Have an itch to start something? Look to barber shops, onlineHot start-ups in the coming year will likely be thinking outside of Silicon Valley. It’s not that technology and software are on their ways out; rather, a softly stabilizing economy has heightened consumer confidence and opened up growth in areas such as brick-and-mortar retail, boutique consulting firms, and education companies, industry data from three private research firms show dating, public relations, and—surprise—the auto industry.
Analyzing and comparing data from firms Sageworks, IBISWorld, and AnythingResearch.com on employment, profit growth, anticipated industry growth and a host of other factors, Inc.com has pinpointed 17 industries that are not only growing, but are also ripe for new companies. That’s due to factors favorable to start-ups, such as low-to-moderate industry competition and saturation, employment growth, and attainable average company size. You can see the complete methodology for information on the research firms consulted for data compiled to create this list, as well as other sources consulted.
After years of growing unemployment, Americans are not only going back to school—trade schools and language schools both made the list—but also looking for, and finding, work. Employment and recruiting agencies show promising growth. The housing bubble burst, and people stalled on major purchases, but today, both real estate appraisal and automobile retailing are picking back up. But in a post-banking crisis world, consumers are giving great care to their savings, as illuminated by the fast rate of growth predicted for financial planning services.
Some of the industries missing from this year’s list also serve as strong economic indicators: consider repossession services (this past year down 8 percent, according to AnythingResearch.com), as well as self-storage, and foreclosure services, which both grew last year, but neither of which can expect significant industry growth in the near future. Goodbye, recession. But others that did make the list illuminate both growing consumer confidence and a reluctance to return to spending habits of the pre-slump decade.
Take, for instance, two surprise newcombers on our list: the beauty industry and clothing accessory stores. According to AnythingResearch.com, the cosmetology and barber schools (that educate salon-entrepreneur-hopefuls) grew at 29 percent last year, and nail salons grew at 9 percent. Inc.com’s reporting shows an industry with a low barrier to entry for salons and barber shops. Pair that with a recent resurgence in barbershop nostalgia—and with a return to beauty-service spending by consumers—and it’s a perfect storm for rapid growth in the salon and beauty industry. Bring on the beauty start-ups. Not so disconnected from the growth in personal pampering is clothing accessory stores, which show a 9 percent year-over-year growth rate, according to AnythingResearch.com. That’s due to the allure of affordable luxury for shoppers.