15 Best Niche Industries for Startups - Small Business Trends

15 Best Niche Industries for Startups - Small Business Trends


15 Best Niche Industries for Startups - Small Business Trends

Posted: 18 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Statistics tell us thousands of entrepreneurs start businesses every year.  After four years, more than 50 percent are gone. Getting a good start is important to success, and one way to do so is by selecting from among the right niche industries.



Best Niche Industries

Here are the 15 best niche industries for startups.

1. Bottled Water

This is a money-making niche. However, there's more to it than just finding a source and bottling the water.  Steps you need to take include sanitizing the bottles and filtering the product. Sell directly to customers or look for grocery store contracts.

2. Organic Skincare

Natural products that don't harm the environment are on the rise. That includes skincare products for women. These products are so popular now, there's even a best of list for 2019. A lot of the niche products here are corralled into lines including facial masks and cleansers.

3. Self Improvement

There's a product for most everything you want to improve about yourself. Courses for everything from improving self esteem to building up your career. There are some obvious ones to start in like how to make money and personal finance.

4. SaaS Software

Selling software as a service to small businesses is big.

One of the most profitable niches right now is SaaS software products targeted towards legal and medical professionals," writes Nishank Khanna, VP, Growth Utility NYC. "Both niche segments have plenty of cash to spend on products that can streamline their workflows and save them time."

5. Inbound Leads from SaaS Software

This is a subcategory of the SaaS software niche. Start ups can make a decent living supplying the software and generating leads for clients. Khanna explains.

"Lawyers and doctors spend a lot of money on getting more inbound customers and often spend thousands each year on existing platforms for growth."

6. Travel Writer

You can monetize your vacations and maybe even turn travelling into a full time gig. Here's a tip to start selling blogs. Write personal descriptions/ accounts backed up with facts.

7. Wellness

This one has lots of room to branch out.

"Wellness is one of the biggest industries in North America right now.  Entrepreneurs can branch off into any and all directions that are relevant to what they want to do. You may start up as a personal trainer, open up a yoga studio, or create a nutrition product."– Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com

8. Online Dating

What better way is there to get people together than use the Internet to setup an online dating company? There's good money in this niche. If you live in a big city, you might want to target local singles at first.

9. Home Organizing

Melisa Celikel is the CEO of Let's Get You Organized! She supplied a quick run down of how she got her business started.

"I created a Wix website, a FB business page, IG business account, and Pinterest business account," she writes. "Accepting payments through Venmo, Square, and PayPal since there's no barrier to entry with these free apps was easy."

Celikel formed an LLC on LegalZoom and got business licensing and insurance within a week.

10. Natural Dog Food

Fido's health is important to everyone who owns a dog. This is a great twist on the health market that's worth $21 billion. You'll need to be familiar with some Food and Drug Administration regulations to start.

11. Animal Rescue

You'll need to have the proper permits and licences to start this business. You'll also need to hire a staff right away to make an animal rescue work.

12. Private Label Products

"Find a product that is in high demand on Amazon or eBay. One where the top sellers are currently lacking in some area," writes Patricia Russel from FinanceMarvel. "Drop shipping a similar product with your own private label can set you up for serious long-term success when done properly."

13. Monthly Gift Basket Subscriptions

"These have been popularized on Reddit by the Dollar Shave Club," Russel says.  "The monthly subscription business is incredible because it has a low cost of entry."

She suggests a collection as-is items from Alibaba, AliExpress, or JD.com to start. Then add your own private label items.

14. Personal Finance

If you've got some education and training in this area, this is a great niche business. You can start building up a client base through public speaking engagements.

15. App Development

Almost anything that has to do with IT is startup gold. App development is no exception. Give away one version for free and then charge for more features.

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How To Make Sense Of Digital Transformation If You're A Small Business - Forbes

Posted: 10 Jul 2019 06:30 AM PDT

Digital Transformation (DX) is probably one of the most overhyped and overused terms in the technology industry today.

Generally speaking, it refers to using technology to digitize an organization's data and processes to make them more efficient. That being said, DX is not simply about duplicating an existing process exactly in digital form. It's about taking advantage of digital technologies to improve the process and transform the business.

