Great Business Ideas for 2015
Will 2015 be the year you follow your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur? If you want to start a business but don't have an idea yet, a good place to begin is finding a solution to common consumer dilemmas. Here are 12 problem-solving business ideas that are poised for success right now.
Smart Product Development
Thanks to the emergence of the Internet of Things, smart products are the next big thing and the possibilities are endless. Researchers at <a href="http://disneyresearch.com">Disney Research</a> recently developed a new sensing technique that has the potential to enhance everyday objects via a single sensing electrode. <p><p>
Examples of its potential include a doorknob that knows whether to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped, a smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips and a chair that adjusts room lighting based on whether a user is reclining or leaning forward.<p>
"In our laboratory experiments, we were able to enhance a broad variety of objects with high-fidelity touch sensitivity," said Ivan Poupyrev, senior research scientist at Disney Research. "It could immediately be used to create new and exciting ways for people to interact with objects and the world at large."<p>
Smart technology can be applied to clothes as well, including for medical purposes. A team of engineers at the University of Arkansas recently unveiled a series of nanostructured textile sensors integrated into a conventional sports bra for female patients and a vest for male patients that gather critical information about the wearer and communicate in real time to a physician, hospital or the patient.
Organic Beauty Products
Consumers of all age groups have been hopping on the "all-natural and organic" bandwagon when it comes to their food and lifestyle products, but according to a trend report by <a href="http://www.jwtintelligence.com/the-future-100/#axzz3LzDnOQms">JWTIntelligence</a>, the over-50 crowd is especially interested in natural beauty products made with ingredients like charcoal and kale. Launching your own line of homemade face soaps, scrubs or cosmetics could be a smart way to capture <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6709-business-ideas-seniors-market.html">this demographic</a>.
Healthy Fast Food
If you've ever dreamed of opening a restaurant or a food truck, this just might be the time to do it. JWTIntelligence's report noted that millennials are more health-conscious than ever, and "guilt-free" takeout food will become an increasingly popular culinary trend. Consumers are looking for competitive pricing on local, seasonal dishes that they can take on-the-go with them.
There has never been a greater need for a people who can understand and navigate the complicated world of healthcare. As changes continue to roll out under the Affordable Care Act and as users try to navigate the complex system of enrolling for insurance, people who can help make the transition easier will be in great demand. A healthcare consultant needs to have a background in healthcare and insurance, but doesn't need a fancy office or a big staff.
Crowdfunding lets groups of people pool their contributions to invest in startups.
With the concept still in its infancy in the United States, entrepreneurs need help finding the best way to tap into this new source of investors.<p><p>
As a crowdfunding consultant, <a href="http://victoriawestcott.com/crowdfunding-advice">Victoria Westcott</a> said she helps others understand the practice and raise more money by helping plan, strategize and run campaigns to attract new backers. <p>
"The fact is, crowdfunding is not quite fundraising and it's not quite pre-selling either," Westcott told BusinessNewsDaily. "Crowdfunding is a whole new thing."<p>
With so many entrepreneurs looking for the cash to turn their idea into an actual business, Westcott believes the need for crowdfunding consultants will grow in years to come.<p>
With the general population living longer than ever, health-care needs are growing exponentially.<p><p>
Currently, statistics show more than 2.8 million Americans use a wheelchair for mobility, allowing greater independence in daily functioning, home life and vocational settings. All this wheelchair usage means there's a lot of need for repair and maintenance of wheelchairs, along with other medical devices.<p>
In a study led by Michael Boninger, of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, about 53 percent of wheelchair users reported one or more breakdowns requiring repair between 2006 and 2011.<p>
There is a need for those who can fix both manual and electric wheelchairs quickly to get them back to those who depend on them.
Multicultural Marketing Expert
All businesses are looking for new ways to connect with their customers, but many are missing the mark when it comes to connecting with minorities. Research from direct advertising firm AccurateLeads found that marketers who don't target minorities are losing out on a $3 trillion market.<p><p>
The study shows many companies fail at reaching minority customers because they don't take the time to know that audience.
