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笔译:下一个伟大的公司将来自B2B

2014-10-20    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

笔译:下一个伟大的公司将来自B2B

在许多创业者看来,苹果和Facebook等公司的发展轨迹显示,消费者市场才是创业蓝海。但我们这里有一批成功案例证明,面向企业市场的B2B领域充满大量有利可图的机遇。

笔译:

With the world buzzing over Apple’s reveal this month of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, it’s hard to believe that this multi-trillion-dollar tech giant was once a small computer startup.
如今,全世界都在谈论苹果公司(Apple)刚推出的iPhone 6和苹果手表(Apple Watch),人们很难相信,这家价值数万亿美元的科技巨头曾经也只是一家很小的初创电脑公司。

For many entrepreneurs, the epic trajectory of Apple AAPL -0.87% — or Facebook FB -1.63% or Twitter TWTR 0.07% , for that matter — serves as evidence that the consumer space is where you go to launch a winning startup.
对于许多创业者们而言,苹果、Facebook或Twitter的发展轨迹,证明消费者市场才是创业的蓝海。

But that doesn’t always hold true. By foregoing the potentials of selling to business (as opposed to consumers), entrepreneurs are missing out on a world of opportunities — and lucrative ones at that.
但这一点并非始终都是正确的。如果放弃与公司做生意(与消费者市场相反)的潜力,创业者们将错失大量有利可图的好机遇。

As a board member at 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for startups, I see a lot of startups and know what B2C companies can learn from B2B startups, including Fieldglass, MarkITx and Eved.
作为芝加哥创业服务组织1871的董事会成员,笔者接触过许多初创企业,因此很清楚B2C(企业对消费者)公司可以从B2B(企业对企业)初创公司学到什么,包括人力资源管理公司Fieldglass、在线企业硬件交易平台MarkITx和会议与活动在线交易市场Eved。

The B2B space is rife with potential; by integrating new technologies into traditional businesses, entrepreneurs can dramatically improve efficiencies, uncover new markets, solve longstanding problems and, in some cases, disrupt entire industries. Indeed, an increasing number of B2B startups are experiencing rapid growth while achieving enviable profit margins.
B2B领域有巨大的潜力;通过将新技术整合到传统业务当中,创业者们可以显著提高效率,开发新市场,解决长期存在的问题,在某些情况下,甚至会颠覆整个行业。事实上,越来越多的B2B初创公司正在经历快速增长,同时获取了令人艳羡的利润。

Take Fieldglass, for example. Once a small startup, the Chicago-based software company is now the biggest vendor management system (VMS) provider in the world. In May, it was reportedly acquired by SAP for more than $1 billion, one of the largest sales of a privately held tech company in recent years.
以Fieldglass为例。这家芝加哥软件公司最初规模很小,如今已成为全世界最大的供应商管理系统(VMS)提供商。据报道,该公司在今年五月被SAP公司以超过10亿美元的价格收购,这是近几年规模最大的私人科技公司交易。

Or consider MarkITx, an online marketplace to trade enterprise IT hardware, which earned a $12 million valuation after only eight months of operations. After speaking with its co-founder Frank Muscarello, the company’s revenues are up 300 percent this year compared to last.
再比如企业IT硬件在线交易平台MarkITx,公司成立仅8个月,市值便已经达到1,200万美元。笔者从公司联合创始人弗兰克•姆斯卡莱罗那里了解到,公司今年的收入同比增长了300%。

To launch the next great startup, here are six lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from B2B companies about how to launch the next great startup:
要创建下一家伟大的初创公司,创业者们应该从B2B公司学会以下六条经验:

Target your first customers wisely
明智地确定第一批客户

Many B2B businesses design their products and services around their initial clients, making it critically important to take a strategic approach to recruiting those first customers. Talia Mashiach, founder and CEO of Eved, went after large firms like Dell when her company was still in its early stages. She then designed Eved’s platform and online marketplace to address those customers’ needs and provide visibility into their meeting and the total amount spent on an event. That set the stage for the recruitment of other large-scale firms and helped her stock her online marketplace with more than 5,000 companies.
许多B2B公司往往会围绕最初客户来设计产品与服务,因此通过战略方法吸引第一批客户就变得至关重要。Eved成立之初,公司创始人兼CEO塔利亚•弥赛亚追逐的目标是戴尔(Dell)等大公司。后来,她设计了Eved平台和在线市场,以解决这些客户的需求,使客户可以直观了解会议和活动的总开支。而这为吸引其他大公司奠定了基础,帮助她将客户增加到5,000多家公司。

Long-term value of customers is critical
客户的长期价值至关重要

Generally speaking, B2B companies have longer sales cycles than B2C firms. However, most B2B customers are long-term customers and, in the end, companies can extract greater value from them. After Jai Shekhawat founded Fieldglass in 1999, it took him more than a year to land his first customers, which included Verizon VZ -0.80% , AIGAIG -3.34% , GlaxoSmithKline GSK -1.33% and Johnson & Johnson JNJ -2.36% . But he held on to them, and now each spend billions on contract labor annually. To date, Fieldglass boasts a customer retention rate of more than 99%.
一般而言,B2B公司的销售周期比B2C公司更长。但大多数B2B客户都是长期客户,最终,B2B公司可以从客户获取更多价值。1999年,贾伊•谢卡瓦特成立Fieldglass,他花了超过一年时间才找到第一批客户,其中包括威瑞森(Verizon)、美国国际集团(AIG)、葛兰素史克(GlaxoSmithKline)和强生(Johnson & Johnson)。但他一直紧紧抓住这批客户,现在这些客户每年在合同雇工方面的开支都达到数十亿美元。到目前为止,Fieldglass的客户保持率超过99%。

