Providing products and services to other companies as a business-to-business (B2B) company can often be the most profitable type of endeavor because corporations and startups tend to have larger budgets than individual consumers. However, along with these higher denominations comes a higher risk that you could incur significant financial losses or damage to your reputation. Of course, whenever you’re dealing with a large amount of money, a client or customer is much more likely to take their complaint as far as possible if they find themselves in a situation where your company has caused them to be defrauded. Likewise, you don’t want to open your business up to dealing with companies that are using fake information. With that said, here are several ways you can determine the reputability of another business that you’re interacting with before establishing B2B relationships:
Require Identity Verification
Verifying the identity of the business owners that you’re dealing with is always a good idea to make sure you’re not doing business with someone who is operating a company under fake or stolen credentials. Identity verification services such as Cognito can help you automate and streamline the process of reliably verifying that you’re doing business with a legitimate entity. That’s important because you never want to enter into a situation in which the other party has zero accountability or liability because they’re operating under the guide of fabricated or stolen credentials. Cognito only needs a phone number to start verifying contacts, which is the only complete ID verification service that does so.
Examine Online Presence
Checking out a brand’s online presence will quickly show you what kind of company they are, how long they’ve been doing business, their general popularity, and the professionalism of their public appearance. Try looking for complaints on reviews sites and online directories such as the one provided by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While some of these complaints might not affect the way you do business with the client, it’s generally wise to distance yourself from companies that mistreat their customers/clients, as they may also one day mistreat you as their B2B supplier, which brings us to our next point.
Try Out Their Customer Service
Ultimately, the way a business treats its customers and employees can tell you a lot about the ethics of the people who are in charge of running it. Now that you’ve verified the identity of the business owners and you’ve seen what kind of reputation they have online, it’s time to give their customer service phone number a call, speak to one of their live chat agents, or send them an inquisitive email to gauge their response.
Start Out Small with New Clients
Finally, one more step you can take to place an extra barrier of protection between you and a new customer is to only agree to smaller contracts or transactions. That way, you’ll have more protection if you run into a situation where a fraudulent business attempts to steal products or services from your B2B company through chargebacks, non-payment, credit delinquencies, and other forms of illegitimate business dealings or fraud.