If you want to be a profitable startup in 2021, you should provide services to other businesses as a business-to-business (B2B) company. While service businesses are relatively easy to start, many entrepreneurs shy away from them, preferring to promote a product. Let's highlight 18 B2B services that you can provide in your startup in 2021.
What is B2B?
When starting up a new business, one thing to consider is how you'll be conducting your daily business and who your potential customer will be. While many small businesses operate in the business-to-consumer (B2C) space, another avenue to consider is B2B, or business-to-business. Under this umbrella, your company can carve out its place in the B2B commercial landscape, regardless of whether it's a tech company providing communications equipment or a public relations firm specializing in crisis management.
Under such a business model, your company services other companies. By providing products and services that help other business owners, you can serve a constantly growing market that already values good customer service and loyalty.
18 B2B business ideas
There are countless options to consider when looking to get into the B2B marketplace. To help you find a potential business idea for you to take on in the new year, here are some options to consider.
1. Business consultant/business coach
If you have had success creating, starting, running and growing a business, you should consider being a business consultant or business coach. You would give other entrepreneurs the benefit of your expertise. You could answer questions they have as a startup. You could provide key advice. You also could help them avoid the mistakes you have encountered. You’ll find it very fulfilling to give guidance and advice to other entrepreneurs. Business consultants provide advice that you don’t have to accept, but business coaches hold their clients accountable to implement those changes into their business.
2. Analytics for small businesses
If you have experience and knowledge about the metrics of running a business, you should consider providing analytical services to business owners. They need to understand their budgets, benefits of spending money in some locations and the disadvantages of spending money on other parts of the business. Analytics provide these data points, but entrepreneurs often don’t understand how to get them or use them. You could help other small businesses raise their venture capital and grow their business.
3. Researching services
Entrepreneurs aren’t always willing or have the time to conduct their own research and feasibility studies for their business ideas. You could offer this service to them. Through research and feasibility studies, you will examine different aspects of the idea. Studies are needed on marketing, technology uses, research and development and automation. When you present the results of the studies to the client, you would provide them with valuable information they need to be able to succeed.
4. Writing services
Entrepreneurs need writers for many processes. They need writers to create a business plan, write content in their marketing and write for a blog or social media. Entrepreneurs often don't know how to create content effectively and don’t want to take the time to learn how to correctly create content. Every business needs well-written content and business plans to move the company in the way it should. When entrepreneurs hire your writing business, you will help them focus on what they need to make investors come on board the business venture. The content also will help the company become well known and the first choice of someone to use. Companies also want writers to create press releases to send to media and other public relations work.
5. Investing in business opportunities
You could be a company that invests in other companies. You would provide the service to research business opportunities and trends in an industry. When you see a trend that might result in a growing need for a new idea, you could plan to invest in companies that are at the forefront of that new idea. You also could provide the services yourself.
6. Content marketing/Digital marketing
You can help small and midsize businesses build their own brand and maximize their awareness to their target audience. You would provide the marketing expertise to help build brand awareness. Marketing is a large group of services. You could pick one piece of the marketing plan, such as writing content or social media, or you could become a marketing consultant or manager where you provide all of it.
7. Graphic design
Like writing services, all companies need artists. These are designers who will create a unique logo to help you be different from so many competitors. Artists also provide pictures for social media sites and designs for T-shirts or promotional products. They create brochures. They can critique your website for visual problems and fix them. They can provide entrepreneurs advice on other visuals that make the company have a brand. The right logo and other visuals are what will propel entrepreneurs from the obscure to the top of minds.
8. Social media consultant
As mentioned previously, entrepreneurs need to have a digital presence and be able to market their brand. Some companies focus solely on social media marketing while others do all types of marketing. Regardless, if you want to provide services to small business owners, you can offer social media services such as social media coaching. You could coach and advise small business owners on what they need to do when interacting with potential and existing customers on the various social networks, or you could do it for them. To be successful, you have to understand which sites are beneficial for your client and which are not. You have to know what to post and when, as well as understand brand awareness.
