We’re past the halfway point of 2019, and as tech companies continue to innovate and change the way we do business and form relationships, you can imagine the ever-transforming landscape of the business world. If you’re just jumping onto the startup wagon, consider the following trends that are taking place in the business realm. In 2019, we’ve seen a growing number of companies branching out into these sectors, providing goods and unique services to the public. A majority of these industries have been around for a while, but new businesses are changing the way people receive and engage with these products and goods. Here are the fastest-growing industries and trends in small business:
Food Trucks and Pop-Ups, and More
From cake pops to self-serve frozen yogurt, the food and beverage industry has seen its share of trends that come and go. Surprisingly, food trucks have continued their growth as an alternative to restaurant dining. With the increasing cost of rent in large metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and New York, food trucks are just one of many adaptive measures chefs and owners are taking in order to cut costs and time when it comes to launching a new restaurant. We’re also seeing a rise in pop-up restaurants, which allow chefs and restaurateurs to open a temporary setup where a restaurant can serve food to the public.
Both food trucks and pop-up restaurants give business owners the advantage of having a flexible and cost-effective way of raising profit as well as capital. The mobility of both models gives business owners a way to grow and build a fanbase that isn’t restricted to one brick-and-mortar location. Owners can slowly build up followers through social media, word-of-mouth, and partnerships with local businesses. However, one challenge business owners will face are a city’s strict regulations concerning permits, food safety, and health. Although the food and restaurant industry will always be competitive (mobile or not), we predict food trucks and pop-up restaurants are trends that will stick around.
Construction and Contractors
According to OldCastle’s 2018 North American Construction Forecast Report, construction is expected to rise by 5%. The report also forecasts regional growth in the South and the West, particularly in the state of Texas, which is estimated to have 10% growth in construction. The report indicates that the growth in the Southern region of the United States is partially attributed to rebuilding hurricane damage, as well as the projected growth for single-family homes. With the rising demand for construction, small business owners will have the opportunity to take in some of the market share by forming teams of skilled and reliable contractors and workers. Real estate development, as well as the large demand for home repairs and renovations, can usher in more opportunities for new construction and contractor businesses. Services such as roofing, masonry, plumbing, landscaping, electricity and lighting, and other related fields will all be needed as construction and housing development grows.
In major cities such as San Francisco, you may spot more than a few people riding on scooters, bikes, and ridesharing through apps such as Uber. The development of apps such as Uber and Lyft has caused a disruption in traditional transportation services such as taxis; so much so that countries such as Denmark, France, and Italy have partial or full bans on ridesharing apps. However, in the United States, in cities where traffic or congestion is bad, services such as bike rentals, scooter rentals, and even skateboard rentals are becoming popular transportation alternatives. These alternatives are not only eco-friendly but are part of an attempt to reduce the overall carbon footprint of a city. Business owners looking to get into this industry can consider creative ways for transportation sharing as the business booms within major cities.
B2B services or business-to-business services also continue to grow as developments from tech companies change this industry. Services such as financial technology (otherwise known as FinTech) are shaping the market by offering improvements to infrastructure and closing the gaps on needs such as data analysis. The market for software, particularly for cloud services, has seen a large demand with a growth of 21% since 2018. The need for IT services such as data processing and storage has also continued to increase as more businesses expand. Both hardware and software markets saw a 6% increase in growth in the last year. B2B services will evolve along with the overall landscape of the business realm, leaving small business owners an opportunity to offer unique and relevant services that can shape the industry for the better.
Online Education and Services
In China, the online education industry is booming, making an expected growth of $8 billion in 2019. Because Chinese culture places a high value on education, investment into educational resources is large in China. Online education services such as English tutoring platforms are targeting the Chinese market and have seen immense growth and profit. In the United States, the online education and services industry has seen companies offering e-textbooks over cloud platforms, which help college campuses cut costs when it comes to providing textbooks to students. Even corporate giants such as AT&T have jumped onto the education wagon; the company partnered with Udacity to create online courses to help train its employees. Small business owners looking to get into this market can consider developing creative ways to fill in the gaps for students and learners on a local and global scale.
Questions To Ask As You Start Your Business
For small business owners who are just starting out, there are plenty of resources to help you navigate through your business’s growth process. The most important aspect of beginning your business is to have a clear idea of what your goals are and how you plan to accomplish them. As you launch your business and sort through the process, here are some questions to ask yourself :
Does my service or product fulfill a need?
Many businesses can offer a great service or product, but unless it fulfills a particular need or demand, the business will fall short of any growth. If you’re unsure about whether your product will be in demand, conduct a market survey and ask participants to gauge their level of interest in your product or service. Ask for feedback for improvements and suggestions to get an understanding of what your demographic is looking for in a service or good.
2. Do I have a business plan?
Every startup needs a business plan--this serves as your company’s ultimate road map in developing growth and success. Having a clear agenda and mission statement for what your company aims to accomplish is an important aspect of business planning. If you don’t have a business plan yet, consider using a business plan template to help you get started.
3. Do I have enough financing?
One of the main reasons why many startup businesses fail is because of the lack of financing. New business owners and startup companies have a hard time getting loans from the bank and financial institutions because of the lack of credit history, making them high-risk borrowers. In this case, we encourage new business owners to consider alternative lenders and financiers. Through B2B platforms, small business owners can get connected to over a hundred different lenders through one loan application and will have greater success in finding the financing they need for their business.
Additional Resources For Small Business Owners
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are unsure where to start, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is one of the best resources offered to small business owners. The organization provides business training, consulting, education and resources to enable small businesses to succeed and thrive. Business owners can learn management, accounting, and even skills for website management for little to no cost. SBDC has locations nationwide and offers e-courses for online learning.