Top 10 Entrepreneur Business Trends for 2010 and 2011

One of the biggest challenges facing established entrepreneurs and new business start-ups is finding a target market that really has the money to spend on services and products. What types of businesses are thriving in this economy?

The good news is that there are quite a few and there is still a lot of money to be made out there! Hopefully this top ten will allow you to either branch out your existing business or start one from scratch. Even if your current business or idea has nothing directly to do with any of the popular business trends I list, I’m pretty sure you can find a ‘hook’ that will draw people to what you’re doing.

1. Economic Downturn

Who’d have thought that economic downturn could lead to economic upturn for some folks? Let me explain… More people who have found themselves unemployed, or on the brink of it, have decided to just bite the bullet and be their own boss.

This opens up a wealth of opportunity for business coaches, distributor agents (those who want to get people on their team to distribute products and services), as well as Virtual Assistants and the like.

The downturn has also meant that many new business start-ups are looking for ways to build their business on a minimum budget. This could simply mean getting special deals from companies to buy products or services for their business as well as joining with others to collaborate in projects so they can share leads, and both parties can build their business’s further.

2. Green Living

Do you remember years ago, say early 90’s, when people started to talk and use greener ways of living? Back then recycling wasn’t the norm and we weren’t as aware – nor did we care much about the fact that using energy like it was going out of fashion would harm our environment and strip our bank accounts with increased running costs.

You have to admit that most of us only paid attention to green living when we understood the environment better or when we realised our utilities bills had hit the roof. More people are recycling, down sizing, and getting to grips with self-sufficiency.

Green living is the 2nd most popular money-making business trend this year! What does this mean for you as an entrepreneur in this niche? Some smart utilities providers are cashing in big – saving people on their fuel bills to make them more economical to deal with – and whilst you may not think this is directly ‘Green’, putting all your bills on one piece of paper does help!

But there’s more – budding fruit and vegetable growers are advertising workshops to show people how to grow their own fruit and vegetables on small plots of land or indoors, and with ‘organic’ being the buzz word of the year they’re finding this as an amazing opportunity to make extra cash by selling what they grow.

Self-sufficiency courses were just making a mark this year, but they will be big in 2011 as more people leave the cities and branch out into the country. These courses are not just about growing your own fruit and vegetables; they also give information on keeping your own livestock and building your own barns and chicken coops to keep them in.

3. The old Folk

Whilst it may seem rather odd to put this on the list, the data speaks for itself. The ye olde folk spend money on lots of things. Not just health care and well-being products, but also on fun things too! Senior citizen dating for instance (why should the young ones have all the fun?), holidays, and keeping fit. And whilst it may be true that lots of elderly people struggle financially, there is a high percentage of them who are not and are living every day to the fullest.

Technology courses based in home or with transport provided, have been popular as more seniors find that email and social networking is a great way to keep in touch with their families and friends world-wide. But a word of caution to any business owners in this niche: It should go without saying, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway – treat the seniors with respect.

If your product or service fails to deliver, they won’t be scared to tell the whole world and its wife about it. More over, they deserve to be treated as well as you would treat any other customers – like royalty.:)

4. Retail Discount

Saving money in this economy has never been more important, so it stands to reason that retail discount is big business.

From voucher code sites to budget friendly stores, they are booming now, and if you’re in the retail niche it would pay you well to have something installed either in-house or online, which would give your customers savings on their purchases.

Once again, private utility companies are thriving as well as low-cost fashion and food chains. One entrepreneur I know offers the service of building a shopping program for families who want to save money on their bills and this includes taking them shopping and utilising coupon sites. What an excellent idea!

5. Buy Local

Small stores are seeing an increase in customers when they start to supply fresh, locally grown produce and goods. From vegetables to home-made wine, the local store who is stocking these things is seeing an upturn due to the ‘healthy living’ mantra and the boom in farmers markets popping up all over the place.

Consumers are realising the nutritional and cost benefits of buying their food and condiments this way, and there is also a certain satisfaction when you know these goods are grown and made in your own country. Even the big gun retailers are seeing an increase in profits in their ‘locally grown’ sections.

Once again, this all ties in with the greener way of living that many people are drawn to. If you’re unable to grow your own – buying locally grown is the next best option.

6. Education

As I said before, the loss of jobs in the latest recession has meant that many people want to learn a new skill, so it makes sense that the education sector has seen an increase.

Depending on where you are in the world and the budget you have will dictate going back to university or doing a short course to learn what you need to. Interestingly enough, coaches like me are seeing the most growth when we actually teach people how to do something directly.

Passive coaching isn’t really needed as much as direct skill coaching. In effect, we are teaching people skills in areas we are well versed in – and of course we have the added benefit of goal setting with our clients and monitoring their progress. But let’s not forget we also do what many standard teachers don’t, which is to encourage and work at the pace of our clients’ attainment.

Education should really be higher up the trend scale, because as we’ve seen, all the trends listed so far have the potential to be teaching subjects themselves.

7. Parent Outsourcing

Hiring someone to coach your children in sports, tutor them in subjects or hobbies, cleaning your house, buying your shopping, as well as other chores such as laundry are not new but it seems now more than ever parents are finding they need extra help not only for their own benefit, but the benefit of their children – especially when it comes to one-to-one education tutoring.

The benefits are not only practical but also having these things done by someone else means you have a more productive day and are able to spend more quality time during the weekends with your family. These things are no longer considered a luxury either.

In the time it takes for someone to clean your home, help your child with their homework and pre-cook a few family meals, you could have sourced some leads and landed some clients which ultimately benefits you and your family long-term.

8. Health and Wellness

If you’re in this industry you should be laughing all the way to the bank. From exercise, natural remedies, to nutritional eating plans – be sure that this market is still doing well. If you’re not doing so well in this market, you need to re-assess how and who you are marketing to.

This niche is a money-maker and the key to success in it is to be passionate and authoritative when delivering your product or service to people.

9. Budget Booze

In a bid to save money many of us are ditching the pubs and clubs and heading home with our goody bag of cheap booze from the supermarket or local store.

Obviously in moderation, the odd bottle of what you fancy doesn’t hurt, but more over what are the opportunities to grow a business based on your expert knowledge of quality cheap alcohol (wine or beer for instance) and sell it on a larger scale?

I do think this niche needs further investigation and the entrepreneur who focuses on this target market needs to mix education and sales patter in order to find a long-term profitable business model.

10. Pets

We love our pets. I have spent no end of money this year on my tropical fish collection. Buying new tanks, equipment, ornaments, heaters, food, and aquatic plants.

They are living the life of luxury! It makes total sense that this industry is still doing very well indeed.

For job opportunities I would avoid the pet shop route and go for something that is either based online and enables people to buy pet based products (as well give them vital care information), or something more hands-on like training, vacation pet care, or pet enthusiast workshops.

Even a re-homing of pets that are abandoned or those that can no longer be cared for is a great market and would tie in beautifully with training and pet care workshops.

These trends and target markets are obviously the most popular, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your own unique way to make them work. It’s all about stripping it down to the bare bones and finding the right audience to showcase what you’re offering. Good Luck!