By Brittney Morgan, Business News Daily Contributing Writer
The Business of Helping Businesses
Considering starting your own business this year? If it's inspiration you seek, consider this: There are tons of businesses out there, big and small, that could use your special skills to help them grow and improve.
Whether you're knowledgeable about mobile app development and e-commerce or you have writing skills to offer, there are companies that would benefit from your services – especially because a lot of small businesses can't afford to hire in-house staff to fill these roles. Starting a B2B business is a great way to do what you love, be your own boss and help others along the way. Try looking into these ideas for 2018.
Tech consulting and implementation
Are you tech savvy? Well, many companies are not. As technology becomes more and more integral to small business, whether it's simply a video surveillance system or the more high-tech implementation of things like machine-learning systems, your technological experience can pay off big time.
More and more people are 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 a consultant and offer other businesses advice and guidance on improving their websites, taking product photos, writing product copy, managing checkouts and customer mailing lists, and more.
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 and launch parties. Try to team up with other local businesses like different venues, caterers and florists 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 future customers.
Virtual assistant service
As companies grow, it can be harder and harder to keep track of administrative duties. Virtual assistant are a great way for businesses to lighten the load without hiring a full-time, in-house employee. If you enjoy administrative work, you can let other businesses outsource some of their tasks to you. If you have experience in a certain field or niche, you can leverage that to find companies in need of your specific expertise.
Most small businesses don't have an in-house accountant, so the task of record keeping often falls to the business owner. A highly organized, trustworthy bookkeeper can 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.
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, offering 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.
Niche PR firm
There are lots of PR firms out there, but as businesses become more specialized, so do their public relations needs. 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 a certain business category will attract clients who know they need a specialist.
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.
Every company needs a website, right? However, finding a web designer who 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 a niche will help you corner the market in one or two particular industries.
Apps, apps and more apps – that's all small businesses hear about. The fact is, though, that most 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 is another area that few small companies can afford to staff full time. Yet, small businesses are forced to comply with increasingly complex safety regulations. A workplace safety consultant could provide their expertise without being on the payroll on a full-time basis.
Residential management company
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 running your own business.
Trade staffing agency
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 focused on building a database of qualified trade candidates would likely have lots of business.
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 staff members.
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Brittney Q. Morgan is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor, as well as a graduate of Drew University, where she majored in History. Along with writing for Business News Daily, her work can be found all across the web at Apartment Therapy, HuffPost, and more. You can find her on Twitter at @brittneyplz.