We highlight the industries that are primed for new opportunity.
In effect, they’re the industries that keep on going. In these days of economic fits and starts, that’s a quality that can’t be oversold.
1. Automated Guided Vehicles
As companies continue to mechanize their operations, they’re investing big time in heavy-duty machinery. So the market for so-called automated-guided vehicles such as forklifts, loaders and towing vehicles is getting hotter by the day. If you can muster the major startup costs to get going, AGVs can help you clean up.
2. Green Construction
Thanks in part to new building codes and tax incentives–along with a rebound in the housing market–eco-friendly building is having a moment. With a focus on energy efficiency and sustainable materials, green-construction practitioners can present not only beautifully designed buildings, but also costs savings over time. That’s a combination that will always be in demand.
3. Mobile Health
With massive changes in the policy and technology realms, health care businesses–particularly mobile health services–are awash in revenue potential. (Think web-based vital-signs kits and health-records apps.) Some estimates project the industry will surpass $10 billion by 2018–that is, if the new startups can ensure Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA compliance. (Thank you, Obamacare!)
4. Health & Specialty Food
The economic recovery has certainly been better for some than others. Those who have a bit more in their pockets these days are eager to spend it on you guessed it: leafy greens? That’s right, kale. quinoa and their ilk are selling like hot cakes. In 2012, total specialty-food sales launched above $85 billion, according to the Specialty Food Association.
5. Online Baby Products
The littlest Americans may be your best future customers. From diapers and onesies to strollers and sippy cups, these tiny-tots (or at least their parents) have real buying power and they’re shopping online in greater numbers. Sales of online baby apparel, alone, are expected hit $6 billion this year.
6. Translation Services
As business goes even more global in the future, the need to communicate will be paramount. Currently, there are about 50,000 businesses in the translation-services industry but most of them are individual operators. So the time may be right for a more concerted effort. Just keep an eye out for automation. Or better yet, develop an automated-translation service that works! Take that, Google.
7. Digital Forensics Services
The business of retrieving your data is big–and growing. From sleuthing bank fraud to detecting phishing schemes, there’s a need in the marketplace for digital detectives. Of course, when your computer crashes–and you didn’t back anything up in the cloud–it would also be helpful to know how to retrieve that data too.
8. Business Applications
Mobile apps aren’t just for teenagers who want to send each other disappearing messages. Businesses want their employees to have need-to-know information and tools at their fingertips. If you can cut through the noise of Apple’s App Store, the greatest need is coming from financial-services firms, the federal government and retailers.