I am very optimistic about 2013. There are several indicators that suggest this new year will bring greater economic growth and opportunity. The climate is still challenging, however, for startups, there are lots of appealing trends. If you’re like me, you’ve been reading all about them in Inc., Entrepreneur, and Sparks & Honey. The last weeks of the year were chock full of predictions that lay ahead for small business in 2013. The underlying theme that I’ve seen is that technology, in particular the internet, has been and continues to be a primary driver of new opportunities for small business. Further, technology has continued to drive down the costs of starting a new business, which makes starting up today more appealing – and accessible – to aspiring entrepreneurs. The average cost of starting a business now is approximately $68,000, which is much lower than even 5 years ago.
Based on the trends of new business ideas at WickedStart.com, the top 3 types of businesses dominated 2012 and will continue to gain traction in 2013:
With the proliferation of customized diets, food allergies, demand for innovative and artisanal food & beverage products (from cheese to beer), there is ample opportunity for startups to create, launch and showcase their products at farmers markets and at many local grocers.
With decreasing manufacturing costs combined with easy access to online distribution platforms, such as Etsy, creating and selling retail products has become more accessible. Many entrepreneurs can more easily start a business from home, part-time, while making the product themselves or taking advantage of an array of low cost manufacturing options.
Offering business services, especially in the form of consulting services, is a lower cost way for businesses to gain expertise from business professionals who are renting out their time by the hour or by the project. There are also new time saving and cost reduction ideas that are being developed and marketed to businesses. In large part, the internet has enabled many of these new business opportunities to flourish, e.g., managing and backing up critical business data, crunching business data, and managing CRM or sales solutions.
I’m happy to hear your thoughts about opportunities in 2013!