“Some of these would be really practical businesses to start, especially in these times,” said Sageworks analyst Dianna Hu.
For example, she said, someone starting a building services firm such as a cleaning service or a landscaping business could tap into both the large number of foreclosed homes held by banks needing repairs and the increasing number of homeowners who’ve decided to spruce up their homes.
Someone with expertise in information technology could tap into the growth of cloud-based computing services, mobile computing and social computing. Increased spending by companies on information technology to update or upgrade systems has also contributed to a booming business for IT providers.
Many of the businesses with strong sales growth also require minimal investment up front. Personal services businesses, such as pet or house sitting, shopping services or party planning, rely mostly on your own labor to generate the income. Consulting is another field that has been growing and requires little in the way of equipment to get going.
“With consulting you can pretty much set up an office in your home and run your consulting business from your home, if you have the knowledge,” Hu said. “You don’t really need to invest in an office building or a computer, because you already have that.”
A consulting business allows you to take advantage of the skills and knowledge you’ve already acquired in your career. You could also try to join fields where consulting is a relatively emerging trend, such as safety or energy consulting.
If none of these types of businesses sound like they’re for you, check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other sources for information on other fields that may be fertile for a new business.
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Mary Ellen Biery is a research specialist at Sageworks, a software company that develops software for financial professionals and small businesses. Biery is a veteran financial reporter whose works have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, CNN.com, MarketWatch.com, CNBC.com, and other sites.
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