How to Choose a B2B Site?

On the Internet, B2B (business-to-business), also known as e-biz, is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. How to Choose a B2B site? Here are a few tips:

1 – Website traffic

Here you must consider 2 issues. First, how popular is the B2B site worldwide. (For example: tradetuber.com. You can Search Alexa.com to find website popularity). B2B websites ranked in the top 100,000 of all websites may be worthwhile. Lower ranked trade sites are either old and not worth your time or new and not worth your effort.

Next, how much traffic do they get from your primary market? For example, many B2B websites in China are very popular there, but they get very little traffic from America and Europe. If you are looking for buyers from these markets, then a popular B2B site in China will not be very effective.

Using Alexa.com, you can view country popularity lower on the page below the statistics tables. Check what percentage of users are in USA (or other markets) and what is the popularity rank in the country you are most interested to market to?

2- Directory Information

All B2B sites list companies in an online directory. However, you need to be concerned with B2B sites that simply buy lists to build their directory. On those sites – of which there are many – companies often don’t even know they are listed. In addition, company information is generally not updated.

The result of this is that you can spend time sending messages to companies and the response will be very low because the info is old, or the receiver doesn’t even know log in information.

At Importers.com, all directory listings have been created by company representatives. We have never purchased a list of companies and added to our directory. Moreover, we rank companies according to their online activity. Most active Free Members rank higher than others.

3 – Online promotion

The final consideration for evaluating a B2B site is to determine what kind of promotion you will receive. In this regard, all trade sites promote paid members more than free members. The question is, will you get strong enough promotion for it to be worth the membership fees?

It is worthwhile to join and be a free member of the leading B2B sites. In fact, it is a great way to evaluate which site provides the most qualified inquiries. However, creating simple accounts with poor information on free B2B sites actually hurts your company more than it helps it.

Whatever information your company has online, make sure it is detailed and professional. Anything less is a sales killer!

It is worthwhile to upgrade your membership at a B2B site that has active buyers of your products and will provide strong promotion for your products. For example, Alibaba is a great B2B site for Chinese companies – but in fact, suppliers from other countries are buried in search results below their “Gold Suppliers” – which are all from China. So, while the site is very popular, it does not provide strong promotion for traders outside of China.

4 – Site Evaluation

China Suppliers: To evaluate a B2B site, search the directory and contact buyers that may be interested in your products. Be sure you have a detailed company profile and good products details. Then, see what kind of response you get. If you receive a number of positive replies, consider upgrading to get more promotion on the site.

China buyers: most buyers don’t want hundreds of suppliers, they just want 1 or 2 good ones. So, consider what happens when you post a BUY lead. Does it get sent to thousands of companies – who then flood your inbox with all kinds of useless messages? Good B2B sites – like Importers.com – provide buyer services to help identify qualified suppliers. Rather than blasting your BUY lead to thousands, they select the most qualified suppliers and provide sourcing services to help you make a buy decision.

Considering the information above, here are the B2B websites that TradeStaff recommend. It is worthwhile for most companies to have a Free Member account at each of these. However, the B2B sites may not be best for your company and may not provide the best results when you upgrade membership. Be sure to do your own evaluation.

In conclusion, it is worthwhile to have a free membership at the leading B2B sites. However, at each site your company belongs to, be sure your information is detailed and professional. Buyers will Google your company name and if the information they find is not professional, you run the risk of losing their interest.

All B2B sites offer paid promotion – through membership and/or advertising. For most suppliers, it is worthwhile to upgrade at 1 or 2 sites that have active members in your target market, that provide strong online promotion, and that have proven effective in attracting buyer inquiries for your products.

Understanding UK Bridging Finance

Bridging Finance Basics

Bridging finance, sometimes referred to as high speed property finance, is a ‘financial tool’ used to raise funds against the value of a property. These funds can be used for any legal purpose, maybe to purchase an other property or to raise capital for some other reason. Bridging finance is primarily for short term purposes – typically one or two months but can be for up to two years. Literally any residential or commercial property which has provable value can be used to secure a bridging loan.
Some of the main purposes to which bridging loans can be put:

  • Purchase of a residential or commercial property before the sale (or re-mortgage) of an existing property.
  • Purchase of a property where speed is essential to clinch the deal
  • Funding can be arranged for property in need of substantial repair or refurbishment pending a long term mortgage.
  • To avoid bankruptcy of other financial crisis by releasing the equity in a property.

Bridging loans can either be based on the “restricted sale value” of a property or the Open Market Value (OMV). The difference is simply down to the preference of an individual lender, a specialist commercial broker will be well aware of the difference and should ensure that this is made clear to the client.

Because the loan can be based on the Open Market Value of the property it is not at all unusual to see loans being arranged in excess of 100% of the purchase price. This is a major attraction to most property investors who are able to negotiate purchases well below market value. In the event that additional funds are required additional security can be used to “top-up” the loan.

How does it work?

A professionally prepared valuation report is the back-bone of a bridging loan. Most bridging loan applications undergo relatively few background checks on the client’s ability to repay the loan, therefore the lender has to rely on the valuation for their security. Most bridging lenders will have a preferred list of surveyors so it is best to leave arranging the valuation to your broker.

Whilst waiting for the valuation report the lender will usually carry out their statutory checks on the applicant and be ready to issue the formal offer documents or facility letter when the valuation has been completed.

The exact process will vary from lender to lender, but in most cases once the offer has been issued and the valuation report checked the case is handed over to the solicitors who will then conclude the matter.
It is vital that you obtain independent legal advice when arranging bridging finance. Your choice of solicitor will have considerable influence on how quickly the process can be completed. It is worth checking you local phone book for firms of solicitors who have a commercial department, these solicitors are mostly likely to have carried out this type of high speed transaction before. Most solicitors expect to take eight weeks or more to conclude property transactions, bridging finance is usually completed within two or three days of a satisfactory valuation report being received. (Obviously the author is not aiming any criticism at solicitors!)

Types of Bridging Loan

Whilst researching bridging finance you will come across the terms “closed bridge” and “open bridge”. In principle a closed bridge is where the ‘exit route’ or ‘repayment source’ is already arranged typically where contracts have been exchanged but the funds are not going to become available in time. On the other hand, “an open bridging loan” means that there is not a confirmed repayment method. As with most things financial, there is a grey area between the two. The most important things is to make sure you are arranging the right finance for your circumstances. This is where a specialist bridging finance broker is best placed to assist.

Bridging Finance in the UK

There are now more bridging finance lenders in the UK than there have ever been, so rates are coming down and terms are becoming more flexible. When dealing with a bridging finance broker do not be afraid of asking for the terms of the loan to be explained in plain English. You will often be quoted a broker fee and a lenders arrangement fee. The interest rates and any repayment charges should be made clear at the outset.