Right now we’re experiencing a bit of a contraction in the tech ecosystem, as many companies announce layoffs and venture capitalists slow down their investing.
In my opinion this is just a natural, appropriate reaction to a lack of strong business fundamentals among some companies and not a precursor to a major collapse of some sort.
Even though investor enthusiasm seems to have waned, there are still industries with such an upside that they will probably be expanding for years to come.
Apart from providing new market opportunities for investors, industries set for lots of growth are also often favoured by lending institutions, which want to provide affordable business loans to smart business people with their finger on the pulse of industry growth potential (and a detailed plan in place).
Related: It’s Not Magic, It’s Technology
With technologies changing and introducing sectors across the globe, it’s clear to see that the booming businesses of the next decade are likely to be quite different from what we’ve seen over the past 20 years.
If you’re keen to build a company that leads the pack, these three growing industries are worth considering investing your time, money, passion, and energy into today.
1. Online food purchasing
You might already buy your music, books, clothes, accessories, gifts and other items online, but in the coming years you will likely also purchase more and more of your food that way too. Although online food sales have been growing consistently for the last few years, the trend is set to rapidly increase over the coming decade.
A number of different reasons are causing the growth in the amount of food sold online. Entrepreneurs that are aware of these changes in online shopping habits can be the first to benefit from new market growth.
The first factor is that buyers are busier than ever and working longer hours, making the purchase of groceries online an easier, more feasible option.
In addition, consumers are increasingly comfortable with purchasing items via e-commerce sites, so they have more trust in having them delivered straight to their door.
Health services provided by companies that use digital technology to remotely administer education and different types of medical support are known as “telehealth.”
This strongly growing field is projected to become one of the biggest industries in coming years, driven largely by aging populations around the world.
More and more people will need care, but it’s not entirely sure there will be enough hospital beds and practitioners available to provide it. As a result, technology will be used to bridge the gap.
The growth in this area also stems from the rise in the number of people with chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes who can be advised and monitored remotely rather than in person.
Many advances in technology are making telehealth services more cost effective and feasible to deliver in large numbers. Also, a big bump in support provided for health services in many countries may be used to set up telehealth programs.
The telehealth industry covers a wide range of different medical services. The most common types of services so far though are things like monitoring patients remotely for changes in health or lifestyle choices; video conference consultations; and the digital transmission and storage of medical data (such as X-rays, other scans, and patient files).
3. Relaxation beverages
Over the years you have likely tried some sort of energy drink, or at least know a number of people who have. While these types of beverages have been popular for more than a decade, “relaxation beverages” are becoming more popular.
This sector of the food and drink market is already on the rise and is likely to become a very familiar term soon as the name suggests, relaxation drinks are supposed to be the opposite of energy beverages. Instead of being full of caffeine to keep consumers alert and awake, relaxation drinks will be sold for their calming effect.
These new types of beverages will be marketed for their sleep-promotion and relaxation benefits, as they can help consumers rest more thoroughly and switch off.
The types of beverages created in the sector often contain active ingredients like melatonin or I-theanine, and come in the form of carbonated drinks, dairy-based beverages or ready-to-drink teas.
The new industry is still in early stages, but the consumer backlash against some commonly-reported side effects of energy drinks (such as gastrointestinal upsets, tremors, palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, and insomnia) will probably help move sentiment towards relaxation-based recipes instead.
Research firm IBIS World released a report that shows the relaxation drink market grew 23 percent in 2014, and is expected to increase to a value of over R3 Billion over the coming few years.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Business Opportunities In Printing And Signage
The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
In an entrepreneurial environment, people are seeking innovative ways to make extra money. The signage and printing industry offers opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses.
These opportunities will be showcased at the upcoming Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo, which is co-located with Africa Print for commercial print solutions and Africa LED for professional LED lighting. The event is taking place from 12-14 September at Gallagher Convention Centre.
T-Shirt and Bag Printing
Embellishments and glitter help transform a simple shirt into a unique garment, and depending on the specific shirt and techniques used, it could become a high priced item. Shirts and bags can be customised, a key aspect to targeting millennials, who require unique products, want to stand out and want items that are Instagram-worthy. You can target this market with personalised bags and unique T-shirts, which do not require large and expensive equipment to produce.
Mugs and Promotional Gifting
While others may see public holidays as opportunities to relax, entrepreneurs can see them as money-making opportunities. Capitalise on trendy markets and popular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day by producing themed and personalised gifts. Other profitable options include: shopping bags, decor and invites, promotional, corporate and safety wear, wood, vinyl, paper, plastics, metals, flat substrates like clipboards, binders, notebooks, mouse pads, coasters, business cards, stickers and corrugated signs or posters, smart phones and tablet cases.
Business owners are constantly seeking ways to get their brands noticed. And with all the gigantic billboards, street pole advertisements and other media vying for consumers’ attention, it’s difficult to stand out. Enter vehicle wrapping, which is an effective promotional tool as it’s cost-effective, impactful and long-lasting. Besides cost-effective general wraps for corporate fleets, custom vehicle wrapping offers special effects that create Instagram-worthy wraps that get brands noticed.
Of course, these business opportunities require training and some research. Luckily, industry experts will be available at the Sign Africa and FESPA Africa expo to answer visitors’ questions. There are also free educational features such as a T-Shirt and Bag printing workshop featuring demonstrations by local experts on T-shirts and bags with speciality printing techniques as well as the Textile Experience, which shows how to screen print onto T-shirts.
