Designer working on a project
A successful business relies on a variety of vendors in its everyday operations. Running a B2B company could be an opportunity to provide a valuable service to other businesses. — Getty Images/ Geber86

Every business owner relies on the expertise and resources of external suppliers and service providers to power their productivity and success. Present a business owner with goods or services that offer a competitive edge in the marketplace at a great price with a high level of customer care, and you could make a client for life in this relationship-driven category. If serving the business sector appeals to you, consider these B2B opportunities that align well with different skill sets and areas of expertise.

Business consultant

If you have cultivated professional expertise and have unique, valuable insights to share in an industry or business category, you could harness your experience and thought leadership as a business consultant. As a business consultant, you lead others through a process of data analysis to strategize ways to solve problems and meet objectives, such as growth or expansion.

It’s a sought-after role in many companies, with an anticipated growth of 11% expected between 2019 and 2029. There is high demand for consultants across many disciplines. The key is to focus your strengths in the area that best aligns with your professional background.

Research consultant

Every business relies on research and insights to support key initiatives and decisions. Law firms need information to build cases; consumer goods companies need research and statistics about consumer buying habits, trends and competitors; and, tech companies need statistics and analytics. If you have expertise in a concentrated area, consider starting a business that leverages your knowledge and resourcefulness.

With an estimated median income of over $70,000, research consultancy can be a great option for those who geek out over facts and figures, and itmay require little more than a computer and office setup to get up and running.

Digital printing service

While it could be hard to imagine competing with the Kinkos and Staples of the world, there are many businesses that appreciate the personal and specialized services of an independent print shop. Digital printing is on an upward trajectory, with an expected 6.7% CAGR between 2018 and 2026. Beyond basic printing and binding services, you can appeal to lean businesses that need more specialized consulting services like graphic design, direct response mailers, custom packaging, promotional products, large format printing or die-cut labels and stickers.

Gain a competitive edge by utilizing and promoting the latest in technology, eco-friendly inks, and sustainability practices, and by offering superior speed, quality, customer service and efficiency. You can maximize client satisfaction by having an online platform through which they can easily upload designs and communicate with you. You can also consider options like same-day delivery.

Content marketing writer

Custom content is a driver of digital marketing success, and companies are ramping up their online customer engagement efforts. If you have a way with words and a marketing mentality, there is a growing need for skilled writers who can shape a company’s narrative in a meaningful way. A good first step is to create a killer digital portfolio that shows you have what it takes to create compelling content that people pay attention to. Highlight the types of content that will make you most marketable including blog posts, email newsletters, white papers and social media posts. Consider obtaining a certification in search engine optimization (SEO) so you can more effectively push your clients' sites higher in internet search results. Businesses value content that will help their search rankings, as content marketing represents a larger share of marketing budgets than ever before.

You can build your business as a content generalist and write about any subject as needed. If you have a background in a particular industry or field, you can also leverage your experience and expertise to build a niche clientele. Either way, depending on the project scope and size, an experienced content writer can expect their skills to generate significant income.

Research estimates that 40% of small business owners find bookkeeping and doing taxes to be the worst part of running a business, with 21% of small business owners lacking confidence in their business finance and tax aptitude.

Data analytics

Data analytics outsourcing is expected to experience explosive growth. Simply put, analytics help businesses solve problems and make more informed decisions. Companies are using more tech-based solutions than ever before, using qualitative and quantitative insights mined from every transaction captured and marketing program executed. Yet, few small businesses have a dedicated professional to analyze and interpret this data. If you are an analytics whiz with a qualified background, you can build a thriving business by studying a company’s data and turning out important insights that help clients gain a competitive edge and better market to consumer behaviors.

For your services, you can expect to earn $81,750 - $138,000. To start building your client base, attend networking events and industry conferences. You can also develop a presence on LinkedIn that demonstrates your knowledge base with blogs that highlight the importance of data analysis and testimonials that can stimulate referrals.

Business bookkeeping and accounting

If you love numbers, have a strong background in finance and thrive on being organized, the business of bookkeeping — a service every company needs — may be your path to success. Research estimates that 40% of small business owners find bookkeeping and doing taxes to be the worst part of running a business, with 21% of small business owners lacking confidence in their business finance and tax aptitude. There is an opportunity with businesses who see value in outsourcing the tasks they see as tedious, time-consuming or simply outside of their skill set. Go local first and network with local businesses. Show them how spending less time on managing cash flow and spending more time on initiatives translates into revenue.

You will need good business accounting software that allows you to offer a comprehensive suite of services from handling accounts payable and receivable to maintaining financial records as well as payroll and taxes. The more experienced you are in the field, the more you can expect to command, with average hourly rates ranging from $40-75.

Graphic design

As digital platforms continue to be the preferred platform for staying top of mind, the consistent need for fresh design updates will only continue to grow. There is a tremendous need for brand identity work, ad creative and website design, yet many businesses simply don’t have the budget for an in-house art department. Going out on your own as a graphic artist has many advantages. It affords you variety in your clientele and work, allowing you to build a portfolio that spans different industries and mediums.

With years of experience, you can negotiate some pretty sizable rates. One non-negotiable element for your success is to maintain your own web-based portfolio or Instagram account that showcases your talent for typography, design and creative composition. As you build your client roster, you can find gig work through one of many reputable online platforms.

IT support

In today’s world, no business can survive without technology, and no business wants to find themselves in a scenario in which their system is down, whether they are disconnected from their customers or they are facing the threat of ransomware. That’s probably why professional information technology (IT) support is expected to be a $1 trillion business by 2025. Many small businesses lack the budget or infrastructure for a dedicated IT professional and are always looking to have tech help on speed dial.

You can be business owners’ go-to for troubleshooting, advice on hardware and software issues, fixing bugs, or backing up data. If you have the know-how and want to focus on a niche, there are several areas of expertise to choose from.

Recruiter

A recruiter helps companies find qualified talent to fill open roles. Many recruiters have degrees or experience in human resources, while others find their way to a recruiting career in a less linear way. If you have strong ties to an industry and possess a wealth of insights about what it takes to succeed in that particular field, your background may easily translate well to corporate recruiting. It's an area experiencing growth and with high earning potential and independent recruiters can leverage various fee structures.

Liking people is paramount for success, as is having the confidence and stamina to tirelessly network to find great candidates for your clients. Whether you have an HR degree and want to add to your certifications or need to build your qualifications, there are several courses designed for recruiting professionals that could serve you well.

Online live chat specialist

Live online chat is considered one of the most valuable tools in the e-commerce space. Also known as conversational selling, it’s a form of customer service that assists shoppers during the purchasing process. As an online live chat specialist, you will answer questions and help customers solve problems in real time through a text-based platform. This goes beyond chatbots and contact forms. As the ultimate form of retail therapy, live chat specialists provide personalized, real-time support. You also support businesses cater to their customers’ preferred method of communication, driving overall customer satisfaction — and ultimately transactions. To stand out, you will need to possess top-notch communication skills, multi-task with ease and troubleshoot with confidence.

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Published August 31, 2021