To generate steady revenue, focus on opportunities to generate reoccurring revenue
要获得稳定的收入,应该抓住能够产生经常性收入的机会。

Prioritize customers that are most likely to use your product or service repeatedly.
将最有可能重复使用公司产品或服务的客户放在首位。

Muscarello knew that financial companies would serve as ideal suppliers for his online exchange because they invest heavily in IT and frequently purge their inventory to make room for the latest technology. MarkITx’s first customer, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, is now on its 22nd trade since August 2013.
姆斯卡莱罗深知,金融公司将是其在线交易平台的理想供应商,因为金融公司会在IT方面进行大量投入,并且经常要清理库存,为最新技术腾出空间。MarkITx的第一家客户是芝加哥商业交易所(Chicago Mercantile Exchange),从2013年8月以来已进行了22次交易。

Build something that sticks
开发有粘性的服务或产品

To develop a long-term relationship with your customers, you need to create products or services that are inherently “sticky” and provide several levels of integration within a company. MarkITx’s dashboard plugs into companies via API and provides real-time data about the mark-to-market value of their assets and the optimal time to refresh their IT infrastructure. As a result, these companies regularly check the dashboard and are more apt to use MarkITx when it comes time to sell their assets. Fieldglass takes integration a step further by staying enmeshed in its customers’ problems. It monitors, for example, changes in labor laws (in Europe alone, Shekhawat estimates that there are 25-30 changes per month) and ensures that its software immediately reflect those shifts. In turn, customers grow more dependent on Fieldglass to manage their problem for them.
要与客户保持长期关系,必须创建天生具有“粘性”的产品与服务,并且为同一家公司客户包含多个层级的整合服务。MarkITx的仪表板可以通过应用程序接口(API)连接到客户公司,为客户提供其资产的实时市场价值数据,以及更新IT基础设施的最佳时间。结果,这些公司会经常查看仪表板,而且在需要出售资产的时候,会更倾向于使用MarkITx。通过投身客户遇到的实际困难当中,Fieldglass可以提前为客户打造整合性服务。例如,公司会密切关注劳动法的变化(谢卡瓦特估计,仅在欧洲,每月便会有25-30处变化),并确保其软件能及时反映这些变化。因此,为了解决问题,客户对Fieldglass变得越来越依赖。

Look for a business idea on your desk
从眼前寻找商机

Think about the problems your company is facing or how you might address issues in your industry. There are business ideas there — maybe not sexy ones, but solid, profitable ones. Shekhawat came up with the idea for Fieldglass after serving as a contract developer, working for a technology vendor and consulting for buyers and customers, where he witnessed the challenges of managing contract labor. That insider knowledge also enabled him to build a company that easily overshadowed the five preceding competitors (all have since gone out of business).
思考一下你的公司目前面临的问题,或者你会如何解决行业内的问题。商机无处不在——或许这些机遇没有那么令人兴奋,但却非常可靠且有利可图。谢卡瓦特在产生创建Fieldglass的想法之前,曾做过合同程序开发员,为一家技术供应商工作,并为买方和客户提供咨询,后来他发现了管理合同雇工所面临的挑战。对行业内情的了解,也使他创建的公司轻松打败了其他5家竞争对手(这些公司都已破产)。

Know when to venture further
清楚何时采取下一步行动

Consider whether the work you’re doing now could parlay into something bigger. Before Eved went global in 2010, it was a local service company that grew to $10 million in four years and landed on the Inc. 500. But Mashiach knew that there was a bigger opportunity out there. So she sold Eved’s service side, took its R&D and re-launched it as a global company, with her sights set on a billion-dollar goal.
思考一下,你现在的工作能否变成更大的事业。2010年,Eved进军国际市场之前,还是一家本土服务公司,公司规模在4年内增长到1,000万美元,并入选Inc. 500强(Inc. 500)排行榜。但弥赛亚清楚,海外有更多机会。于是,她出售了Eved的服务部门,保留了研发部,将其重新打造成一家全球性公司,她的目标是公司市值达到十亿美元。(财富中文网)

Linda Darragh is a clinical professor of entrepreneurial practice and executive director of the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (KIEI) at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Darragh knows the companies mentioned above as a board member of 1871, Chicago’s entrepreneurial hub for digitalstartups.
本文作者琳达•达拉赫是西北大学(Northwestern University)凯洛格商学院(Kellogg School of Management)创业实践临床教授,凯洛格创新与创业行动(Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative,KITI)执行主任。达拉赫作为芝加哥数字初创公司服务中心1871的董事会成员,对上述公司有详细的了解。

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

lucrative adj. 有利可图的,赚钱的;合算的

entrepreneurial adj. 企业家的,创业者的;中间商的

enviable adj. 值得羡慕的;引起忌妒的



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