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Top 15 Industries to Start a Business in

Looking to start a business, but aren’t sure what field to start it in? If you’re open to suggestions, here’s a list of the hottest industries that entrepreneurs are currently starting businesses in. Before you put your finger on one, though, consider that you’re looking for a business that:

  • Is in an economic-proof industry
  • Can survive the amount of competition that currently exists
  • Solves a problem in a way no one else in the industry is doing

That being said, dive in and see what strikes your fancy!

1. Energy

As a society, we’re obsessed with finding the products — be they lightbulbs or cars — that produce the least amount of energy, which leaves plenty of opportunity for new business. Federal stimulus programs are offering $43 billion to fund energy projects, so there’s plenty of the pie to go around.

2. Tech

Technology paints a wide brushstroke, but there are so many opportunities cropping up these days: from designing custom apps for businesses to inventing the iPad killer.

3. Home Improvement

As people elect to invest in improving their homes rather than selling them in a tumultuous real estate market, there will be even more opportunity for anyone involved in plumbing, electricity, remodeling, and interior design. Remodels improve a home’s value, homeowners are told, but even if they don’t, they make a house more enjoyable to live in.

4. Alternative Healthcare

While massage therapists and chiropractors existed on the fringes of the medical community for years, they’re now coming more mainstream. We’re seeing a trend of preventive care, which means more Americans are investing in therapy, natural treatments, and bodywork than ever.

5. Human Resources Outsourcing

Fewer companies are keeping HR in-house these days, so companies that manage their clients’ hiring, payroll, and benefits needs are thriving. It’s estimated this industry will grow 4.2% annually until 2016.

6. Accounting Outsourcing

Just like with HR, firms are now outsourcing accounting too. And it’s not just giant corporations: small business accountants are also marketing their services to take the stress off of small business owners when it comes to finances and taxes.

7. Street Food Vendors

If opening a restaurant is too big an expense for you, consider a food truck. This burgeoning industry is worth $1.7 billion–and growing. Find a new take on the pizza-donut-taco and you’re in business.

8. Government Contracting

In 2012, the government spent $5.8 billion on government contracts. This year, it plans to increase the amount of that it spends with small business contractors (that could be you). There’s a bit of red tape to get through, but once you’re approved as a contractor, doors begin to open.

9. Wineries

There’s always room for wine! In 2011, the winery industry netted a 7.6% profit margin. Not too shabby for winemaking! You of course will need skills as a vintner, but who wouldn’t be up for that challenge?

10. Management Consulting

As large corporations look for answers on how to improve their processes, they often turn to a third party to advise them. Management consulting is a $160 billion industry. But don’t try to compete with the likes of Accenture: find a niche and target a smaller market to get your foot in the door.

11. Staffing Firms

To save time finding new employees, more companies turn to staffing firms to assist them through the candidate search process. These firms manage not only the hiring of full-time employees, but also temporary and contract staff.

12. Social Network Games

Once we move on from Farmville and Words with Friends, what will keep us entertained? It could be your game! This industry doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. Just look at market leader Zynga, who increased revenues from $700,000 to $1.3 billion in four years.

13. Eco-Friendly Construction

If our eco-obsession for products wasn’t enough: we’re also clamoring for more sustainable buildings. By the end of 2013, it’s estimated that the market will grow from $49 billion just a few years ago to approximately $140 billion.

14. The Future of Traditional Media

This field is still wide open. As radio stations and newspapers realize they’re a dying breed, eager startups are jumping at the chance to offer alternatives that pull in our love for all things digital and app-based. You might lead the next generation!

15. Health Care Technology

Now that all doctors are getting electronic medical records, there’s still a need for savvier ways to access them and share them with patients. Given that employment in this field is slated to grow by 18% by 2016, you won’t be the only one starting a business here.

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Susan Payton

Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management, and press releases. Susan is also the founder of How to Create a Press Release. She blogs about marketing on her blog: The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and also writes on Small Business Trends and BizLaunch. Susan has written several books, including DIY Press Releases, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing or on Google+

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