To reach those targeted shoppers, businesses must recognize the places where the consumer resides and design a specific message not just for one ethnicity, but for cultures among those segments.<p>
This has created an opening for marketers looking to stand out from the crowd. Lisa Skriloff, founder of <a href="http://multicultural.com">Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.</a>, said with minority populations growing at a faster rate than Caucasians, businesses that want to succeed must tap into the minority markets.
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From books to blogs to social media posts, it's easier than ever to communicate via the written word. Audiences are ready to consume content from their favorite brands and celebrities, but actually crafting that content can be tricky, so many companies are turning to ghostwriters to help put their thoughts down on paper. <p><p>
"Because of technology and the Internet, publishing and sharing written material is easier and cheaper than ever," <a href=http://www.writerssherpa.com target=”_blank”>ghostwriter Melinda Copp</a> told BusinessNewsDaily. "All those words have to be written by someone."<p>
Beyond online writing, more business leaders are authoring books, with the aid of ghostwriters, to build their credibility.<p>
"Some of my clients have leveraged their books to generate more and better speaking opportunities, more frequent appearances on business shows, and opportunities to work with better clients," said <a href=http://www.blackbirdinc.com target=”_blank”>ghostwriter Jeff Haden</a>. "Great content can help build a great foundation for a business or personal brand."
Whether it's cutting energy costs or reducing their carbon footprint, the pressure for businesses to adopt green practices is high — and it's only going to grow.<p><p>
Business sustainability consultant <a href="http://www.englehartconsulting.com">Barbara Englehart</a> said there are numerous benefits for companies that go green, including reduced costs, risks and liabilities and increased employee retention, productivity and moral.<p>
"This is all quite new in the business world, and companies need help," Englehart told BusinessNewsDaily. "They weren't teaching sustainability in business schools five or 10 years ago."<p>
The daily news is filled with fires, floods and other tragedies around the country. Those disasters have the ability to wipe away years of hard work, and that reality is forcing many business owners to evaluate their own situation.<p><p>
"Unfortunately, we are in a cycle of more frequent and severe weather events, coupled with an alarming occurrence of freak events," Barry W. Scanlon, president of crisis management and public safety consulting firm <a href=http://www.wittassociates.com/ target=”_blank”>Witt Associates</a>, told BusinessNewsDaily. "This has led more and more leaders and businesses to realize that if they are not prepared for all hazards and crisis events, their hard work and growth can be lost in a moment’s notice."<p>
The desire to be prepared for the worst is increasing the need for consultants who can help guide businesses through the necessary steps for protecting all pieces of their company — from physical buildings to online documents — in case of a disaster.
Following a decline during the recession, translation services are poised for renewed growth. According to research from <a href="http://www.ibisworld.com">IBISWorld</a>, the Internet has been instrumental in increasing demand for translators because businesses moving into new countries use services to adapt websites and marketing materials to the new region.<p><p>
The study shows that as companies once again focus on international growth over the next five years, they will turn to the translation industry to provide localization services. A growing population of immigrants is expected to contribute to further growth.<p>
"The industry has grown as companies look to cash in on an increasingly global marketplace," said IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Krabeepetcharat.<p>
This need has created an opening for dual-language speakers with the ability to interpret speech from one language to another. Specific services they can provide include document translation and the translation of website information into languages for use in other countries, taking into account unique cultural and linguistic traits.
Car Repair Concierge
Few things can be as frustrating as taking a car in for service. It's a time-consuming process that often requires the owner to make cumbersome alternative transportation arrangements while the work is being done. <p><p>
Research shows there are more than 115,000 auto repair and service shops nationwide, each fixing an average of 55 cars per week. Thus, there is a growing need for those who can make the process as smooth and painless as possible.<p>
Car service concierges are able to pick up your car for you, take it in for service and return it when it is finished. For those who can't afford to be without a car while vehicle is serviced, the concierges also can provide a rental car.
More business ideas
Looking for more great business ideas? Visit our <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/topics/business-ideas/">Business Ideas section</a> where you’ll find links to all our great business ideas stories.</p>
<em>Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily assistant editor.</em>
<em>Originally published on Jun. 26, 2012. Updated Jan. 2015.</em>