Many who are looking for a first time business idea, wantrepreneurs or solopreneurs, often overlook business to business ideas (B2B ideas). They look first to direct to consumer products or services and forget Business to Business ideas (B2B ideas). Business to Business ideas (B2B ideas) can be a great place to look for new business opportunities. This article will show you how.
What are Business to business ideas (B2B ideas)?
Business to Business (B2B) is a commercial transaction that takes place between businesses as opposed to a business and consumer (B2C). Business to Business transactions take place anywhere along the supply chain whereas a business to consumer transaction only takes place at the very end of the chain when the product or service is finished. Business to Business (B2B) also differentiates from Business to Government (B2G).
B2B is the business of helping businesses.
Examples of business to business ideas are transactions between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, a wholesaler and a retailer, or a service vendor to a business provider.
Why Business to Business ideas? Why B2B is better than B2C!
Why should i consider business to business ideas you ask?
1) One big reason is because the overall volume of transactions for B2B are more than B2C transactions.
Other reasons why business to business ideas may be easier, especially for solopreneurs or small start-ups, is that…
2) businesses are focused on processes and solutions that save them time and money. Thus, it may be easier to come up with a definitive need in the B2B market. Generally, businesses will know what they need more acutely than a consumer.
Why Business to Business ideas are great for solopreneurs
- marketing costs: market to a business customer who makes it’s purchasing decisions based on value and utility (logic) as opposed to a more emotional purchasing decision often used by consumers to purchase a product or service.
- purchasing power: if you gain success in providing a solution to a business you have the potential of selling to industries, segments, or businesses that have a large purchasing power. This may lower your marketing costs if you convince the right decision makers.
Challenges of business to business ideas (b2b ideas) for solopreneurs
- expert buyers: you won’t be able to trick people into sales…thus you need to know what you are providing.
- access to decision makers: make sure you know who you are marketing to…are they spending their money or someone elses? who is the decision maker & how do you reach them?
How to come up with Business to Business ideas
1) Pick an Industry & Niche down:
- Agriculture, Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace, Aircraft, Airline, Apparel & Accessories, Automotive
- Banking, Broadcasting, Brokerage, Biotechnology, Call Centers, Cargo Handling, Chemical, Computer, Consulting
Consumer Products, Cosmetics
- Defense, Department Stores
- Education, Electronics, Energy, Entertainment & Leisure, Executive Search
- Financial Services, Food, Beverage, & Tobacco
- Health Care
- Internet Publishing, Investment Banking
- Manufacturing, Motion Picture & Video, Music
- Newspaper Publishers
- Online Auctions
- Pension Funds, Pharmaceuticals, Private Equity, Publishing
- Real Estate, Retail & Wholesale
- Securities & Commodity Exchanges, Service, Soap & Detergent, Software, Sports
- Technology, Telecommunications, Television, Transportation, Trucking
- Venture Capital
2) Map out their supply chain – the more in depth knowledge you can get the better. This is why many entrepreneurs or solopreneurs use their work experience to identify needs in the market.
3) Find an underserved opportunity or need for the potential business customer
4) Test and validate the opportunity / launch
Example business to business idea process
1) Pick an Industry & Niche down:
- Healthcare – Primary Care Private Physician Offices
2) Map out their supply chain:
- Patient selects primary care physician, calls the office or makes an appointment online, receptionist answers the phone and makes the appointment. Demographics are documented in the chart (electronic or paper chart / scheduling system). Staff verifies insurance information direct from insurance, through practice management software or clearinghouse. Staff reminds patient of appointment and confirms it ahead of time. The chart is prepped prior to appointment. Patient arrives for appointment and information is input into their chart (release of records, consent for treatment, health history). Medical assistant vitals and rooms patient. Physician evaluates and manages patients problems (educates, informs, prescribes, coordinates other care). Patient is processed at check out. Further documentation and coordination of forms, refills, referrals, durable medical supplies, insurance issues, and more is handled after the visit. Billing is communicated to the billing department. Claim is sent to clearinghouse and payor. Claim remittance and explanation of benefits is documented in system, payment if made is accounted for and money is deposited.
3) Find an underserved opportunity or need for the potential business customer:
- After evaluating the current vendors and needs of your b2b customer you determine that a staff management software is needed for the physician owners and office managers to coordinate tasks, policies and procedures.
4) Test and validate the opportunity / launch:
- Hire a designer to design your proposed software solution. Contact those that helped you find your need and sell them on the idea. With up front commitments and payments you can now hire a developer to make your software product happen. Your business is launched.
14 Business to Business ideas for solopreneurs in 2015
- Grocery store layout app development for local grocery stores – app allows shoppers to enter their shopping list and tells them where all the items options are sorted by price. Additional option would be to allow them to enter their list and arrive to a pre-filled shopping cart ready for check-out.
- Mobile SEO Optimization Services for all Industries.
- Ecommerce wharehouse & shipper / manager.
- ICD-10 Transition Solutions for the Healthcare Industry.
- NPI registry information extraction and data analysis for Pharmaceutical Industry.
- OSHA compliance for small business for all Industries.
- Niche graphic design by Industry.
- Business services for small business – MKTG, HR., MGMT.
- “Next Shoring” Consulting for the Manufacturing Industry.
- Testing Service for Industry specific niche. (click here for an example of this B2B Service).
- Non-profit fundraising solution provider for Non-Profit Industry.
- Traveling Senior Services (salon, pet care, grocery pickup, errands, etc…).
- Software Trainer – pick your industry & niche and freelance as a trainer.
- Professional organizer for a business niche – pick your industry.
For more B2B business to business ideas see: online business ideas.
For more solopreneur ideas, opportunities, and challenges click here: Solopreneur ideas & challenges