I hardly ever write these kind of posts, mainly because they are bullshit based on some survey. Whilst the research may point to one particular industry or several that will go “boom” this year, at the end of the day I would rather sell people the truth that it doesn’t really matter what industry you start in, what will will ultimately determine your success is whether or not you get off your backside and make stuff happen. Execution is ALWAYS more important than industry.
In 2013 there will be a number of industries that will be ripe for the startup world, and some of them are a lot more basic than you think.
1. Subscription Businesses
These business models if executed correctly are strong because they lock customers [and revenue] in over a set period of time, it allows business owners to forecast quite accurately and you start the month off with recurring revenue before anybody actually purchases anything from you. In 2013 we will see a lot of different subscription models in a lot of different industries from cereal and food to underwear and beauty products. The key for those venturing into non consumable items with this model is to keep the products fresh and interesting.
2. Outsourced Sales
It really is an untapped market, the demand out there that small businesses have for good sales stuff vs the full time costs of having a permanent person on board are thought of as too risky. Last year we tested a “shoe string sales” pitch within our business to see what the demand was like, we did this by creating a sign and having at the Young Entrepreneurs Unconvention. We printed 150 fliers which were all taken and received 60 follow up phone calls after the event. It is clear that sales is one of the most important aspects of a business, it is also clear it is one of the parts most people dislike. There is a shit load of money to be made as an outsourced sales department for small businesses for passionate sales focused entrepreneurs.
3. Niche Education
There are so many different areas where education [good education] is seriously lagging behind. For instance in business, there are still very few resources that can teach people adequate marketing skills, sales skills and basic financial education for their ventures that is actually applicable for their business. Niche Education is going to continue to grow this year. General Assembly and WeTeachMe type models across different industries that build both community and knowledge are sought after and those who produce quality services will prosper.
4. Environment & Clean Energy
It is one of the fastest growing industries, it is also one of the most complex when it comes to marketing and what you can and can’t claim etc. If you understand the space however it is ripe with opportunity with a customer base across consumer and business markets. Sustainable solutions are really just still at the beginning of their boom, with a range of tech and hardware related products to still even be thought of yet.
5. Digital and Online
Digital and Online are a strong business model if you do them right, whether you are selling clothing or tech products if your marketing is spot on and targeted at a particular demographic, you will yield results. To play successfully in this space also means having a strong understanding of social media and where your audience hangs out. Sites must be well designed and easy to use.