4 Top Industries for Entrepreneurs in 2018 (+ Top States to Set Up Shop!)

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Every year brings new innovations and opportunities for entrepreneurs as consumer tastes and preferences evolve. 

For entrepreneurs looking to start their own business in 2018, what industries and sectors hold the most promise? What do would-be business owners need to know in order to succeed in those areas?

Here is a closer look at four top industries for entrepreneurs in 2018.

1. Technologies That Improve Lives

Today, consumers want to be connected deeply to the businesses they frequent and the brands they use. In order to leverage the evolving relationships of consumers and technologies, entrepreneurs might consider one of the following tech-reliant companies:

  • Wearables. Today, consumers are wearing devices such as watches and meters that monitor activity, deliver information, and improve the use of other products. The Internet of Things – the hyperconnected network of objects fitted with sensors, software, and wireless capabilities – have created a new host of business opportunities. From high fashion to utility devices such as sneakers and sunglasses, wearables are a growing sector that can deliver not just products, but services and information generated by those same products.
  • Apps. With every smartphone, laptop, and tablet sold comes another potential customer for the next killer app. From games to information to communication, apps allow for multitudes of users to download and pay for the great experiences on their mobile devices. To be a successful app developer, entrepreneurs need access to coders as well as experts in user interface and user experience. 
  • Digital marketing. As the ways in which users absorb information change, so too do the tools needed to create experiences. Web designers and social media experts can help small businesses, large corporations, nonprofit groups, and individuals hone messages and deliver value to those that visit a site or engage with a social media platform. Have a way with words and messages? Digital marketing might be the right choice.
  • Going green. Delivering renewable, clean energy is popular with consumers around the country. Tax credits for homeowners that install solar power and do other improvements provide additional incentives. Companies that can install and maintain these technologies can provide value that is profitable for owners and financially sound for consumers in the long run.
  • Other tech-related opportunities include:
    • Drone building customized machines for racing, recreation, or business.
    • Virtual reality software provides opportunities for coders to make large amounts of money for this growing application being used for gaming and business applications. There are even VR arcades popping up to satisfy the in-demand tech.

2. Serving a Need

As the population ages, more couples are dual-income, dual-career families, and people are generally busier, there’s a high demand for service-based enterprises that help ease the burden of everyday tasks. Here are just a few of the business opportunities for industrious small business owners:

  • Guided tours, especially in tourist areas, can offer a chance to share local knowledge with visitors.
  • Languages offer a unique opportunity for those with a special talent for linguistics. Speaking a foreign language allows you to start companies that offer translation services, tutoring, or teaching.
  • Personal shoppers help other people shop for themselves or special someones in their lives. If you have a knack for knowing others’ tastes and translating that to great purchases, a personal shopping business might be right for you.
  • Event planning is a growing field. From weddings to anniversaries to bridal or baby showers to graduations to special birthdays, it is human nature for people to come together to celebrate big moments. Yet it takes a special skill set to create exceptional events. Do you have an eye for design, logistics, and details? Then creating an event planning company is a great way to use natural skills.
  • Food trucks or Catering are hot businesses in the convenience culture. Do you know your way around a kitchen? While restaurants are one way to go, many entrepreneurs are turning to other options to display culinary credentials.
  • Virtual assistants are changing the way offices work. Today, the administrative assistant doesn’t need to be right outside a busy executive’s door. If you have excellent organizational and office skills, then establishing a virtual assistant business lets you help in a pinch or regularly for myriad administrative tasks that can be invaluable for busy leaders.
  • Coaching is in. Assisting people of all ages looking to enter or become promoted within their existing field, career coaches offer advice and insights. If you have experience in a particular profession, career coaching can help others navigate your industry. Similarly, executive coaches and life coaches help people with leadership skill development and navigating a host of emotional and physical challenges.
  • Furniture repair and restoration are in high demand. Are you handy around the house? Do you still remember those middle-school shop skills? Then creating a company that restores or builds furniture, installs drywall or tile, or can create beautiful new furniture may be an excellent small business opportunity.
  • Landscape design provides a valuable service. People with little time on their hands often find the tasks associated with yard maintenance fall by the wayside. If you have a green thumb and can offer designs of trees, gardens, and hardscapes (such as patios, fences, fountains, decks, and walkways) that require reduced maintenance, you will help homeowners add function and beauty while reducing the weekend to-do list.  
  • Decluttering guidance is a trending business. Busy lives can lead to messiness in the home or the office. For those who have a knack for organizing, creating a decluttering business can add relief and structure to those living frenzied lives. There is little to no capital needed and those with organization and ingenuity can offer valued services.
  • Other service-related business opportunities include:
    • Dog walking
    • Pet daycare or grooming
    • Fitness instruction

Funding for small businesses

3. Entertainment and Marketing

  • Blogging. If you have a knack for words, you might want to consider a business blogging for yourself or for others. Bloggers who can attract a following are in high demand from companies looking to put messages and content in front of subscribers.
  • Podcasting. Do you have an expertise, hobby, or business experience about which people want to hear? Like blogging, podcasting allows you to broadcast to broad audiences your messages. Sponsors can provide revenue that keeps you flush with cash.
  • Affiliate Marketing. This business opportunity requires owners to market products and services on behalf of others, such as Amazon, and receive a portion of profits on any goods sold via your links.

