The Business of Helping Businesses

The Business of Helping Businesses
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Is 2016 the year you finally start your own business? If so, launching a business-to-business (B2B) company is worth considering. Aspiring B2B entrepreneurs can use their skills to help other businesses grow along with their own. Of course, you'll need a great idea to get you started on your startup journey. Here are 18 smart B2B business ideas to inspire your entrepreneurial spirit this year.

Press release service

Press release service
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Got a background in writing? Use your skills to help other businesses get publicity by starting a press release writing service. Market your services to small businesses that don't have or can't afford dedicated in-house publicists and offer to write press releases as needed. Make sure you research going rates for your industry and area so that you're charging fairly, and take the time to develop a strong portfolio of your work — you'll need this in order to impress prospective clients and grow your business.

E-commerce consulting

E-commerce consulting
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More and more people seem to be shopping online lately, so it's no surprise that many people are starting e-commerce businesses or adding an e-commerce component to their existing companies. If e-commerce is one of your skills or specialties, you can become an e-commerce consultant and offer other businesses advice and guidance on improving their websites, taking product photos, writing product copy, managing check-outs and customer mailing lists, and more.

Events management

Events management
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Have a knack for planning parties and events? Consider starting a business to help other businesses plan and manage their company events. Events can include company holiday parties, galas, fundraisers, launch parties and more. If you can, try to team up with other local businesses like different venues, caterers, florists and more to offer discounts on rentals and services. It's also a good idea to take photos of the events you plan and to create a portfolio to show to future customers.

Virtual assistant service

Virtual assistant service
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As companies grow, it can be harder and harder to keep track of administrative duties. Virtual assistant (VA) services are a great way for businesses to lighten the load without hiring a full-time, in-house employee. If you enjoy doing administrative work, you can let other businesses outsource some of their tasks to you. And if you have experience in a certain field or niche, you can leverage that to find companies in need of your specific expertise.

E-commerce warehouse/shipper

E-commerce warehouse/shipper
You'll need some extra space at home if you want to run this business out of your house, but with a well-organized basement or garage space, you can do it. E-commerce is a huge business, and it's an especially appealing one for small business owners who can't afford to rent a retail space. The problem, of course, is that packing and shipping all those orders can be a real hassle. Many e-commerce companies would like to outsource this function to a third party who can keep the inventory in stock and ship orders as they come in. There are not many companies that offer this service to small retailers, so you could be filling a huge gap in the B2B market.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping
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Most small businesses don't have an on-staff accountant, so the task of record keeping often falls to the business owner. A highly organized, trustworthy bookkeeper can really alleviate the stress of sorting through receipts and tax returns. You'll most likely only need to put in one or two days a month for each client, depending on how many sales and expenses they have. Knowledge of QuickBooks is a plus, but not necessarily a requirement for this business.

Eco-consulting

Eco-consulting
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Are you an expert on living green? Help other business owners make their offices more environmentally friendly by starting an eco-consulting service. These consultants evaluate homes and offices, and offer solutions to make them more environmentally friendly. This could mean advising a switch to energy-efficient appliances or simply implementing a recycling program. Become a certified eco-consultant to boost your credibility with potential clients.

Web content

Web content
Content is king on the web. Businesses use it to engage with customers and it helps their search engine rankings, too. But, what business owner has time to write a new blog post every day? A Web content company need only have one good writer (you) and a few good relationships with local small businesses. If it works out, you can add employees later.

Socially responsible public relations

Socially responsible public relations
There are lots of PR firms out there, but as businesses become more specialized, so do their public relations needs. Socially responsible, fair trade, organic, local, B Corps and other kinds of businesses with a socially responsible bent need public relations firms that will market their story to a whole different audience and deliver a different kind of message. A PR firm that specializes in that kind of work will attract clients who know they need a specialist.

[Related Story: Looking for business ideas? Find inspiration here]

Business plan writer

Business plan writer
There are multitudes of budding entrepreneurs out there all struggling to write a business plan. The problem is that many just don't have the experience necessary to put the document together. An entrepreneur with a background in business and good writing skills could start small and attract a few clients at a time.

Find your business idea

Find your business idea
Ready to figure out what business idea is best for you? Try our Business Idea Generator. Answer 21 "yes" or  "no" questions  and we'll tell you the top five business ideas that might work for you. Click here to get started. Don't worry, it will open in a new window and you won't lose your place in this countdown.

Niche Web design

Niche Web design
Every company needs a website, right? But, finding a Web designer that understands their particular business, their customers and their competition isn't as easy as one would think. Building a Web design business that focuses on one niche will help you corner the market in one or two particular industries.

Mobile consulting

Mobile consulting
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Apps, apps and more apps. That's all small businesses hear about. The fact is, though, that most truly small businesses have no idea how to create or deploy an app. There are lots of companies out there willing to do it for them, but most are probably out of their price range. A startup that can afford to offer the service for less would surely find a niche market.

Safety consultant

Safety consultant
Safety is another area that few small companies can afford to staff full-time. Yet, small businesses are forced to comply with increasingly complex and onerous safety regulations. A workplace safety consultant could provide his or her expertise without being on the payroll on a full-time basis.

Residential management company

Residential management company
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Ask anyone who owns a rental property and they'll tell you it's a lot of work. Unfortunately, the recession has turned a lot of homeowners who couldn't sell their houses into unwitting landlords with no experience dealing with tenants or maintaining a rental property. If you are good with people and can manage difficult situations, a property management company would be a great way to get your feet wet in owning your own business.

Trade staffing agency

Trade staffing agency
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There are all types of staffing agencies out there, but ask any contractor you know and you'll find out it's hard to find skilled trade laborers. While traditional headhunters generally focus on white-collar jobs, an employment agency that focused on building a database of qualified trade candidates would likely have lots of business.

Human resources outsourcing

Human resources outsourcing
Most smaller companies don't have the funds for a full-time human resources person, nor do they have time to wade through all the rules, regulations and insurance issues themselves. If you've got a background in HR, you could start working as a freelance HR person tomorrow.

Cost cutter

Cost cutter
Ever notice how your phone bill seems to creep up ever so slowly and before you know it, you're paying $50 more a month than you agreed to? So does everyone else. The problem is, few people have time to go over their bills with a fine-tooth comb and call and argue with the provider. A cost cutter does this for businesses and can help them save thousands. Cost cutters need an eye for detail and a good sales pitch. Once you've proven your worth to a client, word of mouth will spread quickly.

Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting
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Self-published books are all the rage among businesses trying to promote themselves online. But, really, how many small business owners are qualified to write an engaging book? That's where your ghostwriting business comes in. Downloaded content will only continue to grow and so, therefore, will the need for people to write all those books.

Additional reporting by Business News Daily managing editor Jeanette Mulvey. Updated Jan. 1, 2016.

Small Business Resource Center

Small Business Resource Center
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If you're thinking about starting your own business, there are lots of decisions to be made. What kind of accounting software will you use? Will you do your own payroll our outsource it? BusinessNewsDaily's Small Business Resource Center will help you sort through the choices. Visit it here.