It’s almost Valentine’s Day! So what does that mean in the small business world? Well, when other people are daydreaming about flowers and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, small business owners are thinking about things like their CSR and ROI.
But Valentine’s Day can be exciting for small business owners too! After all, it’s an opportunity to think about B2B networking (and, of course, we’re talking about remote B2B networking because, well, COVID-19). It’s an opportunity to think about how you, as a small business owner, can meet and fall head over sneakers in love with another small business that provides the B2B professional services you need to succeed—a B2B professional service firm. And the team at B2BeeMatch has come up with five steps to get you started!
1. Decide what B2B professional services your small business needs!
Pretty much every small business, at some point, uses B2B professional services. And the first step to that (even before you get to B2B networking!) is figuring out exactly what your small business needs!
Imagine this: you’re a small business that makes and sells gourmet donuts (yum—right?!). You sell them from your storefront, but your customers want to know what flavors you’re going to make on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on. How are you going to let them know? That’s easy: build a website! Wait… build a website? Uh oh. You have no sweet clue how to build a website! You’re a baker. You know donuts, and icing, and sprinkles. You don’t know the difference between UX and UI, or the benefits of WordPress versus Wix. And you don’t have time to learn! You have a small business to run. What do you do? You make a decision: you’re going to hire a professional website design agency.
Now, whether you need a web design agency, law office, marketing consultancy, bookkeeping service, logistics company, wellness practice, social media collective, or any other B2B professional services firm, the first step is always the same!
2. Work on a preliminary budget for the B2B professional services your small business needs.
If you’re going to embark on some B2B networking, you have to know approximately how much money you can spend on those services. B2B professional services can get pricey, so it’s best to have a preliminary budget before you start meeting firms and agencies. But keep in mind, your budget does have to be realistic. So take a few minutes to ask Google, “How much does professional web design cost?” Then, look at your books and come up with a realistic preliminary budget that won’t put you in the red.
3. Consider whether you want to work with a B2B professional service firm that’s local or international.
Does your professional service firm need to be located nearby? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s important to consider whether you want to focus your B2B networking on local small businesses or if you’re willing to go international. So, make sure you think about the advantages of hiring a local B2B professional service firm versus an international one.
Advantages to hiring local:
-You can meet in person once it’s safe.
-You’re in the same time zone, so scheduling everything from phone calls to deadlines is easy.
-You may be able to find them through word-of-mouth recommendations from your network.
Advantages to hiring international:
-You’ll have more agencies to choose from, including ones that may specialize in exactly what you need.
-You may find more flexibility in pricing.
-You may benefit from connecting with a company that offers services in multiple languages or at international locations.
Think about it: our donut baker may want a local website design agency so she can deliver fresh baked donuts to the agency’s doorstep as an extra-special thank-you gift. Or, she may want a web design agency that specializes in food and restaurant websites—and not care where it’s located! Whether you decide to stay local or go international, it’s important to consider the advantages of each.
4. Ask yourself: what values are you looking for in a B2B professional service firm?
Figure out what you want—what you really, really want! Make sure you know what values and attributes you’re looking for in a B2B professional service firm. Do you want to work with a women-led or women-owned firm? Do you want to work with a team that’s actively prioritizing diversity and inclusion initiatives? Do you feel compelled to choose a firm that has a robust environmental policy? Figure out what you value in another small business, and go for it!
5. Join an online business matchmaking service. We may be biased, but we recommend B2BeeMatch for all your B2B networking needs!
The most important part of B2B networking is putting your business out there! Small business owners used to attend business networking events at international conferences or mixers at local bars and restaurants, but that’s not happening now. So B2B networking has moved online. That’s right, remote B2B networking is the new normal! And guess what?! The online business matchmaking platform B2BeeMatch actually saves you time, money, and effort!
Instead of making small talk with other small business owners who may or may not offer the services you need, instead of searching endless company pages on a certain well-known networking site, you can sit back and let us match you with the B2B professional service firms you need! Just fill out a registration form, upload your logo, and get ready to meet the law office, marketing consultancy, bookkeeping service, logistics company, or website design agency of your dreams!
Whether your small business bakes gourmet donuts, installs breaker panels or provides legal advice, on B2BeeMatch you can connect with companies that offer the professional services you need to succeed. Don’t wait! Remember the five steps:
Decide what B2B professional services your small business needs!
Work on a preliminary budget for the B2B professional services your small business needs.
Consider whether you want to work with a B2B professional service firm that’s local or international.
Ask yourself: what values are you looking for in a B2B professional service firm?