4. Economy-Proof Companies

While economies and markets can be volatile and cyclical, there are certain businesses that demonstrate resilience no matter what the economic state of the country happens to be. Here are a few businesses that endure in bearish and bullish markets:

  • Cleaning Services. It is true that in a down economy, many homeowners feeling the pinch may opt to cut out the regular cleaning person. However, that is not the case with businesses, which still need to maintain offices for clients, customers, and employees alike. A cleaning business that is reliable and thorough will always find customers.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping. If you are good with numbers, then an in-person or online bookkeeping service can help small businesses balance the books, keep track of bills that need to be paid and small payrolls, and manage tax filings. Some services require specialized certifications or degrees, but others require simple mastery of online bookkeeping tools and basic math.
  • Delivery. While a small business owner is never going to start out with the infrastructure or customer base of the large players, local delivery of papers, materials, and urgent items are looking for affordable, same-day options. A courier service will thrive regardless of the economy.
  • Child and elder care. Harried workers today often are dealing with caring for older or younger relatives or both. The important tasks of in-home or off-site care will not go away. Whether it is children or parents, the need to provide reliable, safe care provides peace of mind.
  • Cannabis. As the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes becomes more mainstream, the legitimacy of these businesses is growing. However, the complexities of adherence to state, local, and federal laws require business owners to have sound, transparent business processes, legal advice, and funding sources that do not rely on traditional lending. 
  • Self-storage. Purchasing self-storage facilities allows business owners to capitalize on the need for storage space, especially in metro areas where living space is at a premium. The minimalism movement means many people are making do with less stuff in their everyday lives. However, there is still a need among many to hold onto items with sentimental value or that simply do not fit in smaller apartments and houses.

Top States to Set Up Shop

Want to know which states represent the best opportunities for entrepreneurs? Simply fill out the form below to read our roundup of the top states for startups!

Where you choose to open your business has a large bearing on how successful that business will be. 

The Kauffman Index of Start-Up Activity is produced annually to track new business creation in the US. Results are divided into two cohorts: the 25 most populous states and the 25 least populous states. Points for evaluation include: 

  • Rate of new entrepreneurs
  • Opportunity share of new entrepreneurs
  • Start-up density

Here is what the latest report reveals regarding the top five states for each cohort:

Top States for Entrepreneurs among
High-Population States
Top States for Entrepreneurs among
Low-Population States
California Nevada
Texas Oklahoma
Florida Wyoming
Arizona Montana
Colorado Idaho

 

GOBankingRates took the analysis a bit further, taking into account factors such as general business climate, tax rate, and cost of living to provide a more in-depth look at the states that top the charts in terms of favorability to new businesses.

Which states were identified as top spots to set up shop? Here is a list of the top five.

#1. South Dakota

Though it may seem surprising, South Dakota has some great advantages for entrepreneurs. Offering the second-best tax climate for businesses and taking the fourth spot nationwide in terms of both small business employee percentage and opportunity share, South Dakota wins the top spot overall for new businesses.

#2. Wyoming

With no corporate income tax, Wyoming is an attractive location for small businesses. Its low cost of living is also a plus for new business owners. These two factors well explain why Wyoming shows up on the top five list.

#3. Nevada

Though Nevada has the lowest percentage of small-company employees in the nation, it still makes the cut because the state has no income tax and a high density of startups.

#4. Florida

Like startups in Nevada, Florida entrepreneurs can take advantage of the lack of income tax in the state. This likely is, in large part, the reason that so many small business owners flock to the state every year.

#5. Montana

Advantages for Montana entrepreneurs include a moderate cost of living in the state, a good tax climate for businesses, and the highest percentage of small business employees in the entire country. 

Funding for small businesses

(Courtesy GOBankingRates)

Finding Funding for Your Business

Regardless of the industry you choose or the location of your business, Benetrends can help make your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. We work closely with small business owners to use a unique business structure that leverages existing 401(k) or IRA funds to fuel business ideas.

With Benetrends’ help, companies can establish themselves as C corporations and transfer existing retirement assets to the new company without tax or early withdrawal penalties. The process allows for entrepreneurs to access needed funds in a matter of days, not the weeks or months needed with traditional lenders.

To learn more about how Benetrends can propel your business, schedule a consultation.

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TOPICS: small business funding

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