While efficiency is certainly an important benefit, it's not the most important. DX has the capacity to improve speed to market, enhance the customer experience and increase collaboration and innovation. That depends on an organization's mindset and it's people. DX, therefore, involves a change to organizational culture.

Digital transformation is big business.

Wherever you turn, everyone's throwing ever-increasing amounts of technology solutions at problems in the hope that they will deliver increased revenue and profits.

IDC predicts that "by 2020, 30% of G2000 companies will have allocated capital budget equal to at least 10% of revenue to fuel their digital strategies." That's a lot of money. In fact, according to IDC, worldwide spending on DX is expected to climb to $2 trillion by 2022.

What's a small business to do?

1. Don't panic.

Yes, companies are spending trillions, but they may be wasting a lot of that money on massive investments without business value.

In a recent survey (via Information Week) by PointSource, over half the companies surveyed -- 53% -- said they did not feel prepared to use new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or facial recognition that they planned to acquire. 

Small businesses have fewer resources, so it's important to use them wisely. But, small businesses accounted for 43.5% of the U.S. GDP in 2014. Every technology vendor likely wants access to this huge pool of customers, which often results in increasingly affordable solutions.

2. Understand the urgency and lead from the top.

The hype is all about robots and AI killing jobs at one extreme end of the spectrum and about an AI-fueled utopia at the other.

The reality, of course, is likely far more nuanced. In the business world, you can find a lot of gold in your basic, everyday operations -- the things your people do on a routine basis. Irrespective of your exact circumstances, you simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines just because you're a small business. Technology is not going away, so every small business should understand that DX is important.

Since digital business transformation involves cultural change, it's particularly crucial to get business leaders involved. Successful DX initiatives are led from the top. Small business leaders should get out of their comfort zones by making the time for forward-thinking initiatives, being open to risk-taking and understanding that they can't go it alone.

3. Develop a strategy.

Don't forget about the "transformation" aspect of DX. In my experience, transformations simply don't happen without a strategy. Organizations without a strategy will likely focus narrowly on operational aspects and individual technologies.

Develop your strategy based on long-term goals, such as customer service and talent acquisition. Take the time to write it down. This can help leadership avoid the temptation to just get sucked into the hype and waste money for the sake of being cutting edge.

4. Focus on the customer experience.

If the goal is to truly transform the business, don't focus on specific technology but on how you can improve customer experience. I believe personalized service has always been small businesses' greatest differentiator. In the digital realm, it's even more important.

According to PricewaterhouseCooper, 73% of people surveyed "point to a positive customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions." In fact, consumers are willing to pay up to 16% more for products and services that come with a positive customer experience.

DX presents numerous opportunities for small businesses to interact with customers such as digital marketing through email and SEO, building customer relationships through social media and deploying chatbots for improved customer service. You can also automate processes -- something my company helps with but that you can do independently -- so that even your small business can provide them with a consistent experience anytime and anywhere.

4. Take the first steps quickly.

Obviously, realizing the strategy won't happen overnight. But, there are many things small businesses can do right away.

For example, marketing automation software is now accessible to every business through numerous cloud-based vendors. Many offer plans and tiers catering to all business sizes. By using these offerings, a small business can analyze customer behavior, preferences and demographics and start building a customer profile to provide personalized customer experiences.

The key thing is: don't delay. Start small and pick an everyday activity that's reasonably simple, repetitive and frequent to get yourself a quick win as soon as possible.

5. Expect change.

The ability to clearly visualize and articulate how digital technologies translate into positive business outcomes is still a rare skill. On top of that, I believe the speed of business change is accelerating relentlessly.

So, don't be surprised if things change. What you can do is prepare the organization by building a culture where employees embrace change and refuse to accept the status quo.

"Well, that's how we've always done it" should be banished from the organizational mindset.

