Are you imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit? If you’re not, you probably should be. Ambition is a great thing to have, and it’s never been simpler or easier to start your own business — with the internet connecting the entire world, you can build a company from a laptop in your kitchen (and achieve a much greater work/life balance).
Not everyone with ambition has specific industry goals, however. Someone people have lofty general ambitions (about making a lot of money and retiring early, for instance), but haven’t really thought about how they’re going to achieve them. You ultimately need to pick a field to run with — so how do you do it?
Well, if you have the skills to turn your hand to any of a wide range of industries, and you’re just looking to pick something that has great potential for growth, then you should choose one of the business types flourishing in the US right now.
To make that easier, let’s take a look at 7 types of business that are on the rise in the US right now. If you like the sound of one of them, run with it!
There’s a reason why seven of the ten industries with the highest sales growth rates in the US involve construction: even though the national population growth rate has waned a little in recent years, it keeps going, and the recovering economy continues to ramp up the demand for affordable housing. But with a severe shortage of skilled workers, there’s a golden opportunity for someone to skill up — or to recruit and represent talent.
And while it typically requires a lot of startup capital to create a construction business, it is possible to do it more economically, particularly if you use existing resources and as many free tools as you can adapt. If you choose to attempt it without any background in construction, you’re going to have a tough time, but it’s certainly not impossible if you choose the right niche.
2. BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Beauty products have always been popular, but that popularity isn’t waning in the digital age — in fact, it’s increasing. Driven by expanding options for previewing (chiefly through AR technology) and customization (often through subscription-based models that adapt to user feedback over time), consumers have more ways than ever before to spend heavily on beauty and grooming products.
And if you want to know why they want to spend more, you can look directly to the prevalence of social media platforms — particularly Instagram. With many people (particularly from younger generations) eager to carefully cultivate their online images, and a conversational pace that demands near-constant updates, they need beauty products every hour of every day.
The gaming world has been big business for many years, but what we’ve seen over the last decade is a gradual broadening of its mainstream appeal, enabled by internet access, improved levels of accessibility, and — most importantly — the movement of people who grew up playing games into managerial positions. What once had a stigma following it around has become an everyday staple across several age groups.
You can see this in the popularity of conventions, but more so in the proliferation of e-sports events. It’s now possible to be a professional video gamer and become an influential celebrity in the process, attracting endorsement deals and lucrative contracts. Consequently, there’s a lot of money to be made in organizing e-sports events, selling gaming products to e-sports fans, or even working as a talent representative for popular gamers.
4. ALTERNATIVE NUTRITION
Unwilling to trust mainstream food manufacturers known to cut corners and prioritize profit above everything else, and better educated than ever before on the complexities of human health and the importance of environmentally-friendly methods (the internet is a powerful research tool), people are increasingly turning to alternative nutrition sources.
Even if you’re not into fitness, you’ll likely have noticed the remarkable rise of protein-rich snacks and drinks from companies such as Quest Nutrition, but alternative nutrition goes beyond this to alternative protein sources. Pea protein has become very popular, for instance, being kinder to animals and more sustainable than other common forms of protein.
5. RENEWABLE ENERGY
Regardless of political maneuvering in the field, the renewable energy industry is currently surging. Even companies that stand to benefit from sticking to fossil fuels are eventually going to need to pivot their operational models, so the unpredictability of legal determinations isn’t going to be in the way forever — once they back green energy, the laws will inevitably fall in line, and it’s going to happen soon (even if only in the form of daughter companies to begin with).
It isn’t the easiest industry to enter, because so much of it relies on having massive infrastructure access or having an innovative product to lean on, but it’s perfectly possible to create a successful business that functions through green energy advocacy. Arm yourself with a comprehensive understanding of the options, make some valuable networking connections, and you might be able to carve out a space helping companies go green.
The ecommerce world grew faster in 2017 than in any year since 2011, and its total share of retail continues to increase. In a populace equipped with ever-improving smartphones connected to the internet 24/7, it’s no surprise that demand for shopping convenience has skyrocketed, leaving brick-and-mortar stores struggling to stay relevant (with some exceptions, typically those benefiting hugely from in-person buying — e.g. furniture stores).
For the entrepreneur, ecommerce is a virtual goldmine, because it lowers the barrier to retail entry almost to the ground. If you want to skip the startup phase and adopt an existing brand, you don’t need to invest a huge sum of money in opening a franchise — there are high-revenue businesses for under $10k that you can purchase outright, assuming total ownership relatively cheaply. And if you want to start from scratch, you don’t need to rent a store, because you can build a website and start selling via dropshipping without needing any inventory.
7. VIRTUAL REALITY
VR isn’t ready for mainstream appeal, and it isn’t going to be for a while still, but that’s no reason not to start getting involved now. In some ways, it’s the optimal scenario for a fledgling business — you have an industry that’s long-established (with VR kit having existing in some form for decades), yet to achieve widespread appeal, and on the cusp of a boom. You don’t need to sell anyone on the concept of VR (because everyone understands it), nor do you need to overthrow an industry juggernaut, because even the Oculus Rift hasn’t been that successful.
So how can you start moving into the VR industry? You can focus on software, games, and creative direction. Not only can you start working on VR software today and port it to the next generation of hardware when it arrives, but you can also become an expert in the area of experiential retail and seek to advise big brands about how to use VR content.
What do you make of these 7 types of business? Is there one in particular that suits your skills, preferences and goals? There’s a huge amount of potential in each one of them, so there’s no wrong move here — just go with whatever feels right, and give it 100%.
Patrick Foster lends actionable tips and entrepreneurial insights to Ecommerce Tips, an online retail blog committed to keeping up with the latest advances in the industry. Be sure to visit, and remember to follow him on Twitter @myecommercetips.