Once again a new year presents us all with the chance to reinvent ourselves and set an exciting new course toward prosperity by taking control of our own futures. If that includes, for you, starting your own home-based or other small business or franchise, you’ve come to the right place!
The list of potential business opportunities and franchises, licensee opportunities and distributorships, can be downright overwhelming, so how do you know where to begin? Knowing what products and services are anticipated to be in some demand this year and into the foreseeable future is always a good place to start.
So without further ado, here are 15 industry trends for 2012 that you might want to consider as you continue your search for just the right opportunity:
1. Business Consulting and Other Related Services
A tougher economy has meant businesses of all shapes and sizes have scaled back, but as things begin to rebound―and there are an increasing number of signs that they are―the need for companies to hire part-time consultants and other service providers will only increase. Furthermore, businesses of all shapes and sizes are very interested in everything from enhancing their brand image and marketing (especially the cutting-edge stuff) to financing options, IT support and telecomm…and the list goes on and on.
In keeping with this trend, there are a phenomenal number of business opportunities and franchises currently available that will train ambitious, entrepreneurial individuals who have an interest in serving the needs of the business community on a variety of levels. In fact, business consulting and business-to-business-related services comprise one of, if not the largest chunk of the business opportunity/franchise market sector.
2. Education/Youth Services
As news mounts that our public education system will continue to be strained for the very near future, more and more parents are recognizing the need and/or benefit of obtaining additional instruction for their children outside of the confines of a regular school day. And while academics are the major focus of many families, the love and dedication to the sports their kids are involved in is a definitely a close second. Fortunately, there’s an opportunity that focuses on that too!
3. Financial and Tax Services/Insurance
It’s like they always say, the two things that are certain in life are death and taxes! Might as well add to that list the other necessary evil―if you have any hope of protecting yourself, your family and your livelihood that is…insurance! The need for these kinds of products and services is steady and great, so why not take a look at the opportunities that will enable you to make money where money is undoubtedly being spent?
4. “Green” Services and Products
The “Green” Revolution is underway, and it’s not going to stop. In fact, it’s only going to grow exponentially throughout the 21st century, let alone well into this year. Whether it’s cleaning up the fuel we use, growing organic foods, transporting food in a more energy-efficient manner or just finding ways that any home or business can cut its energy bills, there’s an opportunity out there that will enable you to make a huge impact while making a great living!
5. Fitness, Health and Beauty
The fitness, health and beauty industry generates billions if not a trillion or more dollars in sales each year. Let’s be honest, the media fascination with celebrities looking their best at every age is driving this industry through the roof. Add to that the fact that the concept of illness prevention is finally prevailing in the minds of many Americans, and the money to be made while keeping us all looking and feeling great is downright astronomical!
6. Arts, Crafts and Entertainment/Leisure
Affordable personalized gifts are always a hit, and they’re certainly where it’s at these days, especially when the economy is still trying to regain its footing. Furthermore, advanced technologies are making it possible to create works of art like never before. And despite the recent economic downturn, certain sectors of the travel industry, such as cruising, remain strong.
7. Home/Office Maintenance and Improvement
The crash in the housing market has been a boon for enterprising individuals who are in the business of improving and maintaining the homes we’ve got. For homeowners who can’t afford to move or who want to age in place, home modification and improvement is the order of the day. In addition, businesses are always looking for ways to maintain and enhance their physical space, especially if it will result in more customer traffic and greater customer satisfaction.
8. Cleaning, Maintenance and Moving Services
Whether it’s your carpet, clothing, car, boat, pool, home, office or even your mattress, the need for services to keep it clean and presentable are always in demand. And when it’s time to make a change and move your most precious and expensive possessions, the need for just the right kind and level of support is critical. Take a peek at the really cool, and dare we say “out-of-the-box,” opportunities that meet those needs in ways you might not expect.
9. Eldercare/Disability Services
It’s no secret that America is aging. We’re all living longer than ever before. So catering to the needs and wants of seniors is a specialty niche that today’s smartest entrepreneurs are focusing on. And with age oftentimes comes disability, which is why the disability advocacy field is growing and also so critical.
10. Pet Products and Services
Despite the recent economic downturn, the pet industry is growing at an average rate of 5% each year, for a grand total of approximately $50 billion last year alone. The bottom line is that we’ll do anything to keep our pets happy and feeling loved. Whether it’s training, grooming, boarding or even special-interest magazine publishing, there’s a business opportunity or other small business or franchise concept out there for any pet lover!
11. Social Media/Mobile Marketing and Publishing
Text networking, web design, innovative advertising concepts, Search Engine Marketing (SEO), digital signage―the list of seriously cutting-edge business concepts in this arena is mind-blowing! And the great thing is that there are a number of very experienced entrepreneurs who have had such success in these areas of endeavor that they’ve now packaged their business plans and are prepared to train ambitious entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps.
12. Online Sales/Store Concepts
The internet isn’t just the marketplace of the future it’s very much the marketplace of right now! And if you’re not looking into how you can make money using it to your fullest advantage, then you’re not doing yourself any favors.
13. Food/Beverage Services
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Americans love to eat and they love their vices―coffee, wine and chocolate are special favorites for sure! Furthermore, natural and organic foods as well as the more energy-efficient transport of food are growing areas of interest. While the restaurant concept will forever be a hit, the fact that more of us are on the go also means that vending machines are here to stay. If starting your own business catering to the needs and wants of foodies whets your appetite, we have what you’re looking for!
14. Gold Reselling
With gold going for six to seven times as much per ounce as it did just ten years ago, all that twisted, broken and cast-aside jewelry in your jewelry box or bureau drawer could be cash in your pocket. Why not start a business of your very own helping others to recognize and cash in on what’s already theirs for the taking?
15. Legal Issues, Safety and Security
Identity theft is at an all-time high. Individuals and companies are putting security and safety at a premium like never before, and the judgment recovery business is thriving. The demand for GPS services is on the rise, and breathalyzer vending machines can now give you a pretty good sense of whether or not it would be a smart move to get behind the wheel. Well into the next decade and beyond, any business that addresses the overwhelming number of legal, safety and security concerns of Americans today is likely to do just fine.