Tired of the 9-to-5 routine? Want to be your own boss? If you’re planning to launch your own startup, here are 10 growing industries ripe for new players and investment opportunities.
With an ever-growing number of homes assisted by Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, businesses providing artificial intelligence (AI) services are thriving. According to advisory and research company Gartner, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without human involvement by 2020. What’s more, top companies are increasingly hiring AI firms for various services, from providing predictive analytics to helping clients track individualized customer experiences with machine intelligence. The AI industry is on the brink of an explosion, with a Bloomberg report estimating that the sector will be worth more than $16 billion by 2021.
Evergreen in terms of continued growth and potential, e-commerce is a safe bet for those trying their hand at starting a business for the first time, especially as growing numbers of consumers opt to shop for just about everything from the comfort of their homes instead of trekking to a brick-and-mortar store. It’s truly a booming business: according to Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to $2.3 trillion (U.S.) in 2017, and online retail revenues are projected to grow to $4.88 trillion in 2021.
The virtual reality industry saw a breakthrough in 2017, and the high-tech sector doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Innovative content, new games and applications being released regularly, and competitive prices for headsets and rigs helped bring VR to the masses. Growing consumer acceptance and riveting, lifelike experiences were the hallmark of the phenomenal growth in this sector. One study predicts the VR industry will grow from $7.9 billion (U.S.) in 2018 to $44.7 billion by 2024.
Mobile App Technology
Tech-savvy entrepreneurs can rejoice, especially app developers. According to IBISWorld, there was a 31% revenue boost for smartphone app developers alone in 2017. In-app ads and purchases remain popular and studies show that in-app advertising is becoming the main driver of mobile growth. Gross annual revenue in the app industry is projected to exceed $189 billion by 2020, according to Statista. And the boom isn’t restricted to app development; tech support services and consulting are also hot industries.
Competition starts early for our little ones and various services are cashing in on that fact, aiming their services at ambitious parents and their overachieving kids. With specialty playschools, arts and other creative classes, specialized tutoring, innovative camp experiences for summer and spring break, there really is no limit to how much an enterprising startup can do in this space. Daycare businesses offering additional services customized to children’s needs, such as special needs support, are an added attraction.
Are you a whiz with a balance sheet? Providing accounting services for various companies might be the business for you, especially if you’re based in Canada. The Canadian economy has driven the demand for accounting and bookkeeping services over the past five years. Increasing numbers of individuals and small businesses also need help navigating the country’s complex regulatory and tax structure. The best part for a budding entrepreneur is that industry revenue is expected to grow steadily thanks to the surge of multinational companies expanding into Canada.
Beauty & Cosmetics
Now is the perfect time to cash in on vanity. For a generation obsessed with looking perfect for social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, beauty products are almost like toothpaste: part of a daily ritual. As such, businesses that offer products and services customized to consumers’ needs have the potential to become instant hits. Along with a top-quality product, identifying niche customer bases that may have been ignored by other companies could be the secret to the success of such ventures. Consumers are attracted to smaller brands with quality products and effective reach. Distributing your products via established online channels could also give your business a boost.
Home Improvement and Maintenance
This is an industry you can enter from your garage. With relatively low cost to set up and requiring a limited staff and a moderate inventory, a business offering landscaping, cleaning, or related services remains a good idea. Offering a variety of services in this area (such as carpentry, plumbing, roofing, eavestrough cleaning, tiling, and other home-maintenance services) is a great incentive for clients looking to hire one contractor for multiple projects. Statistics show the average U.S. homeowner spends approximately $3,000 per year on home improvements – plenty of incentive for someone looking to launch a small business at a relatively low cost.
The legal cannabis industry has captured the imaginations of many a new entrepreneur, and with good reason. Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, and an increasing number of American states are moving in that direction (while several already have). The legal pot industry brought in $6.9 billion in 2016, a 30% increase over the previous year, according to Arcview Market Research – and that number is projected to increase to $21.6 billion by 2021. The cannabis industry has opened up numerous business opportunities such as the edibles market, accessories, distribution channels, and more. The market is attracting plenty of unexpected people, including former lawmakers like ex-federal cabinet minister and retired Ontario Provincial Police commissioner Julian Fantino in Canada and former Republican House Leader John Boehner in the U.S., both of whom are involved with cannabis startups.
This industry remains in high demand, particularly with a rapidly-aging baby-boomer population seeking more services. With the expansion of health benefits under the Affordable Care Act in the U.S., America’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the healthcare industry will grow faster between 2014 and 2024 than any other sector. If you’re a physical therapist, massage therapist, or any other kind of healthcare specialist, this is the right time to open your own private practice.
Baisakhi Roy | Contributing Writer