Don’t Follow Your Passion

Marketing Ideas to cure your b2c blindnessLast night I made the mistake of listening to an interview with Bob Caspe on the podcast Entrepreneur on Fire as I was falling asleep. Mistake because it was GREAT and there was no way I could sleep after listening to that!

I listen to a lot of business and entrepreneurial podcasts (what do you think inspired me to start the Frank Online Marketing Show?) but what struck me about this interview was that Bob has a truly different way of looking at things.

 

Blinded by Consumer Bias

Because we are all consumers, the easiest thing to do when creating a new business is selling straight to consumers. We understand that business (or at least we think we do).

 

But his argument is that the odds of being able to compete against huge companies that can always undercut you on price are very low. So even if you come up with something truly new and unique, you probably won’t last for long. (Sorry for that gloomy news.)

We also look at the huge successes like Facebook and think, heck, I can do that. But we forget about the thousands of other social networks that have failed. Facebook, in a way, won the lottery. And like many lottery wins, its riches won’t last forever. In fact, they may vanish pretty fast.

 

Don’t Follow Your Passion?

What Bob Caspe has his business students at Babson College do is explore the business-to-business world (B2B ).  It is a lot easier to make money in the B2B world.
Why?

 

  1. Less competition — You aren’t competing with all those other consumer-focused entrepreneurs.
  2. Stronger needs — If you can solve a genuine business problem, they will be desperate for what you’ve got.
  3. Less price-sensitivity — If you can really solve their problem, and it is a significant problem,  they will pay handsomely.
  4. Lots of opportunities — Running businesses isn’t easy. So they have LOTS of problems for you to solve. And with the fast pace of technological change, there are new ways to solve old problems cropping up daily.

What’s An Entrepreneur To Do?

The role of an entrepreneur, says Bob, is not to know everything. Rather, it is to understand the needs of a particular business (or type of business), then go out and find the scientists, engineers and other technical experts who have the skills required to solve it, then package it all up and sell it.

So Why Did I Have Trouble Sleeping?

Because when I look at the data, Canadian retailers are still clearly nervous about selling online. But there’s a lot of money being made in the B2B world, even here in Canada.

I’ve been wanting to learn more about what’s going on in that world for a long time (especially since my podcast with Optimum Energy Products, who no longer need salespeople because they’ve done such a great job online). Bob has reignited my fire to do so.

Do you know of any B2B companies who are doing a good job online?

If so, would you mention them in the comments below. (Feel free to also mention companies that are doing a bad job!)

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