Because of the recession and the tough job market it created, increasingly more people are opening their own small businesses. Unfortunately, the recession hasn’t looked favorably on the self-employed: research shows that the small business exit rate is higher than the entrance rate. I can’t help but to think that the entrepreneurial advice I regularly hear given to small business entrepreneurs is partly responsible for their failure. The advice is to start a business in the service industry.
If you read any list of “good business ideas,” almost all of them will likely be in the service industry. Sure, there may be a demand for a daycare center, house cleaning company, or dog-walking services in your region. However, according to the entrepreneurial experts, starting a business which relies on the average person as customers is a bad idea in a tough economy. People are trying to save money wherever they can, which means they will be cleaning their own homes and walking their own dogs.
Instead of trying to finagle the last dollars out of the pockets of Average Joes, doesn’t it make much more sense to open a B2B small business instead?
Why B2B Beats B2C
When you open a B2C small business, you have to spend a lot of time building up a large enough customer base to make your efforts profitable and sustainable. Let’s say that you open a house cleaning service. With twice-monthly cleaning, you’d probably need at least 20 clients just to make ends meet (Note, this is a guestimate). By contrast, an office cleaning small business may only need 1 client, such as a large corporate office, to cover all expenses and turn a profit.
Not only do B2B services have higher price tags associated with each client, but B2B clients are also much more reliable than B2C clients. Once you get a B2B client, that client will probably stick around for the long haul whereas B2C clients have a much higher turnover rate.
Of course, if you like dealing directly with the customer, then B2C may be the route to go when opening your own business. If you are more interested in the financials and stability though, then you may want to consider one of these 7 great B2B small business ideas.
1. Virtual Assistants:
Many businesses don’t have the resources to hire full-time staff in their offices, but they still need help with secretarial services. For these businesses, it makes much more sense to hire a virtual assistant for tasks like responding to emails. If you can provide advice to these businesses and reliable services, then a virtual assistant business has a good chance of success.
2. Internet Marketing Consultant:
Businesses of all sizes now rely on the internet for getting more customers, branding, and reputation management. The realm of internet marketing is so vast though that these businesses need someone to guide them through it, which is why internet marketing consultancies are a great B2B business idea.
3. Social Media Manager:
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are important for businesses’ reputations and relationships with customers. It takes a lot of time to manage these accounts though, so why not start a business taking care of posts and tweets for other businesses?
4. Waste Reduction Specialist:
The public is increasingly concerned about going green, which is why it is great PR for any business to start recycling programs and other eco-friendly changes. Navigating the world of trash removal, composting and recycling can be very confusing though.
5. Healthcare Consultant:
With all the recent changes to healthcare laws, employers need help figuring out the rules. Offer to help business owners save money and time through your healthcare consultancy and you will have a successful B2B business.
6. Business Plan Writing:
No one likes to do the dirty work of starting a business. If you are great at writing business plans, then start a business doing this for other businesses.
7. Event Manager:
Whether it is a small coffee shop organizing a local art show or a corporation which will attend a trade show, businesses rely on events! You can start a B2B small business helping them manage their events.