Grow Your B2B Small Business Without Marketing
By Joel Walsh
Summary: Want to grow your business-to-business small business
without chasing after new clients? Expand with new value-added
services that complement your existing offering. Find out how.
If you have a business-to-business small business, some of your
clients inevitably will go out of business, get bought out,
undergo management shake-ups, or just get seduced by a new
vendor. You have to grow your business just to stay in
business. But how?
• Undertake costly and time-consuming marketing and networking
projects to get new clients to make up for the inevitable
• Ask your existing clients to refer new clients. This is
always a good idea, but it’s not the fastest or most reliable
way to get new business. You could wait months to see results.
• Don’t get new clients at all. Instead, expand your offerings
to your existing clients.
Choosing Your New B2B Small Business Offering: What to Look for
Expanding your B2B offering might sound like a bit of a
headache and that is a possibility. You have to select your
expanded offering carefully. Here’s what to look for:
Complements existing offering
In case you’re tempted to branch out too far, keep these
factors in mind:
• Market. If your expanded offering complements your existing
offering, your existing clients will provide a ready market.
• Credibility. “Jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none:” it’s a
cliché, but people instinctively believe it. Which would you
trust more: a shoemaker who also sells wristwatches or a
shoemaker who also sells socks?
• Skills. You will inevitably need new skills for your new
offering. This includes the softer skills of selling and
servicing the offering. The fewer skills you have to acquire,
the smoother your rollout will be.
Modest investment to start
The only guaranteed way of minimizing your risk is to minimize
your investment. Remember: investment doesn’t just mean money,
but also your time and energy. Choose an expanded offering that
won’t be all-consuming.
Strong existing demand
Face it: your small business already has its hands full with
its existing business. You can’t afford to break ground on
something the world doesn’t know about yet. Look for an
unfulfilled demand on the part of your existing client base.
Hypothetical Case Study: B2B Service Expansion
Lisa is a virtual assistant who has expanded from data entry to
helping her clients organize their internal records. But
offshore companies are taking away record-keeping clients just
as they did with data entry. Getting new record-keeping clients
would be an uphill battle against offshoring.
What does Lisa do?
1. Lisa gets into a few long telephone calls with her favorite
clients. One client mentions his secretary is tired of handling
payroll. Another says he is fed up with being put on hold with
his current big-name payroll processing company.
2. Lisa researches payroll processing outsourcing. She finds
it’s a business where offshore companies have not made great
inroads. Domestic businesses have not glutted the market,
either. Traditionally, the technology needed to run a payroll
process business was so expensive that only a few large firms
could compete. The new software that allows any small business
to offer payroll processing services has only been on the
market a short time. Meanwhile, the cost of startup is only the
cost of the software, plus a portion of her sales. Best of all,
the only training she needs is to read up on a few payroll
manuals, and do a test run with one or two of her most
3. Lisa gets a few of her clients on the phone and asks them
point-blank if they would be interested in outsourcing their
payroll processing to her. They sound interested.
4. Lisa finds a reputable payroll processing software company
founded by someone with extensive experience in the field. She
calls the company up and confirms that they have not sold a
franchise in her area yet.
5. Within six months, Lisa has taken over the payroll
processing of about one-fifth of her existing clients. Though
she has lost two large clients to offshore virtual assistant
services, her business income has grown by fifteen percent,
since she has gotten more work without having to invest in
Of course, Lisa’s success took hard work. But she was able to
maximize her effort by choosing an offering she could expand
her business into easily. Payroll processing is one example of
a value-added service that many B2B small businesses can
transition into smoothly. But whatever new offering you go
with, just make sure to choose your new offering carefully.
About the Author: Joel Walsh recommends you check out this site
for expanding your business with Payroll Outsourcing [Publish this
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