“E-Commerce for Service Companies? But how?”
Maybe you’ve said these very words yourself – and you wouldn’t be alone. For many, the idea that service companies can effectively package and sell their services using e-commerce seems impossible. How can e-commerce work if you don’t have fixed-price products to post, stock, and ship? The fact is, thousands of service companies are thinking outside the box – literally and figuratively and discovering that e-commerce offers them exceptional opportunities to not only grow their business, but also operate in a more customer-centric, efficient, and competitive manner.
Take ClearChoice Careers, Ltd., an online recruitment and advertising consultancy founded in London. This service company initially joined a business network because their customers requested that they provide electronic invoicing. “We joined a network with little knowledge of what impact it would make upon our business,” explains Shirley Brzeski, Managing Director at ClearChoice Careers. “We were pleasantly surprised by how it streamlined our cash management and accounting administration processes,” notes Brzeski. “And we’ve achieved a 500% increase in gross profit from year one to year two of trading. I see the solution as being an integral tool to our expansion plans being realized.”
ClearChoice Careers used their business network to replace many of their manual accounting processes, unblocking visibility into payment cycles and gaining effective cash flow management to eliminate cash flow headaches. Customers’ automated payments now arrive faster, and more customers adhere closely to agreed-on payment terms. In addition, by using a business matching service, they were able to increase exposure and access opportunities with Global 2000 companies and win sizeable deals quickly. This success story, which Brzeski recently shared at a Berlin conference truly illustrates the opportunities that e-commerce can afford services companies – both large and small!