Let’s face it, the American economy is still far from perfect. Even so, people are still starting small- and medium-sized businesses and some of those businesses are still thriving. Why? Simply because there are some business trends that are hot right now, even in this economy. The reasons vary, so let’s take a look at a few of them.
1. Going Green. Going green is big business right now. Many companies now include some kind of environmentally friendly incentives in their sales pitch for their products and services. What can this be attributed to? Government incentives are one reason companies are clamoring to be green. From automakers to the electric industry companies are receiving millions of stimulus dollars that revolve around creating and using renewable energy. Also, people are now understanding the importance of clean energy. Overall, the public sentiment about saving the environment has changed over the last decade or so.
2. Senior Citizens. Our population is getting older. Baby boomers are becoming senior citizens. Right now there are over 37 million seniors and in twenty years they’ll make up 20% of the United States population. They’ll also be looking to spend over $1 trillion. If that’s not incentive enough to get into the business of seniors, I don’t know what is. From anti-aging cosmetics and senior dating services to nursing homes and technical assistance if you’re thinking of starting a business, you may want to turn to your elders for guidance. As a matter of fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics says aging-services – home health care, elderly and disabled services, and community care facilities – make up three of the top ten fastest growing businesses.
3. Buying Local. There’s a desire to buy locally grown and made products sweeping the nation. That means more mom-and-pop stores. Farmers’ markets seem to be at the heart of this movement; there are currently about 5,000 across the United States and over the past five years that number has been growing at a 5% rate. Almost 60% of consumers say they try to shop locally. National chain stores like Wal-mart have tried to gain more business by adding “locally grown” sections to their grocery departments. The USDA has launched a program called “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food,” which encourages people to buy locally, and several cities, such as Orlando, Florida have been starting “buy local” campaigns.
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