Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
If you are thinking of starting or expanding a business this year, here are some growing markets that you might be interested in exploring.
Seniors Market The population is aging and people are living quite a bit longer. Not only that, but they are continuing to be active members of society, which means that this age group is a viable market for many goods and services. Some of the businesses finding potential here include health care, financial services, housing, employment and retirement services, travel, home care, products and services geared to age-related diseases, mobility products, and even technology services and education.
Green Market There are many ways you can tap into this market, but as more and more people choose to save resources and money, they will need products, services and education to help them do so. Popular areas will include green audits, where an expert (maybe you?) visits a home or business and evaluates their energy use, recycling policy, conservation efforts and more, and then helps them set and make plans for meeting new goals. Other business ideas include selling sustainable or recycled products (everything from clothing to household products and more), growing and/or selling organic and locally-grown foods, alternative energy sources, and even such things as selling bicycles and hybrid cars to reduce reliance on gasoline.
Home Improvements This year appears to be a bit economically rocky and the housing market is already down. So, more people will be looking to upgrade and renovate their existing homes, either in an attempt to make them more attractive to sell, or as an alternative to selling right now. So, renovators, flippers and home stagers will still be in demand. As will contractors and landscapers as people decide to beautify or upgrade their surroundings. And, helping homeowners save money by going “green” whether by adding solar panels or windmills or grey water reclaiming systems is another way to tap into this market.
Food and Beverage Natural, organic, and locally-grown are all great food and beverage buzzwords now, but so is upscale, gourmet and decadent. For the most part, people will be trying to eat better, both for environmental and health purposes. However, there is still a growing flipside and that is the occasional outrageous treat. So, local wines and produce will be hits, as will the little bakery that makes wildly wonderful mile-high frosted cupcakes. Also growing is the special needs food markets, like gluten-free and allergen-free products. Micro-brewed beer is also still hot.
Tech Services Just when you think you have learned what you need to know about computers and technology, twelve new things pop up. Hot topics right now include social media like Facebook and MySpace, online customer generated reviews and video (You Tube), and still, security and privacy issues. Helping individuals and business learn and leverage new technology is a business opportunity that is wide open for the right people who can both understand and communicate the benefits. Combine tech services with whatever else you are passionate about for a real hit. How about teaching seniors to use instant messaging? Building a web presence for a local farmers market? Building an affiliate business focused on educating homeowners on alternative power sources?
The Kid Market Just take a look at the Hannah Montana brand. Tweens rule. Actually, kids of all ages account for a truckload of spending. From the moment of conception on, parents are buying for their kids and usually, the kids are dictating most of what is purchased. There is low-hanging fruit on the kids technology market, cool clothing, music and movies, college prep, and the youth sports market has been snowballing for several years now. So, if your inner child is still speaking to you, have her write a business plan.
Your possibilities are vast and varied. It is a great time to start your own small business or home-based business, and totally possible to make sure it’s in line with your passions.
If you are wondering what that might be, my ebook Finding the Perfect Small Business for You will help you clarify what it is that you really love and can make money doing. It’s a great value at only $1.99, too.