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Make money with B2B ecommerce, even with just 1 product

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by Pershing, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    Hello guys,
    I would like to share with you an interesting type of business that doesn't require a big investment but with a really big potential.

    The concept is simple:

    1) Spot a product companies need every day
    2) Study the competition on google
    3) Register an exact domain name and make a very basic website
    4) Start selling

    It can be a packaging product for a specific niche, raw material, or whatever companies need everyday.

    Last year I discovered a product that some companies use to ship their products. Did some seo, but you know, it's slow, so I started to do some ppc too. Quote requests started to come from day one, even very big ones.

    Another case study is a guy that makes extract of a plant and sells to pharma industry. He's doing very good, and spent no more than 5,000 to start.

    Think about it, just 1 or 2 products companies need continuously.

    I have a lot of spare time, and I'm always open to new hot niches.

    If you are from another country we can share products and niches.
     
    MHP368, Krix, Tom.V and 15 others like this.
  2. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Nice. I basically using this model but with a software that replaces a part of a common manual process.
     
  3. YoungPadawan
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    YoungPadawan Miles to go before I sleep Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Yep, b2b is where it's at. ESPECIALLY if it's a product that they continuously need. That way, you can keep them in your Rolodex and they can be a cash cow for life.

    I'm looking at supplying bulk commodities to companies/foreign markets in the future, but it's pretty capitally intensive. For now, I'm sticking with b2c products.

    If you want to play in the big leagues, b2b is the way to go.
     
  4. becks22
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    becks22 90% coffee, 10% everything else Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I'm B2B with my service. It's a reoccuring service that they need every month

    Best part about B2B is usually the 'decison maker' is not the person you usually deal with. In my case, a new employee comes in, calls me and asks how they place an order, I email them everything and then *bam* new work order. I'm just in their info as a vendor for my service so new customers send me work without any question. The 'decision maker' doesn't deal with the brute of the work behind the scenes so I'm out of mind for them. They just pay my monthly invoice.

    Frankly all of my future plans are B2B. It's easier I think to have 20 clients that I bill for 15000 a month than 1000 or 10000 clients that buy something for let's say $25.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  5. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    Hello @YoungPadawan
    You don't necessarily need a big capital for B2B. I started with my first product line with 5,000 € and the next product I'm going to launch needs a 2,900 € capital.

    These are products that specific businesses need 100%.

    My business is to launch a niche website selling a product in several sizes and, at the same time, research every day for spotting new opportunities.

    Would love to build a wordwide network of entrepreneurs wanting to apply a similar concept and share material, and I mean oppotunities and marketing. It's clear that it would be necessary to avoid two people from the same area sharing the same niche
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  6. Longinus
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    Longinus Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    This is basically what @AgainstAllOdds is doing minus the website and studying on Google. He has a couple of topics about this.

    Do you do this in your own country only or worldwide?
     
  7. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    If the majority of sales are done offline, studying a competitor on google will only give you a fraction of insight.

    You need to find out what the customer is buying and how much he is paying. Information is everything.
     
  8. Taktik
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    Taktik New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Interesting concept. I am interested in doing the same. The problem I face at the moment is, that I don't know, how to find products.
     
  9. AlessioLC
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    AlessioLC Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Step by step, look for what your industry needs or what your industry is using and can be done better, each step take time.
     
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    The idea sounds great. Can we collaborate, even I may be able to bring in some resources (considering outsourcing opportunities too, if u want)
     
  11. ProblemOd
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    ProblemOd Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Are you basically ordering large volumes from manufacturers and selling it to businesses who need it in lower quantities?
     
  12. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    This could develop into a very valuable thread. B2B selling has some great advantages over selling to consumers. In saying that, I would suggest that selling consumer products to retailers as a wholesaler is likely to reduce profit margins compared to what you can achieve if you sell direct to a business end user.

    A further issue to take into account is the matter of credit provided to retailers. They are notorious for expecting and in the case of large retailers, demanding, extended credit terms.

    This means you risk becoming their banker.

    There are still credit risks in selling direct to businesses, but discounts related to payment terms can help with that. Another way to minimize the risk for a reasonable cost can be to factor your invoices. Factoring services will pay you quickly, sometimes as fast as within 24 hours. Fees vary substantially, so shop around. I would treat the cost of factoring as insurance.
    That is OK if you have a product that you know is used regularly by businesses in the industry you are selling to, and you have done your homework to confirm that you can provide a competitive service that businesses will appreciate.

    That could be a better price, a better product, or better service.

    Don't underestimate the importance of better service. It was a combination of better service and better quality that led to my success in my B2B importing business. I sold them on the service angle, and the better quality was an unexpected bonus for them, and that welded them to my business, with long term repeat orders.

