Best Small Business Opportunities for 2013

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Dear M & M:

What are some of the best small business opportunities for 2013?

–John

Dear John:

When you’re reading through this list of some market sectors of a few opportunities to start a small business, remember the ground rules. These are business opportunities with few if any barriers to entry. You do not have to have years of education or millions of dollars to start any of these businesses. Many exciting business opportunities exist in fields such as biotechnologies, manufacturing, virtual data rooms and other fantastic turn-key franchise opportunities. You won’t find them on this list because they are not “almost-anyone-could-start” businesses. So here they are (in no particular order); some small business opportunities for 2013. As always management capabilities, changes in market conditions and other factors not listed can make any opportunity that seems worthwhile to pursue a bad option. Nothing is guaranteed.

Senior transportation and errand-running services – If there is a demographic segment of the market that is practically guaranteed for business profitability if you enter it, it is the senior market. By 2030, people over 55 years of age in the U.S. will more than double and will make up 20 percent of the entire population, as compared to around 12 percent now. That percentage of the total population literally increases daily as the baby boom generation ages. The baby boom generation is anyone born between 1946 and 1960. Baby boomers are a generation for whom getting a driver’s license was an important rite of passage. Now many of them are being forced to give up their driving privileges and rely on being transported by others. And as many of them are not able to just hop on a bus or take other public transit because of physical limitations, transporting seniors is a huge business opportunity that’s only going to get bigger over the next few years.

Hot lunch and other delivery services If you’ve been to India, you’re probably familiar with the custom of hot lunches delivered to working people in tiffins (metal food containers). Now take that idea and apply it to the office buildings full of working people in your town. Think how much people working in offices would appreciate the convenience of having a hot meal delivered at noon or maybe a chocolate chip cookie or brownie as an afternoon snack.

Patient advocacy –The increasing demands on our increasingly complex health care system creates an increasing need for people who can help individual patients and their families navigate our medial system. Helping the families of seniors deal with the different care options available and get the best care possible is one possible niche in this market.

Pet farewell products and services – To many people, pets are not animals; they’re family members. Therefore, when a beloved pet dies, they want to express their grief in similar ways to the way they would if a loved person died. That means pet burials and cremations, accompanied by funeral services and products ranging from headstones through stained glass portraits. According to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories, the 700 or so funeral homes, crematories, and cemeteries for pets in the U.S. brought in $52.87 billion in 2011.

Window washing – No lengthy training, low start-up costs, and is always in demand. Most residential; windows need cleaning every three to four months and commercial windows need cleaning more frequently.  Note that there is never any guarantee when you’re starting a business. Any business opportunity you’re considering requires due diligence. Writing a business plan is a good place to start; it will help you determine if a particular business opportunity is right for you.

-M&M

To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email  hollism@svedf.org

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