9. Employee recruitment services
Human resources management is now a function of outsourcing. Previously, human resources was a function within a company, but many small business owners are hiring firms that provide these services outside the company. It is saving them in the long run and providing a much-needed job function. If you have human resource expertise and understand healthcare rules and employment laws, you could provide these services to companies. You also could offer advice on health insurance plans, workers' compensation laws, Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules, payroll and employee benefits. You also could provide assistance in hiring employees.
10. Bookkeeping services
Businesses are often looking for someone to take over the responsibility and tediousness of bookkeeping. If you have a background in bookkeeping, this could be a profitable business opportunity. While bookkeeping and accounting might sound the same, they are not. Usually, bookkeepers work with accountants to make sure entrepreneurs' books are in order for the Internal Revenue Service and state officials. Bookkeepers also do the daily number-crunching, while accountants plan.
11. Venture capital brokerage
As a venture capital broker, your job would be to link startup businesses with venture capitalists. You are finding the money and the company that needs the money. You have to research the venture capitalists because not all capitalists provide funds in all fields. Therefore, you are saving the entrepreneur time and money by finding the right fit. The entrepreneur can target only those who provide funding in your client's industry, and you save the venture capitalist's time by bringing the idea to them. When you act as a middleman, you are helping both companies. The entrepreneur succeeds, and the venture capitalists reap the benefits of that success.
12. Printing services
Even though everything is online, entrepreneurs need printing companies. Printers will create postcards, rack cards and information handouts that are necessary to every business. Although printing services may seem a common business, most are franchised and easily entered. They have good margins and don't require much additional training. If you have expertise in publishing layout and design, this would be a good business to business avenue for you. Companies offer printing services for catalogs, posters, brochures, flyers and business cards. If you could add direct mail or another mailing service, you are even more likely to succeed. Mailboxes and street addresses are another way printers can service entrepreneurs.
13. Event management
Expos, summits, and trade shows are often ideal opportunities to get a small or midsize business's brand in front of a key audience. The downside is that the travel, setup and time it takes to man the booth frighten businesses away from doing those events. Even if you plan a small local event, the client will have headaches they don't want. Therefore, you could provide this service to them. As an event manager, you could help businesses package, tailor, and present their products or services at these events. This will increase their exposure because you will be able to get their brand in front of more people by doing the event circuit for them than if they tried to do one or two events on their own. You would handle the invitations, logistics, advertising and problem-solving during the event. Even though events have largely been put on hold for months now, experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci believe the country could return to public events as early as this fall, if everything goes well with the vaccine.
14. Legal services/legal consultant
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs need the advice of business lawyers. If you have gone to law school and passed the bar exam, you could offer business law. Many lawyers become prosecutors, public defenders, personal injury lawyers or corporate lawyers, but a real need is in law for small businesses. These are the lawyers who write contracts, evaluate contracts, advise on issues that might affect small business owners, read leases and explain business opportunities legalese. There are also legal consultants. These are the ones who understand the law and can offer advice, with the caveat that any action must be taken by a licensed attorney.
15. Information technology services
The other area that most entrepreneurs lack is information technology. All businesses need help with their computers, tablets, laptops, smartphones, networks and printers. They need software and hardware support. If you could offer either or both of these services, you will help entrepreneurs be able to not worry about downtime and problems with their equipment. Many services are presented as software-as-a-service or hardware-as-a-service and are available digitally. Therefore, you could provide the service without needing a lot of space.
16. Virtual assistant services
With the advent of remote work taking on an unprecedented amount of importance in 2020 and at least a major portion of 2021, businesses are going to need tech-savvy individuals who can help handle administrative tasks while the business continues with its daily operations. If you have a knack for remote work and enjoy handling the more logistical or administrative side of a business, this may be an option for you.
17. Landscaping/building maintenance
For small business owners who want to work outside but would rather have other business owners as their clients, you could start up a B2B landscaping or building maintenance company. Even though offices have largely been left empty for months now, that doesn’t mean they must fall into disrepair. For many companies, that means hiring landscapers and maintenance professionals to ensure their properties are kept in decent shape.
18. Call center operator
Call centers can be a major help to businesses. If you have the equipment and resources available, you can start up your own call center company. Once up and running, you and your employees can field calls, answer questions and transfer customers to the right people.