If you’re itching to start a business but you’re stuck on what that business actually entails, consider focusing your attention on other businesses: In other words, any of the B2B business ideas ahead. These B2B (business to business) ideas offer crucial support for companies, their executives, and their staff, typically by offering a service, skill, or specialty that business owners don’t have the time or training to handle on their own.
Of course, these business ideas also cater to a variety of monetizable skills, specialties, and interests on your part, whether that’s writing, planning, posting, or fixing wonky tech. Plus, these business ideas are conducive to freelancing, side hustling, or launching a full-blown business, depending on your ambitions. Let’s get to it.
8 Top B2B Business Ideas to Try This Year
Ready to get into the B2B world? Consider one (or more) of these eight promising B2B business ideas.
1. Business Consulting
If you have extensive experience starting, running, and growing businesses, get a little meta and make a business out of serial entrepreneurship itself. As a business consultant, you’ll guide aspiring entrepreneurs through every step of the business-ownership process: Analyzing the market, honing their business idea and strategy, writing a business plan, developing a marketing strategy, identifying funding, and every other myriad step in between.
A hearty resume, portfolio, or other evidence of your successful track record in business should be enough to attract clients. But if you’d like to legitimize your skillset or you’re interested in deepening your understanding of business consulting, consider receiving accreditation from the Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants.
At the risk of making a sweeping generalization, the vast majority of business owners are not experienced bookkeepers. On the off-chance that they are, they likely don’t have the bandwidth to handle this crucial but time-consuming job, which involves digging into details like tracking sales and expenses, filing receipts, managing payroll, and other tasks involved in financial record-keeping.
That’s where you, potential bookkeeper for local business owners, come in. Accountants are in high demand in the B2B space as well, but as bookkeeping doesn’t require a certification or degree, this is a more attainable side hustle for most people (assuming they have the right skill set for it).
3. IT Technician
IT techs have always been an essential service for businesses, but they’re arguably more important than ever. Now that many companies are relying on technology for virtually all of their operations, the demand for IT experts is at an all-time high.
In order to start your own IT tech business or become an IT freelancer, you’ll have to have ample training and experience. Ideally, that’s a combination of experience in the field, as well as either a degree or a certification in information technology.
4. Marketing Manager
Another huge (and hugely important) job that most business owners don’t have the time, skills, or energy to handle entirely on their own: marketing. While marketing may seem simple on the surface and there are certainly baseline marketing tactics that even the most inexperienced and/or hesitant entrepreneurs can implement on their own, it requires a ton of knowledge and experience to launch a fully realized marketing campaign—and to keep growing and evolving that marketing strategy to suit a growing and evolving business.
Because marketing is such a rich and complex world, as a marketing manager, you can cater your offerings according to your areas of expertise and your clients’ needs. For instance, you can assume a consulting role and guide your clients on a big-picture strategy and game plan, or, you can take a more hands-on approach and create, manage, and execute the business’s marketing materials, whether that’s social media posts or in-person events.
5. Social Media Manager
More specifically, becoming a dedicated social media manager is a particularly valuable marketing service. There are tons of statistics pointing to the necessity of implementing a robust social media marketing plan—to name just one, 90% of Instagram’s 1 billion users follow a business, which implies that social media is a major channel through which people discover and patronize businesses.
In fact, it’s possible for a business to focus solely—and successfully—on social media marketing. In this instance, as well, you can cater your services specifically to your clients’ goals and needs, whether that’s helping your client identify the social media channels they should focus on and brainstorming ideas, or taking on the creation, posting, and analytics jobs yourself.
6. Content Creation
The term “content creation” sounds a little jargon-y, but it’s actually self-explanatory: As a content creator, you’ll literally create whatever digital media content your client needs (and whatever you’re qualified to do). That could be writing blog posts, whitepapers, articles for news outlets, social media copy, scripts for YouTube videos, email newsletters, or website copy, to name just a few.
Generating brand awareness, loyalty, and establishing your client as an authority in their field are some of the content creator’s raison d’etres; but in order for that to happen, customers need to find that content in the first place. For that reason, it’s not enough to write clean copy—you’ll also need to be skilled in the art (or science, however you conceive of it) of SEO. If SEO isn’t your forte, consider taking a course on SEO strategy, like this one on Coursera.
7. Recruiting & HR Services
Recruiting specifically, and human resources management more generally, are among the most reliable B2B businesses out there. As long as businesses grow, they need to hire staff; and as long as they hire staff, they have to manage the rules, laws, and processes governing them.
Note that human resources management requires a deep understanding of logistical considerations like health care, insurance, payroll, benefits, and state and federal laws protecting workers’ rights, just as much as it does navigating interpersonal relationships among a company. For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend starting an HR management business if you don’t already have extensive experience in this field.
8. Personal Assistant Services
Speaking of logistics: If you’re obsessed with them, then becoming a freelance personal assistant or starting a business that contracts personal assistants to businesses could be your dream gig.
Personal assistants handle administrative tasks for one or a handful of individuals within a company, typically executives. In this scenario, “administrative tasks” can refer to things like planning and booking travel, answering phone calls and emails, organizing calendars, or anything else that supports your client’s day-to-day work within the office environment. As an alternative, you can become a virtual assistant, which essentially carries out all the tasks of a personal assistant, albeit entirely remotely.
The Bottom Line
There you have it: Eight promising B2B business ideas to try in 2021. And while these ideas are in high demand this year, these services will remain essential for years to come, which bodes well for the long-term success of your business—and the businesses you’ll be supporting.
- SproutSocial.com. “55 Critical Social Media Statistics to Fuel Your 2020 Strategy.”