 - Accessibility of Demo and Self-Evaluation

The buyer's journey from discovery to sealing the deal is also far more complex and long. 

For one, providing one-on-one demos is a time-consuming affair. Unlike B2C where most decisions are made fairly quickly after viewing a video, reading a description, or browsing a profile, B2B businesses are harder to persuade. 

The challenge for B2B companies is to have a dedicated network of companies and people they can trust, easy access to information, and quick access to demos and personalised experiences. 

Some companies have spent a large chunk of their budget on having a dedicated support team to establish stronger bonds with their customer base.  

In this day and age, you may not have the full manpower to individually deal with every customer one-on-one, but with a stellar support team where events are well planned out, information is detailed, and making a connection is a couple of clicks away, it will change the way B2B businesses are run.

5 - Funding and Financial Flexibility

We live in a mind-blowingly new era of startups. We may see a long list of startups emerge now and then, very few of them make it to their second year of operation. In fact, a handful of them actually makes it past the five-year mark. 

Simply put, there simply wasn't enough profit to go around to pay the employees and cover business expenses. 

Most of these problems arise because of inconsistent cash flow, not having a budget, enough capital, and no buffer for unforeseen expenses. There's more where the list came from. 

SMEs have, however, found an alternative financial solution for their businesses in INFT. Small and medium businesses have a cash line when they need it, can make cross-border payments without a hefty fee, and manage their team's budgeting, invoicing, and payments digitally. 

The financial solution has been bolstering SMEs during this pandemic.

Before You Go...

The catalyst of world digitising, the pandemic, catapulted the business world forward by at least a decade. 

The traditional method of cold calling, making a connection, closing a deal, negotiations, providing demos and briefings, signing of contracts, and the procurement of reliable, secure, and transparent business deals is no longer the same. 

For small businesses, have you ever considered joining a network of a wholesale marketplace that features trade-related digital services for your business? 

While INFT solves the problem of funding and kickstarting your project with flexible, cost-effective financial backing, Proxtera improves discoverability and help you make quick comparisons and connections online. 

INFT is proud to be a partner of Proxtera because we believe our synergistic collaboration will help more small and medium businesses like yours. 

Find out more about applying for Business Cashline here.

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