Business to business trading has always been an essential part of the economy and can play a significant factor in business success for organisations of all sizes. Some businesses are set up to trade primarily with other companies, while for others, it makes up a smaller part of their overall business dealings.
In this article, we are going to look at some examples of areas where big businesses have succeeded in dealing with smaller companies and created a mutually beneficial relationship. Hopefully, if you’re reading this as a business owner, this may give you some ideas of where you can expand your business to and maybe start working with other businesses.
Marketing and advertising
The way you market your business has always been important. In today’s society, there are now more areas than ever to consider when it comes to how your business is marketed and advertised to others. The development of social media marketing and advertising, particularly over the last ten years, has seen an entire industry specialising in just this form of marketing, develop into an enormously important part of the business sector.
What businesses discover is that as they grow, the number of people who are required to look after their marketing and advertising begins to increase significantly. For this reason, they often turn to specialist agencies who have teams of people who are assigned to one particular client. These companies usually have existing contacts which can make building opportunities for a bigger business easier and quicker than if the business aimed to do their own.
In some cases, bigger businesses will work with smaller businesses to cover high specialised areas of marketing. One such example is SEO (search engine optimisation). This area of marketing requires professions who have been trained in very specific techniques and have in-depth technical knowledge of how websites and search engines work.
When big businesses work with smaller marketing and advertising companies, the result can be advantageous for both of them. Big businesses can have a team of people working on their behalf without having to pay them individually, as they would if they were staff at their own company. The smaller external agency is then also motivated to produce the best results to retain their client.
Advanced manufacturing and production
While those on the outside may think that big manufacturing companies are responsible for the entire production process of their products, in reality, there has always been a lot of collaboration between manufacturing companies. This is particularly true, as with advertising when it comes to highly specialised areas.
Two examples of this are precision engineering and metal coating. In both cases, the equipment required along with the expertise to produce a product which is up to the standard required is extensive. It is, therefore, a lot easier when a smaller specialist company carries out the work. If we look at the shipping industry, for example, applying the crucial marine coatings required is often where bigger companies work with smaller ones. Smaller companies can then demonstrate their work with bigger companies to others which further helps them attract additional clients.
For businesses of all kinds, security is really important and usually an area where big businesses work with other smaller ones to improve. Retail is one area where most people will have seen the presence of security guards. These are typically provided to retailers by an outside agency.
Another form of security which is sometimes in-house but can actually be more beneficial when supplied by a smaller outside business is cybersecurity. The importance of cybersecurity is hard to understate in today’s world, where so much of our data is online and need to be protected. Businesses have a serious responsibility to look after their client’s data, and the repercussions for any loss of data can be severe.
By working with a smaller cybersecurity company, bigger businesses can ensure the data they hold is continually being monitored. While some big companies have their own cybersecurity departments, the benefit of working with a smaller company is clear. Having a fresh set of eyes continually looking at your system can allow issues which may have been missed to be fixed. Internal cybersecurity departments, who are looking at the same systems every day can sometimes fall foul of the old saying ‘can’t see the wood for the treas.’ Because in-house departments are so familiar with the system, they can sometimes miss problems. Having outsiders from a small business come in and work on your cybersecurity can also be beneficial as they will likely have seen other big companies’ systems and may be able to identify a problem based on prior knowledge.
The three examples highlighted above will hopefully have shown you the importance of small and highly specialised companies play in relation to bigger companies. During this uncertain time for a lot of businesses, being able to develop B2B relationships is really important and can be highly beneficial to both parties involved.