Understanding Business to Business and how it can work for you

Hi, I am Neil Pentland. I am one of the founders of DecoNetwork and the CEO.

I have seen very successful licensees and those that have failed. Those that succeed all have one thing in common: they live in our business hub and leverage their ability to do awesome quotes and manage orders more simply with more profit.

By providing a better buying experience for their customers, our successful licensees enjoy a higher rate of repeat orders which is generally the most profitable business.

I want to share some understanding so you can focus on leveraging your existing customer relationships to deliver more profit to your bottom line.

Today I want to look at ‘B2B’.

DN Neil Blog Post B2B Graphic-01

We all hear the term ‘business to business’ (B2B) and it can be quite confronting. You always do business with customers (B2C), so what is the difference?

The difference is leverage!

Anyone you do business with is a customer. You needed to win their business. You needed to satisfy their need. By the fact that you sold goods to them, you created a relationship.

Attaining a new customer takes much longer and more effort than doing repeat business with an existing customer.  With resales, you start with an existing relationship.  

One sale, managed correctly, can leverage into many sales. When you make that initial effort and the customer is happy, they sometimes tell their friends and sometimes return to buy again. That is the B2C part of every sale. There are techniques as to how you can make this happen. I will share these with you in future blogs.

When a customer is an individual (pure B2C), their needs are much more limited. They are mostly buying for themselves or going to provide a gift for a family member or friend. These are very important and you need to cater for them. However, when your customer is a business (B2B), they invariably have many more needs that you can satisfy. This is where the B2B leverage applies –you have made the effort and secured their initial order – now that relationship has been created. When you are a DecoNetwork Licensee, you have the right tools to communicate and make it easy for them to do more business with you. 

The repeat orders, your life blood, should be your goal.

The Business (B2B) you have secured as a customer will have their internal needs: uniforms, signage, internally branded items, such as mugs etc. Depending on the size of the business, this in itself may be substantial. Every business promotes itself, and this can lead to many more opportunities for “custom decorated” items to be consumed by the business. They may have event days that need specifically branded shirts. DecoNetwork makes it easier for them to access your service 24×7 at their convenience, access their existing order history, see their prices, design new items, make orders and/or request a quote.

When a business becomes your customer – you have their details and can market directly to them via emails and newsletters. You know what they have bought. You can provide incentives and specials that will motivate them to return and buy again and again. You will discover, when you get skilful at this, that they will not be so concerned about price – but about receiving your service. People generally do not know the details of the efforts you make and may not appreciate what a good job you are doing for them. A little explanation can go a long way to remedying that.

In your communications with them – explain what you actually do for them. Explain all the steps to the printing process that delivers their finished items. Explain your quality control and how you care. You will be surprised how effective this will be.

You will discover, when you get skilful at this, that they will not be so concerned about price – but about receiving your service. People generally do not know the details of the efforts you make and may not appreciate what a good job you are doing for them. A little explanation can go a long way to remedying that.

Many businesses will, by their nature, want to on-sell custom decorated items. These will include most retail businesses, boutique restaurants, event companies, etc. Most will have their own client base that may be open to “buying” branded custom decorated items from or through that business – such as clubs and schools.

A huge potential are charities. They are forever needing to raise funds. They run events, and if you can create the right relationship, you will enjoy many repeat orders!

How you can actually create the relationships and do B2B as well as B2C will be the ‘How To’ subjects I intend to explore in future blogs. These will include:

B2B: charities; B2B: Clubs; B2B: Schools; B2B: Events; B2B: Specific Businesses; B2B Networking.

Until next time – be happy and enjoy your life. You are in the best industry in the entire world, and you can bring joy to many people by delivering the custom decorations you do each and every day!


  1. Nice article Neil. As you know, I have been with Deco for years. What you may not know is that I have been a screen printer since 1987, with experience in direct sales to contact printing with 8 automatics. In 2009 I was forced to start all over again. When I first started with Deco, I thought I would hit it big with online sales. Not so. That’s a long road and while it’s growing, I see the power of the HUB for good old fashioned B2B direct sales. With our sites, smartselect products the HUB and our 3rd party email provider, we have a complete system for online and direct sales. The HUB is the ticket, as we enter more quotes and orders this way. I have all the tools I need for on the spot quoting and ordering whether its online or a physical sales call.
    Your pal – Tommy

  2. We just signed up with you & excited as we explore more. We’ve been in business 25 years & have used FM most of them. We do a lot of B2B & so far my concern with Deco is the ability to have multiple contacts with each business account. In addition, a lot of my customers represent multiple groups ( ex.. order for their job as well as their church.) I need this customer to be able to login & see all his orders, but yet have them billed to 2 different places. Do you have any suggestions for this, as it is a big criteria in us making the final transition to you & away from FM. -Trina

    1. Hi Trina,

      At present there is no direct solution for your scenario. We do have a task to implement support of multiple contacts per account. i.e. ACME threads has Jake, Sally and Paul. Task DNC-15371.

      At present though it doesn’t address your model of one person buying for multiple companies. It’s more the other way around – One company with multiple contacts buying on their behalf.

      We’ll need to explore how common this scenario is and what’s involved in such a development.

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