Unique Challenges of Business-to-Business Service Providers:
Having no unique product
- The differentiation challenge.
All companies have their challenges and my clients’ businesses
are no different. In talking to them and through my own
studies and experience, I believe five unique challenges
stand out and are common for business-to-business service
providers. While clearly each individual business can
have specific problems related to changing markets, problem
staff, new legislation, price wars, etc. etc., every
B2B service provider will face and must address these “five
unique challenges”: having no unique product – a
reliance on people to deliver – being regarded
as an overhead – building trust – conveying
compelling sales propositions.
While service providers may enjoy the advantage of not
having to invest in their product development departments
and wait months or years for new products to “roll
off the assembly line”, they are disadvantaged
in not having something unique for their customers to
see and hold. How can the accountancy firm, legal practice,
computer maintenance company or contract cleaning agency
stand out and differentiate themselves from the herd?
The precise answer varies, as each business operates
in differing environments and markets. But the best approach
I believe for the vast majority of firms is specialisation.
Commit to being different and develop a niche. Build
a reputation in a particular field and aim to be the
best. Too often people are scared of developing a specialisation,
because they fear losing the “general” business.
This is rarely the case. The business consultant, who
specialises in strategic planning, will be asked to consult
in other areas because of the results he delivers. The
architect who specialises in, say, hospital work will
gain other commissions because of this, not in spite
of it. People always remember and talk about experts,
Over the coming months, think how you can be different
from your competitors. Become a leader (not a follower).
If you would like to transform your business, then please tell me a little bit about
you and your business by completing this brief questionnaire. My assistant
will then telephone you to arrange a convenient time for an exploratory consultation call, to see
whether we would like to work together.