    When I was a manufacturer, I produced in quantities to meet expected demand, but I always had sufficient raw materials in stock to meet sudden demand. In that business I also sold products for which I only carried samples that I could demonstrate or display. When I received orders that's when I bought the required amount, so inventory was low.

    When importing, I also only carried a stock of samples to display, and ordered overseas as soon as I got an order. NO inventory.
    Yes, information is vital, which is why I say intending B2B sellers must do their homework. I would suggest looking at both sides of the coin.

    Check out your competitors as best you can. You definitely need to know their business throughly.

    Research your potential customers. Get to know all you can about their business. Look for them or their employees on LinkedIn. You can even ask them there about any dissatisfaction with products or suppliers. You can ask if there are any supply problems hindering them. Are there any products they use that could do with improvement? etc.

    Walter
     
  13. ProblemOd
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    ProblemOd Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    What i meant is that, most people starting a b2b business wouldnt be manufacturing, instead importing the product. The main value you offer is that you carry the stock that you import. That way you offer faster lead time/ smaller quantities rather then the business having to order from overseas themselves? There are of course other scenarios, but I wanted to clarify if this was the specific strategy the OP was talking about.

    In my skin care business, my manufacturer would order packaging from US packaging companies, but i'm sure most of them are supplied by China. Instead of buying 20,000 pcs, he can just order 2500 pcs, at a marked up price, delivered much quicker. The risk would be holding stock that no one wants.
     
  14. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    In my own country and sometimes other EU countries

    It depends on the product and the niche. Let's take packaging for example, a lot of companies, even big ones, buy online on B2B platforms

    I love to surf B2B websites like Alibaba to spot new products. I often find crazy things, like ox gallstones, they sell for more than gold

    I created this thread because I would like to find people from different countries who would like to spot new opportunties and apply the model

    Yes, but it happens that a company needs a very large order, so I import a full pallet just for it
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
    Walter Hay and Longinus like this.
  15. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    Guys, I'm going to write a more detailed post
     
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  16. Pershing
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    Great tips Walter. Extended credit terms is an annoying aspect. Mid-big size companies always ask for 30-60 payments, but I insisted for payment before shipping, and for now all of them accepted after some emails, calls, and negotioating tricks I learned from books. Lucky for now. There is some stress when saying no to a client wanting to order thousands but asks for 30-60.
     
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  17. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    WHY THIS WORKS

    Inside every B2B ecommerce platform there are billion dollars categories, and you can take a slice of it. They often can't market those precise niches on google, youtube, or linkedin, because they have to cure the marketing of hundreds products. Bad descriptions, bad google rank, bad videos.

    I often see my exact products I'm selling in thousands and thousands "hidden" inside big companies websites. I'm well positioned on google and have detailed explanation of the product in the form of text and videos.

    The trick is to become an authority in one exact product, and prepare targeted marketing for every potential client.

    Let's say you want to sell plastic containers, just a trivial example (not a good product to sell, because they are bulky), you'll not market them to anyone. You'll prepare laser targeted marketing for every potential client from several industries.

    WHICH TYPE OF PRODUCTS TO LOOK FOR

    It must be a product that companies need continuously, so repeated orders as long as your product is good for them and you keep your unique sale propositions.

    Great lifetime value of the clients, and you have to acquire them just once. You can also afford a higher cost per acquisition compared to B2C.

    I prefer to look for innovative products that make client's life easier. Shortly, you have to solve one or more problems.

    After I find the product I want to be sure that I can reach the potential client online.


    Hope it's clear. I'm not english native
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  18. banjoa
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    banjoa Present FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Pershing thanks for the great thread.

    I don't really get this part.

    Can you please elaborate.
     
  19. banjoa
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    banjoa Present FASTLANE INSIDER

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    TAKE ALL MY REP!
     
  20. Pershing
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    Pershing Contributor

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    I mean that you should not make general marketing selling plastic containers, but prepare the messages for each type of potentical client with specific applications. They will better understand how your product can be useful for them.

    Hope is clear now
     
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  21. banjoa
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    banjoa Present FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Yes.
    Very clear now.
    Thank you.
     
  22. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    A little more that might be helpful:

    The icing on the cake for most customers in my importing business was that I offered FREE setup. The products, largely a variety of types of labels, that almost without exception, required artwork and a manufacturer's setup fee.

    I amortized that setup cost with a moderate increase in price, that I had already included in a printed price list. As it happened my prices were as much as double those of my entrenched competitors, but getting something for FREE dazzled even hard-nosed executives.

