Biz Idea: Reviews of Business-to-Business Services

No business owner wants to do this, but every single one has to – hunt around for a good business card printer.

There are tons available, but they vary wildly in quality. Especially online.

If you are as picky as me, this can be frustrating. I have gone through three vendors so far and was unimpressed by each. The card stock was poor, the colors were washed out, the ink scraped off easily. Bleh. I’d love to get a large number of reviews for my fourth attempt, so I can go with a vendor with a good reputation.

Hence the idea of a ratings and reviews site of business to business services. It’s like a Yelp for business owners, as opposed to end consumers.

Such a site could list services that provide logos, signage design, insurance, software programming, car rentals, employee benefits, legal services, accounting, etc. How many times have you sought such services and had no idea how to find hem? For me, lots.

Ratings and review sites tend to use advertising as their primary revenue streams, through either sponsored listings or advertising spots. I’m generally not crazy about such business models, but I’m not sure what other methods will work. Affiliate programs, perhaps. But that could pose a logistical and data quality nightmare. Such as: what if the service didn’t have an affiliate program? What if they all use different ones? Would services offer a higher affiliate rate in return for a better ranking, and how would that conflict with a sponsored listing?

Other challenges include initially populating the database with seed data, enticing business owners to write reviews, and most importantly, how do we cross the threshold of a self-sustaining community from a struggling one without enough reviews? Those are monumental problems that all ratings & reviews sites encounter. Many never cross the threshold because they cannot solve those challenges.

There are also competitive sources of similar information, most notably LinkedIn, though it would require effort to get such information. (Side idea: perhaps this could work as a feature on LinkedIn?)

Personally, I’d love a service like this, especially if it had good, reliable information. If I am in a rush, have a ton of tasks on my plate, and know of a good source of B2B ratings & reviews, I would gladly use such a site in a heartbeat.

What do you think? Does something like this exist already?

Photo by: FranciscoDiez

Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

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