small business opportunities.pngYou may be thinking of starting a new small business, say a cupcake bar.  Or you might be looking to transition an existing business to a new market, like turning a sandwich shop into an Internet café.  Or you and a potential partner could be weighing the pros and cons of joining forces; maybe you’re a software developer considering a merger with a graphic design firm.


No matter which position you’re in, it would help to have an idea of what industries are forecasted for growth in the next decade, right?   The following are some industries that are expected to enjoy burgeoning market potential. Some have revenue growth projections as high as 12 percent and employment growth as high as 10 percent, well beyond the national average.


Career and Resume Consulting

As people unemployed during the economic downturn seek to return to the job market, some are finding that they need to “reinvent” themselves.   Finding a way to showcase their experience in a unique way or to reposition experience for a new career direction often requires the assistance of a professional.   Having a background in professional writing or human resources will be of great value if you are interested in starting your own career consulting firm.


E-Commerce and Online Auctions

As consumers have become comfortable shopping online for everything from concert tickets to cars, there continues to be tremendous potential for brick-and-mortar businesses seeking to sell their products online; new Internet-only specialty sites, and small companies seeking to sell their products via existing venues like eBay, Etsy, Rubylane and Supermarket.  Perennially hot categories include toys, electronics, sporting goods and furniture, as well as more surprising products like handmade crafts and vintage clothing.


Environmental Consulting

As national and international environmental laws become more complex, companies of all sizes are seeking advice on everything from compliance to clean up. While Fortune 500 companies are apt to have both in-house environment health and safety (ESH) staff and contracts with large ESH consultancies, mid-size firms will be looking to small environmental consulting firms to help them stay “green.”


Home Health Care

As baby boomers continue to age, the need for medical and logistical assistance in the home is expected to continue to grow.  The numbers tell a compelling story: 7.6 million people were already receiving home health care in 2004 and the industry was commanding $45.2 billion in revenues. Now, employment in this sector is projected to grow 54.5% by 2012.  There will be innumerable opportunities for visiting nurse services; baby nurse companies; and agencies that place home companions.Small Business Specialization.png


Internet Services and Data Processing

Consumers have become increasingly dependent on the Internet for keeping in touch with family and friends; researching restaurants and vacation spots; doing price comparisons; storing data; tracking shipments; upgrading software and more. Growth is being fueled by falling device prices, which has led to forecasts of more than 1.4 billion computers worldwide as well as the proliferation of wireless technology. Therefore, experienced information technology consulting firms will continue to be in great demand.  However, bear a few things in mind:  Specializing is better than trying to be all things to all people; a flexible business model is recommended, allowing subcontractors to be engaged when projects demand; and all efforts should be made to parlaying small client projects into larger ones.


While this is just a sampling of industries where your small business might find opportunities, over the next few months The Small Business Online Community will offer a series of in-depth explorations of several of these small business growth industries.

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