What to watch
Sometimes timing is just as important as having a great business idea. To help you take advantage of that fact IBISWorld, an independent source of industry and market research, says aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners should look to the following eight industries on the upswingin the next year.
"In general, low barriers to entry and strong revenue growth are what [are] creating opportunities within these industries," said Kevin Boylan, a co-author of the IBISWorld report. "Barriers to entry have decreased primarily due to technological change in the form of a greater percentage of services conducted online."
Some high-growth industries going forward include:
Social network game development
Five-year annual growth rate: 184.3 percent
2013 revenue growth: 31.9 percent
Social networks have not only changed the way people socialize and interact, but have also changed the way people play. For that reason, the social network game-development industry is growing rapidly. In fact, IBISWorld reports the industry can expect close to 32 percent revenue growth in 2013, with revenues reaching $6 billion for the rest of the year. Growth is expected to continue, in particular, thanks to the continued popularity of games and social networks. Research from Neilsen confirms the observation that consumers spend 20 percent of their total time online using social networks. That number reaches even higher among consumers on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
Online shoe sales
Five-year annual growth rate: 16.2 percent
2013 revenue growth: 14.5 percent
Experts estimate that 100 million Americans purchase items from online retailers. That growth has benefitted a number of industries, but perhaps none more so than online apparel sales. Nielsen says accessories and shoes are the second most popular items purchased online after books. Not only are shoes widely purchased online, but they are also in the middle of a growth upswing. Revenues for online shoe sales are expected to reach close to $9 billion in 2013. However, those looking to carve out their own names in the online shoe sales industry should know that the many well-established players present a challenge. IBISWorld suggests new entrants look to differentiate themselves from other players from the start.
TV and home theater installation services
Five-year annual growth rate: 0.5 percent
2013 revenue growth: 4.1 percent
Savvy business owners can also take advantage of the constant evolution of the latest and greatest technologies. In particular, businesses centered on television and theater installation can expect to see modest growth in the next year. IBISWorld estimates that the field will grow 4 percent in 2013 alone. Research by the Consumer Electronics Association bolsters expectations for the industry, estimating that 98 percent of households in the United States have at least one TV, and 84 percent have a DVD player or recorder. Furthermore, additional research has revealed that 25 percent of Americans have a home theater.
Virtual data rooms
Five-year annual growth rate: 15.8 percent
2013 revenue growth: 16 percent
Virtual data rooms (VDRs) represent another industry with a high growth-potential in the coming years. ISIBWorld describes VDRs as secure document-management platforms geared toward information-sensitive applications such as legal due diligence, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), initial public offerings (IPO) and bankruptcies. Though this industry caters to highly specialized clients, revenues are expected to reach $728.4 million in 2013. In addition, entrants can expect high growth thanks to a transition to and demand for these services.
Five-year annual growth rate: 3.9 percent
2013 revenue growth: 6.1 percent
Recent losses at traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies have led to significant gains at Internet-based alternatives. That shift means the industry can expect to see 6 percent revenue growth in the next year, bringing revenues to just less than $21 billion in 2013. This growth comes after disappointing losses in 2009, in which brick-and-mortar agencies lost ground to their Internet counterparts. Because of this shift to online business, those beginning in the industry in coming years will face few barriers to entry and a low startup cost, IBISWorld says.
Five-year annual growth rate: 2.4 percent
2013 revenue growth: 3.4 percent
As the global economy and the world population continue to grow, the demand for companies in the translation-services industry will only continue to grow as well. Combine that with the fact that technology has helped improve many aspects of the industry, and savvy business people will see why this area is expected to grow in coming years. To that end, IBISWorld predicts revenue growth of 3.4 percent alone in 2013.
Information technology security consulting
Five-year annual growth rate:9.8 percent
2013 revenue growth: 8.8 percent
Steady growth is also expected in the information technology security-consulting industry over the next few years. Industry watchers predict a number of factors to drive growth, including the continued increase in e-commerce and mobile Internet usage. Not only will those factors help to grow the field of IT security consulting, but continued security breaches will also keep the industry growing at a healthy yearly rate. Additionally, IBISWorld estimates that private investments in computers and software will increase nearly 7 percent per year during the next five years, which will also help sustain continued demand.
Digital forensic services
Five-year annual growth rate: 11.9 percent
2013 revenue growth: 11.2 percent
As digital devices continue to grow in popularity among Americans, industries servicing those products expect growth as well. One such industry is digital forensic services, which recover and investigate material found in digital devices. Services from this industry are most often used in investigating and solving cyber crimes, but IBISWorld expects the industry's reach to grow in coming years. The rise of electronically stored information will lead that development. To that end, IBISWorld expects a growth of 11.2 percent in 2013 for this industry.