One of the most lucrative customer bases for small businesses are, in fact, other businesses. If you ever worked for a large company, you likely know that those businesses often require outside services. So, instead of continuing to work as an employee, use your skillset to strike out on your own and start your own B2B business.
1. Accounting & Bookkeeping
Are you a licensed CPA or a business accounting software wizard? Your less math-friendly entrepreneurs could use your help in keeping their personal and business finances in order.
As a bookkeeper, you’ll process invoices and payroll, compile expense reports, and more. If you have a CPA license, you can help business owners file taxes, generate balance sheets and other accounting documents, and make your professional recommendations about your client’s bottom line.
If you have the skills to make your own accounting or bookkeeping service happen, then this is the best, and most lucrative, small business idea for you.
If you’ve been in the business world for a long time, folks might be clamoring for your knowledge and expertise within your industry. Why not turn all that know-how into a new career as an independent consultant? You can get paid to speak at industry conferences or events, serve on a board of advisers for a fledgling business, or lend your expertise to shape the strategy of an existing business on a contract basis. Whatever your field of expertise, starting your own consulting firm is a great way to make a sizable income while working on your own terms.
3. Marketing Services
Most business owners have some idea of how they want to market their companies. Executing that plan, on the other hand, can be a whole other ballgame—especially for new business owners with little, or zero, marketing experience.
As an independent marketing professional, you can work with small businesses who don’t have the in-house bandwidth to execute their marketing plans. Write their blogs, firm up their SEO strategy, generate ad campaigns, deploy inbound marketing tactics, and do whatever it takes to get their name in (proverbial) lights.
4. Social Media Management
Social media is a specific marketing specialty that most business owners know they need, but few are capable of doing well. If you’re glued to your phone, Instagram all your meals, and carry out most of your conversations in 280 characters or fewer, consider cultivating a client base of business owners who need help managing their brand’s social media platforms.
5. Website Development & Design
Every business needs at least a basic website to succeed, but many business owners don’t know how to set one up for themselves. So, if you’re an IT and design wizard, you’ll have endless opportunities to custom-build websites. Use a platform like Upwork or Envato to gain your first clients, then use your portfolio and word-of-mouth recommendations to grow your client base (and eventually boost your prices).
6. Business Planning Service
If you’re the serial business owner type—and have successfully launched and run a few businesses now—you’ve probably crafted a couple business plans in your time. Writing a business plan is a crucial start to any business, but it’s a process that not all entrepreneurs have down.
One of the best small business ideas for seasoned business owners ready for their next venture is a business planning service. If you know how to see the whole process of writing a business plan through—including business funding plans, market analysis, competitor research, and so on—clients will be lining up for your services.
Often, the best small business ideas are borne of an entrepreneur’s greatest passion. So, those with a creative edge might have an easy time coming up with business ideas—but some may be more financially viable than others. These in-demand small business opportunities definitely suit artistic types, but there’s also opportunity to make some good money.
Professional photographers are highly demanded for weddings, corporate events, family portraits, and more. And because you can build this business out of your home (with the right tools, of course), a freelance photography business has relatively low startup costs. Plus, you’re in charge of your client load and schedule, so professional photography is a great way to build a side hustle while working full-time elsewhere.
8. Event Planning
More and more individuals and companies are hiring freelance event planners to manage the design, logistics, and coordination of pulling off major events. If you love every little detail of coordinating your kid’s birthday or your dad’s retirement party, start offering your Type-A services to parties in your community or within your personal network. You just need to pull off one great party, to start, and your event-planning business will take off with all those word-of-mouth recommendations.
9. Food Truck
Food trucks are hugely popular, often offering unique, specialty foods that often wouldn’t sell as easily in brick-and-mortar restaurants. Take your mom’s famous dumpling recipe or your off-the-wall dessert idea and hit the road to local events, farmer’s markets, your local town square, large corporate complexes at the lunchtime rush—wherever you’re likely to draw a crowd. Keep in mind that food trucks usually have to meet a special set of ordinances and safety compliance standards, so contact your local health department to determine what your mobile restaurant will require.
10. Restaurant or Cafe
If you’re truly culinary (and entrepreneurial) ambitious, your ultimate dream might be to open your own deli, diner, cafe, or full-service restaurant. While opening a restaurant is one of the most challenging, risky, and expensive business ideas on our list, the reward can be great for those willing to put in the work. If you’d like a safer bet than starting your own restaurant from scratch, consider opening a franchise of an established restaurant chain, and reap the benefits of an already-popular brand.