Article by Eleanor Hecks
Perhaps you’re thinking about starting a small business for the first time or launching a second one. Finding an endeavor that combines your passions with market trends isn’t easy. You’ll be much more successful if you consider what might be profitable in the coming years.
According to the Small Business Administration, there were 249,000 new startups in one quarter alone. Not all of those new companies find success. One of the essential elements is knowing what industries do best.
Starting a small business is always risky. By the fifth year, about half of startups fail. However, you can up your odds by choosing wisely. Remember, around 50% of startups also thrive by the fifth year. Smart choices in the beginning can put you solidly in the right percentage.
What Business Should I Start?
Although some industries stand out as smarter investments than others, the best business to start is one you understand or can learn. You must have a fundamental understanding of how the industry operates.
Don’t try to go into a highly technical field if you don’t have the support to implement the technology. Do gain the knowledge needed to excel or form the right partnerships.
We’ve taken the time to look at four industries thriving today and likely in the coming years. See if any of these areas ignite a passion in you. If so, you probably have your next great idea for starting a business.
1. Health and Medicine
If you’re looking for an industry always in demand, look no further than the healthcare industry. Since the pandemic struck, there has been an increased demand for telemedicine. Regardless of what goes on in the world, people always need healthcare.
The increase in demand for services opens opportunities for the IT industry to develop apps, for those good at management to organize others and for healthcare professionals. Paraprofessionals can start in-home services and many periphery businesses. Don’t forget hospitals and doctors need all types of vendors as well.
Some businesses you could start related to health and medicine include:
- Develop apps to deliver telemedicine
- Offer bookkeeping services to doctors
- Medical transcription services
- Physical or occupational therapy centers
- Home healthcare
- Sell medical equipment
There are many other startups you can embrace that tie into medicine. Hopefully, the ones listed above sparked a few ideas.
2. Skilled Trades
Perhaps you like hands-on type work. There is a huge demand for skilled trades. For example, 54% of contractors have a hard time finding qualified, skilled workers. Many tradespeople must take on extra work, turn down opportunities and struggle to meet scheduling demands.
Although it takes a bit longer to get started in one of the trades industries, because you need specialized skills, you can also get started and hire already licensed employees. Some of the startups to consider for your next business:
- Plumbing company
- Heating and cooling
- House framing
- Concrete pouring
- Construction safety consultation services
There is always a need for building services and professional knowledge. Develop your trade, and you’ll never lack for work. Skilled trades is also an excellent business for someone looking for retirement income. You can set your hours or hire apprentices to take on some tasks.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In a survey of entrepreneurs, 60% of respondents felt AI is on the cutting edge of innovation. Many also feel it is the leading technology for the next decade. Some of the areas growing rapidly include autonomous vehicles and big data.
Anything repetitious is likely to become automated in the future. What are some startups you can embrace that involve AI?
- Simulation platforms training employees
- Analytics to help online businesses perform better
- Collaborative messaging apps
- AI consultation services
Think about the industries you know best and what might help automate them. AI is a forward-looking type of industry. You must make the best guess as to what will perform in five or ten years. You should have a passion for technology and gadgets.
Education is an industry always in high demand. From preschool to college, people need help understanding fundamental concepts. Take any topic you’re an expert in and present it for consumption.
Global Newswire reports the United States education market will reach $1.95 billion by 2025. With more people staying home due to the pandemic, online education becomes more popular. Some ideas for education businesses to start:
- Writing textbooks
- Online and offline tutoring
- Homeschool classes online or offline
- College track consultation
- SAT and ACT prep
- Homeschool materials
- Webinars on special topics
First, decide what age you might like to target. The type of business you start to help with the gradeschoolers’ educational needs will be much different from the one you begin to help those taking the SAT.
Look for a Need
Although some industries grow more rapidly than others, the main thing you should consider is if there is a real need for the type of startup you’re considering. Will people pay you for this product or service?
Do a thorough market analysis, both local and international. Look at all the potential competitors. Can you offer something better at a competitive price?
Before investing your hard-earned money, make sure you can turn a profit. Will the industry grow in the next few years? Is new technology making the work obsolete?
Make a list of all your interests and passions. How can you turn each into a profitable venture?
Make a Decision
Once you’ve weighed all the pros and cons, choose the type of startup you’d like to begin. Create a healthy business plan and know you’ve done your due diligence. Success is likely to follow.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a prominent digital marketing agency prior to becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pup, Bear.