Great Business Ideas for 2015
Smart Product Development
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.
"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."
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
Healthy Fast Food
As a crowdfunding consultant, Victoria Westcott said she helps others understand the practice and raise more money by helping plan, strategize and run campaigns to attract new backers.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This has created an opening for marketers looking to stand out from the crowd. Lisa Skriloff, founder of Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc., 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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"Because of technology and the Internet, publishing and sharing written material is easier and cheaper than ever," ghostwriter Melinda Copp told BusinessNewsDaily. "All those words have to be written by someone."
Beyond online writing, more business leaders are authoring books, with the aid of ghostwriters, to build their credibility.
"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 ghostwriter Jeff Haden. "Great content can help build a great foundation for a business or personal brand."
Business sustainability consultant Barbara Englehart said there are numerous benefits for companies that go green, including reduced costs, risks and liabilities and increased employee retention, productivity and moral.
"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."
"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 Witt Associates, 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."
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.
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.
"The industry has grown as companies look to cash in on an increasingly global marketplace," said IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Krabeepetcharat.
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
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.
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.
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Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily assistant editor.
Originally published on Jun. 26, 2012. Updated Jan. 2015.