Opportunities for small start-ups or those looking to grow their businesses will be showcased in daily 30 minute Business Opportunity sessions. For more information about the event, and to register online, please visit: http://bit.ly/EntrepreneurSignAfrica.
10 Businesses You Can Start Part-Time
Find your perfect match for a successful part-time start-up.
Launching a company – even if it’s operated part-time – is all about drawing on your skills, talents and interests to create a viable business.
What you know and what you’re good at form a good basis for a part-time business because these companies either become an extension of what you enjoy doing most or they are based on your strengths.
Working part-time while still maintaining a permanent job is time consuming and often exhausting, so choosing what you take pleasure in or are good at can keep you focused and motivated. The right fit is important when it comes to launching a part-time business. Selling a service rather than a product does not require large start-up costs, which means you can grow your business without financing until it becomes self-sustaining.
Corporate Communications & Promotions
Corporate communications covers a host of areas, mainly because this is the sector that takes care of how companies look to the outside world – something that is very definitely a service, but also that is not often taken care of in-house. If you can write, edit, have a knack for advertising, can take photographs or create promotional and corporate videos, you can offer your services part-time to companies both large and small that are in need of these services.
A 7-Step Guide To Starting Your Own Trade Business
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
Skilled tradesmen are always in demand. Whether you are a plumber, electrician, cabinetmaker, refrigeration expert, tiler or builder, there is a ton of work out there. For many, the best way to make the most of the opportunity is to open your own business.
Where do you start? The first step is to register your business with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Look for a catchy name that is easy to spell and memorable – you do not want customers to struggle. The CIPC will tell you which names are taken. It is also a good idea to do a trademark search before deciding on a name. Register with SARS and make sure that all your tax affairs are in order.
It is a very good idea to get a good accountant right at the early stages of the game. They can also help you set up the legislative requirements for running a business. The National Small Business Chamber is a non-profit organisation that offers a range of services to its members that aim to help them grow faster, save money and receive the support they need.
With that sorted, it is time to get on with the more exciting operational stuff.
1. Finding customers
You want to find customers in order to grow your business beyond the ones you already have. These days, that means a website and some smart online marketing.
This can be as simple as setting up a Facebook page and any one of several other social media sites (like Instagram and LinkedIn). These services are at no-cost to you and allow you to quickly build up a following of loyal customers. You can share ‘jobs well done’, so prospective customers can see what you are capable of, while your contact details are easily accessible. In due course, consider some paid averts on relevant social media platforms and perhaps a website of your own. It is a good way to get potential customers on board.
At the same time, list your services in community newspapers, noticeboards and newsletters so everyone in the area can easily see that you are available and what it is you do. Also, keep your eye on social media community groups – and ask family, friends and existing clients to refer and/or recommend your services when an opportunity arises.
Finally, there are many government initiatives and non-profit organisations whose aim is to help small businesses succeed – with a particular emphasis on black-owned businesses. This help could range from facilitating access to finance, all the way to mentorship. Spend some time finding out what help is on offer. The SME Movement site also has this kind of information.
2. Stay focused
For those just starting out, there might be a temptation to take any job that crosses your path. Rather stick to your area of expertise to build a reputation based on proven skills. If you are an electrician with a little plumbing experience, for example, tackling a piping job could cause more trouble than it is worth. Every trade is different and you are an expert for a reason.
Leave the other work for experts in those fields – but build up relationships with them so that you can refer work to each other.
3. Ride on your qualifications and references
You have spent a lot of time getting certified. Let your customers know about your qualifications and experience by putting it on your Facebook page, your invoices, e-mails and other communications. The same goes for references; these are valuable and provide evidence of your ability to get the job done. Ask for a reference when the job is complete and then on to social media it goes. The good news with social media, by the way, is that these references do not ever go away.
4. Stay on top of the paperwork
The good old days of doing business on a handshake may be behind us. Providing quotes, contracts, invoices and records of payments electronically makes paperwork a whole lot easier by creating a digital archive where physical copies aren’t needed, but it serves the same purpose, when it is formally recorded, it is far easier to see what has been agreed to, done and paid for. Do not skimp here, even the best customer service provider relationships can go awry if verbal agreements are all you have to go on.
5. Register with your trade association (and invest in CPD)
Being a member of a trade association (like Master Builders, the Institute of Plumbing or other professional bodies) lends credibility to what you are doing. It also provides access to new customers should larger contractors need to sub-contract. Your trade association also formalises training and continuous professional development (CPD).
6. Get business insurance
All too often, this crucial coverage is ignored by those starting out on their own. You want to protect tools and equipment on the one hand and you also want broadform public liability to safeguard yourself, your employees and your business against third party claims should something go wrong on the job. It provides cover in connection with your normal business activities and also your liability if any employees are injured in the course of work.
Putting the right insurance in place can mean the difference between staying in business for the long term or folding the minute the tools grow legs and disappear.
7. Deliver good service
Do not forget that every job is a potential reference and, at the very least, is your entry into that client’s network of friends or business associates. Concentrate on giving good service and actively request feedback so you can remedy any shortfalls. A take-it-or-leave it attitude may be relaxing, but it will prevent your business from growing to what it potentially can be.
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970)
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