Great ideas for 2017

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Ready to take control of your career and start a new business? In today's world, it's easier than ever to find a trend and turn it into a full-on entrepreneurial venture. Capitalize on some of the biggest business opportunities right now with these 15 ideas.

Instagram consulting

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Despite Instagram's growing popularity, not all brands know what they're doing on the app. If you have a background in social media and marketing and a passion for photography and Instagram, starting a consulting business that focuses on the popular photo app can be a great way to make money while helping other businesses improve their content and thrive.

Real-Life Success Story: Kathryn Elise

Women's health platform

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Aspiring women entrepreneurs looking to make a difference are now in a better position than ever to launch businesses that help other women. An online store that focuses on women's health needs, or another platform that connects women with important resources and products, could be a great framework for a successful and meaningful business. [See Related Story: Maven Clinic]

Box subscription services

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Box subscription services are popping up everywhere in the food, beauty and even pet product sectors, ready to deliver goods right to your door each month. One of the consumer perks is the idea that these subscription boxes are carefully curated just for them based on their likes and interests, and each month, the boxes' contents are a surprise.

Find a unique product category that's still untapped by the box subscription industry, or find a way to put a new spin on an existing service, and you could have a lucrative business on your hands. Keep it as inexpensive as possible — according to LearnVest, offering cheaper products will help you stand out from the competition.

Real-Life Success Story: FatFitFun Box

Health clubs for millennials

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Health and fitness services are being rebranded to become trendier and more sociable. Opening a health club or gym targeted specifically to millennials could be a great way to capitalize on the fitness trend, especially if you focus on creating a strong, fun and engaging social media presence to really connect with young members and potential customers.

Real-Life Success Story: ROAM Fitness

Kid-friendly apps

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Kids are your future customers, so gaining their loyalty now isn't a bad idea. According to Common Sense Media, three-quarters of kids have access to a mobile device. This spells a big business opportunity for anyone who can create products or design apps just for kids. And, if they also happen to be educational or promote good health, you'll win their parents over, too.

Real-Life Success Story: Tozzle

Software training

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If you're proficient in a highly specialized software, you can get paid to pass your knowledge on to amateurs and professionals looking to expand their skill sets. Technical manuals are available for programs like QuickBooks and Final Cut Pro, but these are often expensive and difficult for the average user to get through. Schedule small group workshops or private sessions, and charge by the hour for a full tutorial of the program. The best part about this gig is that it can be done part time.

Real-Life Success Story: Flexera Software Services

Health care consulting

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As an independent healthcare consultant, you can offer management and data analysis for organizations like hospitals, labs and therapist offices to help implement solutions to improve efficiency and save money. If you have a marketing or economics degree, this is a great opportunity to put it to use.

Real-Life Success Story: Advisory Board

Food truck

restaurant
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Want to start a food business? A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, and according to Mobi Munch founder Josh Tang, the failure rate for food trucks is just 10 to 20 percent (as opposed to 60 to 90 percent for restaurants). With the right equipment and some great recipes, you can have your mobile eatery up and running in no time.

Real-Life Success Story: Korilla

Freelancing

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Companies are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers to fill the skill gaps in their staff. It's not hard to imagine that you could build a whole company around providing freelance services of one sort or another. Some freelance gigs pay by the project and others pay hourly, and the rates can vary greatly. But as you gain more experience, your earning potential will soar.

Real-Life Success Story: Sonia Roselli

Mobile consulting

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Mobile tech is now a must-have for almost any business, but finding ways to go mobile is a challenge for many business owners. If you can provide affordable mobile solutions to businesses that need them, you'll find mobile consulting a rich business opportunity.

According to Jamie Turner, founder of The 60-Second Marketer, there will be an ongoing need for mobile assistance based on the increasing number of consumers with smartphones.

"If you're in business, it's your job to be where your prospects are. Your prospects are in mobile right now," Turner said.

Real-Life Success Story: Kony

Translation services

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There's no denying the global marketplace is growing. All that cross-cultural communication is creating an increasing need for translators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, the hiring of interpreters and translators is projected to grow by 46 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. This means it's a big business opportunity for entrepreneurs who can bring foreign-language speakers together with businesses in need.

Real-Life Success Story: ALTA Language Services

Traveling salons

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As people live longer, there's an increasing need for senior services of all sorts, and not all of these needs are related to health care. One lifestyle service with growth potential is a mobile salon that travels to customers' residences to do their hair and nails As aging baby boomers move into the senior-citizen category, there will be a growing need for these mobile services that help keep them looking good without requiring them to make a trip to the salon.

Real-Life Success Story: STERLINGS Mobile

Healthy vending machines

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More and more health-conscious and time-strapped Americans are looking for quick food on the go that is healthier than the soda and chips you usually find in vending machines. This has spawned a whole new industry of wellness-oriented, specialized vending companies like Fresh Healthy Vending that offer franchisees the chance to own and service vending machines with better foods and beverages.

Interested entrepreneurs can either open a franchise from an existing vending machine business or sell vending-machine friendly products to help stock up schools and offices with healthier, affordable snacks.

Smartphone repair

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Smartphones have become indispensable for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? Repairing a broken phone can cost as much as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country. If you have a knack for fixing broken screens and solving smartphone tech problems, then opening up a more affordable smartphone repair shop or service might be the way to go.

Real-Life Success Story: iDropped

Contracting

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Contracting is a great option for skilled workers who are ready to take the leap from being an employee to owning their own company. With the economy improving and more people looking to purchase or improve their homes, there's more of a need for skilled labor, making this the perfect time to start offering contracting services. It's probably best to start small and test the waters, but once you've proven your success, your business can continue to grow.

Real-Life Success Story: Cape May Contracting

Additional reporting by Brittney Morgan (Helmrich).