Without question, employees need time and resources to realign themselves and their activities around the new digital strategies. Commit your organization to upgrading employee skills where necessary.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is here to stay. In spite of the fact that they have fewer resources than large enterprises, smarter small businesses can reap massive benefits. Focus on the customer experience, lead from the top and accept that things will evolve.

Whatever else you do, don't underestimate the importance of moving fast or the peril of waiting too long.

Now Is the Time to Start a Small Business in Tulsa - The Black Wall Street Times

Posted: 25 Jun 2019 06:50 AM PDT

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Charity Marcus, CEO & Chief Consultant of Avenu Consulting


Republished 09/25/19 | Reading Time 2 min 36 sec

OPINION | By Charity Marcus, guest writer and business owner 

Tulsa has quietly exploded in the national entrepreneurship scene over the past two years, racking up rankings with notable publications, such as "Forbes," "Nerdwallet," and "Thumbtack Journal," as one of the nation's best cities to start a business in. Only six months into 2017, Tulsa has already been ranked by "WalletHub" as the fourth best city to start a business.

So what does that mean for Tulsans? It means opportunity. But the real question is: How does that pan out for Tulsa's Black Community?

Reports of business opportunity and growth leave many black Tulsans lost in translation. As Tulsans look north, it is obvious that businesses rapidly dissipate. Despite the rich economic history of the Black Wall Street and historic Greenwood Business District, Black Tulsa struggles economically.

Black Wall Street, a thriving black economy, was destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, but it was rebuilt bigger and better in the aftermath. However, the Black community has continuously eroded since the onset of desegregation and urban renewal.

And that brings us back to today, where we are trying to figure out how to move a community forward that has faced one economic roadblock after another.

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The answer is in the reports: Starting a business in one of the nation's best cities to start a business!

As a community, Black Tulsans must choose to take advantage of these opportunities and resources, or else we will continue to be left behind economically, dependent on state and federal government assistance. The best way to rebuild a community is through improving its economics.

Economic development that relies on members of the community it benefits, not the local government, is the formula that has been proven to work. Just ask those who rebuilt the Black Wall Street.

While we face economic and social hurdles, minority business ownership is the future of the community; locally, state-wide, and nationally. As long as Tulsa's budget relies heavily on sales tax to operate, the need for small business growth and entrepreneurship in minority communities will continue to be a hidden need left unaddressed. A need that we must bring to light by getting out there, investing in, and creating a strong, stable minority economy.

Until Oklahoma state legislators diversify municipal funding sources, minority-owned businesses, specifically African-Americans in Tulsa, are the answer to increasing Tulsa's revenue; re-stabilizing the North Tulsa community; and funding local education, by creating and financially supporting charter schools directly in the community – School Choice.

Starting and operating a small business is no easy task. It takes time, commitment, perseverance, and hard work, none of which we, as a community, fail to possess. Access to resources, disparities in funding, and general lack of knowledge of business operations are the three hurdles that we face today. These three roadblocks are just that: roadblocks that can easily be removed. With the internet at our fingertips, we can now "google" for more information on resources, alternative funding options, and guides to business 101.

So let's CHOOSE to not let the past tragedies of Tulsa's history, the current social and economic issues, or the fear of uncertainty and lack of information stop us becoming a powerhouse for Tulsa's economic boost.

If you are ready to join the Tulsa that "Forbes" is talking about and be one of those small business owners or entrepreneurs, then check out the list of resources below to get started:

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Small Business & Entrepreneurship Resources

1 Million Cups

BetaBlox

City of Tulsa Small Business Enterprise

i2E (For tech startups)

Minority Business Development Agency

National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)

Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) (For tech startups)

Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Oklahoma Small Business Development Center

Score Tulsa

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Startup Oklahoma

Tulsa County Library Business Center

Tulsa Economic Development Corporation (TEDC)

Tulsa Small Business Connection

Tulsa Startup Series

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Business Incubators & Co-Working Space

36 Degrees North

The Bridge

The Forge

Savage Space


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Charity Marcus is the CEO & Chief Consultant of Avenu Consulting, a boutique consulting firm based in Tulsa, Oklahoma — specialing in political, public relations, and business/non-profit development consulting. 

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