    That wasn't the whole story when it came to conquering an established market. Combined with my own marketing ability, I employed my son who is a wordsmith. His words are like gold. With no hard feelings I criticized his creative work and he criticized mine for the benefit of the business.

    Our family business did all our own copywriting, logo design concepts, direct mail campaigns, brochure design, price list design - in fact, all advertising material. As we sold franchises that material was all provided as part of the package.

    Another major factor was the presentation that first of all I made, then later commission reps, and finally franchisees, were equipped to make. All were provided with glittering display boards that fitted into a briefcase. They oozed QUALITY.

    They looked so beautiful on red velvet display boards that staff of the businesses would call others to feast their eyes. The result was that a visit to one business would reasonably often result in immediate referrals to others.

    Many years before, while trying to find suitable employment I sold a product on commission by demonstrating it with a small machine. It attracted a huge amount of attention in engineering workshops, and almost always resulted in a sale. Displaying and demonstrating are great selling techniques if you have a suitable product to show and tell.

    When I refer to businesses it can include:
    • Almost any business operating as an incorporated body.
    • Manufacturing businesses of every kind.
    • The mining industry, oil and gas.
    • Power and gas networks.
    • Professional services, such as accountants, lawyers etc.
    • Government departments and agencies.
    • Special interest groups including hobbyists, bushwalkers, and political activist groups.
    • Political parties.
    • Trade unions.
    • Charities and NGOs.
    • Universities, and schools in general.
    • Sporting clubs.
    • Retailers, but supplying products for their own consumption, not consumers goods for resale. There is one exception that I know has worked well for at least one person:
    • Retailers who sell at flea markets. One of my early importing students started off as a flea market seller, saw my book and decided to import for his own stall. He very quickly gave that up and branched into wholesaling after other stall holders asked to buy products from him. He now has a thriving clientele and they all pay COD.
    • Service businesses. Many have a huge appetite for consumables.
    • Small-scale tradesmen. Even as individuals they will buy products repeatedly. Many would be glad to be able to phone a supplier who offers next day delivery. Otherwise they spend a huge amount of wasted time at hardware stores, electrical stores, plumbing supplies stores etc.
    • Jewelers. They buy a lot of products known as "findings." Those range from very cheap brass, or plated brass, or plated steel, to stainless steel, and even sterling silver or gold. This is a very competitive field.
    If anyone can add to this list it might be helpful to those who want to run a B2B business.

    Walter
     
  23. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    You're largely ignorant if you think analyzing a website will give you a full picture. Yeah, a website will list prices, and yeah, "even big companies buy online", but if it's a significant part of their cost, then you bet their a$$ that they have agreements and pricing in place that you're not privy to.

    If you mark your efforts based on the wrong calculations, then you're going to fail and fail hard. In the product space, that means scrapping your entire inventory.

    In my warehouse we have a "Kill Wall". It's pictures of competitors that we drove out of business. So far, there's two Harvard MBA's on that wall. They analyzed the market the same way as you, and invested close to $300,000 in startup costs. One and a half years later and they're bankrupt.

    They never got traction, and best of all, they don't even know why they never got traction. Their calculations were correct based on the website. What was wrong was that me and my partner were selling to their potential client base at prices that were economically unfeasible for that startup.

    You need a full picture if you're going to service bigger clients. You don't get that full picture through a website.
     
  24. Pershing
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    I'm sorry you wrote a long post just on a small statement, because in reality that's not how I do my entire market research. It's more complex. Please, don't absolutely think I make research visiting a website, that would be stupid. But I have to say that for this type of product google is very important.

    You are right, but you can't write wihout knowing what is the product and its typical funnel, and other variables.

    The funnel of my product starts on google. People calling me often tell me "hello, my boss told me if I can find product xxxxxx, and I've just found you on google".
    There's no other way for this product, trust me.

    They also can find me via youtube, facebook, linkedin.

    I'm not the only one with a B2B google funnel being good source of the clients.

    To answer your questions above

    Regarding the fact that google gives a fraction of info of the market...

    Not in all cases. Regading my product, here it's impossible to find it locally or offline in general, and when companies need it the first step they do is, I repeat, an online search, and sometimes they know me by
    word of mouth.

    I know my competitors very well.

    You seem a smart person,so, please, next time ask details before telling a person is ignorant. I don't say I'm smart, but I prefer to chat politely.

    Anyway, from what I understand, you're clever, so, respect to you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  25. YoungPadawan
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    YoungPadawan Miles to go before I sleep Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Something kind of crazy I found out is that you can also find your competition's leads if they are exporting on panjiva.com.
     
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