Great Ideas for 2014
New year, new chance to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon and start the business of your dreams. Based on recent data, research and anecdotal evidence, these 14 business ideas have great potential in 2014.
Most homeowners have pick-up bins for standard recyclables like paper, glass and plastic, but they often don't make the effort to properly recycle electronics and batteries, which can be extremely harmful to the <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5102-green-business-ideas.html">environment</a> when left in landfills. Offer to pick up all the e-waste that's been collecting in their garages — old televisions, broken laptops, defunct cellphones — and bring them to your local electronic recycling facility. Charge per item, by weight, or a flat fee plus travel to and from the location.
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 <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4908-part-time-business-ideas.html">part time</a>.
The combination of aging baby boomers and the upcoming changes of the <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4857-health-care-reform-small-business.html">Affordable Care Act</a> means that the healthcare industry will rapidly continue to expand. 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/or save money. This is a great opportunity to put that marketing or economics degree to use.
We included this on our list of business <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5020-new-business-ideas-food-lovers.html">ideas for foodies</a>, and for good reason: a December 2012 <a href="http://network.intuit.com/2012/12/05/food-trucks-motor-into-the-mainstream/">study</a> by Intuit and Emergent Research predicted that revenue from the food truck industry will reach $2.7 billion by 2017. A truck is a much less expensive investment than a brick-and-mortar restaurant and, according to <a href="http://mobimunch.com/">Mobi Munch</a> 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.
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. According to <a href=http://www.freelancer.com>Freelancer.com</a>, which lists more than a million freelance projects on its site, the most in-demand freelance services are: data entry, academic writing, Excel projects, data processing, Web search and Facebook-based jobs. Hourly rates start at $30 an hour and stretch into the hundreds. <br><br><em>[Related story: <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5534-part-time-economy.html">What the Part-Time Economy Means for Employers</a>]</em>
It's been said before, but it bears repeating: mobile is now a non-negotiable for almost any business. Finding ways to go mobile is a challenge for many business owners. If your company can provide affordable mobile solutions to businesses that need them you'll find mobile consulting a rich business opportunity.<br><br>
According to Jamie Turner, founder of a company called "The 60-Second Marketer," there will be ongoing need for mobile assistance.<br><br>
"Research from the 60-Second Marketer indicates that there are more people on the planet who own a mobile device than who own a toothbrush," said Turner, who co-authored the new book "Go Mobile" (Wiley, January 2012) with Jeanne Hopkins. "So it's safe to say that your prospects are using mobile. If you're in business, it's your job to be where your prospects are. Your prospects are in mobile right now."
There's no denying the global marketplace is growing and reaching beyond the borders of China and Mexico. All that cross-cultural communication is creating a growing need for translators, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition. It predicts a greater demand for interpreters and translators resulting from the broadening of international ties and growth in the number of non-English speakers in the United States will result in a projected 22 percent increase in the number individuals employed in this profession.
This translates into a big business opportunity for entrepreneurs who can bring foreign-language speakers together with businesses in need.
[Related Story: <a href=http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1646-great-business-ideas-2012.html>17 Great Business Ideas for 2012</a>]
Employees are increasingly mobile. In fact, it is estimated there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015. So how are employers supposed to keep track of what their workers are doing? The answer provides myriad business opportunities for entrepreneurs. One company, <a href=”http://www.exaktime.com/”>Exaktime</a>, recently debuted a mobile time clock. There are also vehicle-tracking time clocks and time-clock apps. But employers often don't have the staff or the time to manage all this new data and distill it to what is needed for payroll and billing.
A company that could provide employee-monitoring services, as well as some additional outsourced human resources functions, would be in great demand right now.
As people live longer, there's an increasing need for senior services of all sorts. And not all are related to health care. One such service, a mobile salon that travels to customers' residences to do their hair or nails, has nothing but growth potential. As aging baby boomers move into the senior citizen category, there will be a growing need for these mobile services that help keep boomers looking good without requiring them to make a trip to the salon.
Increasingly, 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 health-oriented, unique and specialized vending companies that offer franchisees the chance to own and service as few as one or two machines. One such franchise has had big success putting healthy vending machines in schools, offices, public buildings, etc. Owning a vending-machine business offers franchisees the opportunity to start small and test the waters.
[Related Story: <a href=http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1878-business-business-ideas.html>11 Great B2B Business Ideas for 2012 </a>]
Smartphones have become indispensible for both business and personal use. But have you ever tried to get one fixed? It can cost as much to as it does to buy one. Smartphone-repair services are starting to crop up around the country, but for now, this market is wide open.
If you've tried to hire a contractor lately you probably already know that something odd is going on. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many contractors went out of business during the height of the recession and those that survived got lean and mean. Now, as the economy improves and Americans are spending money to improve their homes, they are having trouble finding contractors – electricians, plumbers, roofers, painters and more. Contractors say they are facing a <a href=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/08/11/eveningnews/main6764731.shtml>shortage of skilled labor</a> and having trouble finding employees to rebuild their former skeleton crews.<br><br>
This creates an opportunity for skilled workers who are ready to take the leap from being an employee to owning their own company. Starting small is probably the best way to test the waters. You can grow after you've proven your success.
Apps, websites, e-commerce…they've become must-haves for any business. But often, they don't work. The reason is that businesses don't test their applications or software carefully enough. Testing services are in hot demand. One company, <a href=http://www.soasta.com>SOASTA</a>, offers cloud testing services for clients. There's room in this market for growth. A service that specializes in niche testing would have an edge over broader testing services.
A lot of companies cut back on support staff during the recession and many are reluctant to rehire, even though they need help. This is creating a business opportunity for anyone who can provide marketing, human resources, healthcare management or any other service a business needs.<br><br>
According to Stephanie Scott Harbour, owner of the New York Mom Corps franchise, there is a big demand for services in marketing, finance and human resources.
"We are seeing increased client demand for specific functional roles – particularly marketing, finance and human resources. We are hearing from our clients that these departments have been downsized over the past few years, and are now in (sometimes desperate) need of additional support," she said.