A customer is what you need if you run a business. Duh. I could probably end the article right there, but why not beat a dead horse and get those 500 words?
There are two main types of customers: individuals and businesses. In addition to those, you may also encounter governmental customers and NGOs as well.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
One of the main types of customer is the individual. Most customers are individuals because individual buying makes up the largest chunk of consumerism in this country. Sales to individuals, on average, are smaller and more frequent. If your company sells directly to consumers (B2C), you likely have more customers per dollar and tend to spend your marketing efforts on broad advertising over more directed marketing strategies.
For example, a B2C business would benefit from taking out radio or television ads. These mediums target consumers more than they target businesses.
Business to Business (B2B)
If your customers are businesses, you likely have higher value per customer than B2C companies. B2C companies tend to take more targeted approaches to marketing through networking, targeted publications, and cold calling.
For example, a company that sells enterprise software to major corporations is not going to benefit from a radio ad. Instead, they’re going to have salespeople who target the deciders in those corporations through networking, cold calls, mailers, and more. They don’t need to reach 10,000 people at once because they only need that one person to make their sales goals.
Some companies are both B2C and B2B. For example, tax preparers often will prepare and file both business and individual tax returns.
Business to Government (B2G)
Businesses that sell goods and services to governmental agencies are in a unique area. In order to avoid the appearance of fraud, governmental units have processes in place that businesses have to follow to get their business. For example, if you want to work with the Federal Government, you generally have to go through a bidding process.
Business to NGOs
If your business works directly with NGOs, you need to follow whatever process they have in place. Because they’re not as regulated, you’re dealing with something most akin to a B2B relationship.