Top Growing Industries to Start a Business In

FT Contributor  | 

If you’ve always had an interest in small business entrepreneurship, opening your own company may seem exciting and profitable. However, with so many innovative entrepreneurs and disruptive companies thriving in the market today, it may be hard to identify your niche and the industry you want to tackle.

According to the Small Business Association Office of Advocacy, 10% to 12% of small businesses were launched in 2011 and the same percentage of small businesses closed. Before jumping on an idea you have for opening your own business, it’s important to understand the industry and its current growth. Learn more about the top growing industries to start a business in so you can identify the best field for your entrepreneurial journey.

1. Restaurant Industry

The restaurant industry includes food service, catering, and delivery, such as fast food, casual, or fine dining establishments. You can’t walk through a downtown area in any part of the country without seeing several types of restaurants, all competing for business. In 2020, restaurant sales in the U.S. are expected to reach $899 billion, an increase of 4% from 2019, according to the National Restaurant Association.

If you’re interested in opening a restaurant, you’ll need a unique concept since it’s a saturated market. While education and experience aren’t requirements in the restaurant industry, you’ll need to have a hefty initial investment. To launch a restaurant successfully, you’ll need to:

  • Find a location.
  • Build out your space.
  • Create a menu and buy products.
  • Hire staff.
  • Advertise your business.

It’s crucial that you develop a small business plan that outlines your costs and potential profit. Since overhead costs, such as rent, advertising, and insurance, are steep, focusing on the profit you’ll make and how you’ll cover these expenses before opening is key.

2. Retail Industry

With the expanding popularity of e-commerce and a growing consumer trend of visiting locally-owned brick-and-mortar shops, the retail industry may also be a great place to start a business. In 2017, the U.S. retail industry was valued at $23,460 billion and is expected to increase to $31,880.8 billion by 2023, according to Mordor Intelligence.

To manage a retail store, either online or in-person, you’ll need to keep close tabs on your finances. While you don’t need specific experience or education, sticking to a budget with your small business is key to profitability. Setting price points that allow you to earn more than you’re spending is the only way to reach your business goals.

Before launching your retail store, consider your expenses, which may include rent, advertising, and products. Since there are many retail shops to choose from, think about how you can draw consumers in. Offer unique products, choose an intriguing business name, and create a brand that attracts your target market.

3. Health Industry

The health industry is a vast business space that includes physicians, biotechnology experts, and nutrition specialists. The industry is consistently growing as the world’s aging population faces health challenges, such as diseases, unhealthy diets, and the physical effects of growing older.

Chronic disease is expected to increase by 57% in 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). People suffering from these health ailments need holistic, modern, and advanced treatments to improve their quality of life.

If you’re interested in starting a business in the health industry, you’ll need a passion for helping people and education in the field you’re planning to tackle. Since the healthcare industry requires you to treat patients, there are also legal requirements for your business, which may vary depending on the type of facility you open.

In most cases, you’ll need a hefty initial investment for insurance, equipment, and highly trained staff. Be sure the money you’ll spend on this investment and your daily operational costs are lower than the profit you’ll earn seeing patients when you’re up and running.

4. Eco-Friendly Construction Industry

With climate change and other environmental issues at the forefront of current events, eco-friendly construction has become a booming industry. Construction professionals and investors are interested in projects involving advanced technologies that don’t negatively impact the environment, such as solar panel installation or eco-friendly material sourcing. The U.S. green building market is an $81 billion industry and over 67,200 LEED-certified project certifications were claimed in 2018, according to Statista.

If you enjoy construction but want to focus on improving the environment, you may benefit from opening a business in the eco-friendly construction industry. Experience in construction and working with eco-friendly materials will help your business become successful. You’ll also need to consider the costs of materials and labor to ensure you can meet your business’s goals and earn a profit.

5. Technology Industry

Most businesses and individuals rely on technology to accomplish everyday tasks. Since technology is one of the most important resources for most communications and transactions, the informational technology (IT) industry is on the rise. In 2020, the IT industry is on track to reach $5.2 trillion, making it an attractive industry for eager entrepreneurs.

Before you launch an IT business, you must have experience with the type of services or software you plan to offer. You and your staff must receive the proper training to assist with technological issues effectively and securely. While you may not need a brick-and-mortar store or product, consider the expenses you’ll incur for advertising and employee salaries when calculating your financial projections.

6. Travel Industry

Travel has always been a flourishing industry. Now more than ever, travelers use online and in-person resources to help them plan trips and snag the most economical options. In 2017, the travel and tourism industry made over $1.6 trillion, which was about 2.8% of the U.S.’s gross domestic product, according to the International Trade Administration.

If the travel industry is attractive to you as an entrepreneur, you may want to consider opening your own travel agency, creating a travel website, or developing a local tour company. While you may not need education or experience to start a business in this growing industry, it’s important to consider your business model, advertising costs, and investments. Be sure the time you invest and the services you offer will provide enough profit to keep your business thriving.

7. Automotive Repair Industry

In 2018, the U.S. automotive repair industry was valued at $176.3 billion, according to Grand View Research. Since most people rely on cars as their main source of transportation, it’s no surprise that the industry is expected to grow by about 2.3% from 2019 to 2025.

To become a business owner in the automotive repair industry, you could open your own vehicle repair shop, develop a damage appraisal company, or sell automotive parts. Depending on the type of business you plan to open, you may need to become a certified mechanic or meet other educational or experience qualifications.

Your initial investment may include automotive supplies, a store, advertising, and labor, as well as licensing and insurance. After you open your shop, consider implementing accounting software to log expenses and profits so you can calculate accurate financial projections.

8. Business Sales Industry

Businesses are always seeking ways to improve their processes, streamline marketing efforts, and quickly train employees. In 2018, the business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce industry was valued at $6.65 trillion.

Business owners rely on software and other services to ensure they’re providing a seamless customer experience that will boost their brand’s reputation and increase sales. If you’ve developed online or offline products that could help businesses thrive, you may want to consider opening a sales business. Your main focus in the business sales industry is marketing and advertising, so it’s important to consider these costs.

Using computerized accounting software will help you keep track of sales and marketing expenses. Many small businesses use Quickbooks because the accounting system allows other sales associates to log expenses and other transactions as needed.

Before you open your own business, it’s important to review your financial projections to ensure you think you’ll make a profit. Consider the industry you’re planning to enter and whether it’s projected to grow or fizzle out. When you keep these factors in mind, you can establish a solid business plan that’s bound to be successful.


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