Great Business Ideas for 2014
The best business ideas are the ones that solve your customers' problems. If you find a way to provide people with something they need, your startup will have a better chance of success. Here are 10 problem-solving business ideas for 2014.
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.
Smart Product Developer
Thanks to the emergence of the Internet of Things, smart products are the next big thing and the possibilities are endless.<p>
Smart products combine technology with everyday products to enhance functionality.<p>
Researchers at <a href=http://disneyresearch.com target=”_blank”>Disney Research in Pittsburgh</a> recently developed a new sensing technique that has the potential to enhance everyday objects via a single sensing electrode. <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. <p>
“Our e-bra enables continuous, real-time monitoring to identify any pathophysiological changes,” professor Vijay Varadan said. “It is a platform on which various sensors for cardiac-health monitoring are integrated into the fabric. The garment collects and transmits vital health signals to any desired location in the world."<p>
With the general population living longer than ever, health-care needs are growing exponentially.<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.<p>
Research from direct advertising firm AccurateLeads found that marketers who don't target minorities are losing out on a $3 trillion market.<p>
The study shows many companies fail at reaching minority customers because they don't take the time to know that audience. <p>
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, the research concluded.<p>
That's created an opening for marketers looking to stand out from the crowd. Lisa Skriloff, founder of <a href=http://multicultural.com target=”_blank”>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.<p>
She points to a number of large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas, where the combined minority populations are the majority.<p>
"It is very important that (businesses) don't ignore this, and start paying attention to these communities," Skriloff told BusinessNewsDaily.
With the barriers and costs of publishing content decreasing, the demand has never been greater.
From books to blogs to social media posts, it's easier than ever to communicate, and there are audiences ready to gobble it up.<p>
But actually crafting that content can be tricky, so many companies are turning to ghostwriters to help put their thoughts down on paper. <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."
Haden said he only expects the demand for quality writers to increase.<p>
"There are too many advantages to creating content and becoming better known as an expert, thought leader, or key player in your industry," he said.
Whether it's cutting energy costs or reducing their carbon footprint, the pressure for businesses to adopt green practices is high — and growing.<p>
A recent study found that 82 percent of U.S. consumers are knowledgeable about which brands have a strong history of sustainability, with 80 percent considering that history when making purchases.
Knowing the premium that shoppers are placing on green companies, many businesses are turning to sustainability consultants to help navigate the process.<p>
Business <a href=http://www.englehartconsulting.com target=”_blank”>sustainability consultant 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 demand for sustainability consultants will rise in the coming years, according to Englehart.<p>
"I predict the small green consulting firms will continue to thrive," she said. "It is still a new and growing area conducive to the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of a small firm."
Find your business idea
Ready to figure out what business idea is best for you? Try our <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3253-business-idea-generator.html"target="_blank"> Business Idea Generator. </a>Answer 21 "yes" or "no" questions and we'll tell you the top five business ideas that might work for you. Click <a href="http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3253-business-idea-generator.html"target="_blank" >here</a> to get started. Don't worry, it will open in a new window and you won't lose your place in this countdown.</p>
The daily news is filled with fires, floods and other tragedies around the country.<p>
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>
"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 manmade or natural disaster. <p>
Scanlon believes the demand for these services will increase in the years to come.
A key component of the recently established Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was the cutting of Securities and Exchange Commission restrictions that prohibited crowdfunding.<p>
With the constraints lifted, new businesses are turning to crowdfunding to help launch their endeavors.
Crowdfunding lets groups of people pool their contributions (usually between $50 and $500 each) to invest in startups.<p>
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>
As a <a href=http://victoriawestcott.com/crowdfunding-advice/ target=”_blank”>crowdfunding consultant, 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>
"As long as crowdfunding grows, then people who want to crowdfund will continue to reach out and look for the magic tips and tricks," she said
Following a decline during the recession, translation services are poised for renewed growth.<p>
According to research from <a href=http://www.ibisworld.com target=”_blank”>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>
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.<p>
It's a time-consuming process that often requires the owner to make cumbersome alternative transportation arrangements while the work is being done. <p>
Research shows there are more than 115,000 auto repair and service shops nationwide, each fixing an average of 55 cars per week.<p>
Amid that reality 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. <p>
The business is a perfect opportunity for those looking to make people's lives easier.<br><br>
<i>Follow Chad Brook on Twitter @<a href=http://www.twitter.com/cbrooks76 target=”_blank”>cbrooks76</a> or BusinessNewsDaily @<a href=http://www.twitter.com/BNDarticles target=”_blank”>BNDarticles</a>. We're also on <a href=http://www.facebook.com/businessnewsdaily target=”_blank”>Facebook</a> & <a href=https://plus.google.com/113390396142026041164/posts target=”_blank”>Google+</a>.</i>
Business Ideas Section
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>