This week’s Professional Patois is once again slightly different: I do not so much wish to explore the wrong use and available alternatives of an expression, but rather talk a little bit about its definition.

B2B and B2C

Business to Business and Business to Consumer. These describe the direction of a company, more specifically the broad categorization of who the company sells to.

If your business is B2B, that means you are selling to other businesses. Your clients are not Joe Smith, but rather Smith Inc.

In, instead, you are B2C, then you sell to consumers. Your client, in this case, is Joe Smith as himself, not as a representative of Smith Inc.

Pick one or the other

It is important to know if you are B2B or B2C: the process, measurement and management of these two silos are very different, and you must be either one or the other.

Can a company sell both B2B and B2C products or services? Yes, but these are under different plans and strategies.

How about if your client is an individual in a business context? For example: a speaker, a coach or an author? A freelancer or somebody self-employed? Then ask yourself: are you selling to her in the context of her business or in the context of her daily or personal life? If she were not in business, would she still be buying from you?

Answer these questions first, to build a focused business.