Planning Ahead: The Best Small Business Opportunities for 2019

Planning Ahead: The Best Small Business Opportunities for 2019

November 11, 2018

With Black Friday behind us and Christmas Day being only 30 days away, the New Year is right around the corner. Whther you’re looking to expand or start anew, here are 5small businesses opportunities for 2019, chosen from across a variety of industries.

Regardless of which business it is, they’ve met met the following criteria: 

– Must have the potential to be profitable now and for many years in the future
– Be able to do well even in uncertain economic times
– Not require a PhD or decades of experience. Some require trade school training, a university degree or a prior apprenticeship, while others need only some prior experience and a passion for the industry
– Not require large amounts of startup capital, but only what every startup business requires: dedication, hard work, perseverance and a desire to succeed
– Most of these opportunities can be operated as home-based businesses.

If the goal is to become very wealthy, chances are it won’t happen with one of these businesses. But, if the goal is to have a chance to generate a healthy income, be one’s own boss and make all the decisions while having a potentially flexible lifestyle, then building something from the ground up can make a new business venture very rewarding. 

Here are some small business ideas based on current trends in business and demographics. In no particular order… 

1. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Sales

The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program allows sellers of products to market their wares through Amazon – the largest online retail platform in the world.

This is a great business opportunity because Amazon takes most of the headaches out of running an online retail business – in exchange for fulfillment and monthly storage fees, Amazon handles storage, packing, shipping, returns, and customer service queries as well as listing on Amazon’s web sites.

Sellers are responsible for shipping their products to an Amazon fulfillment center and for creating their product listings on their Amazon store. Once listings are live and sales are made, the seller begins receiving their portion of the proceeds on a weekly basis.

FBA sellers source products for their Amazon stores in a variety of ways, such as:

– From original product ideas which the seller gets manufactured to specifications
– From local or national wholesalers
– From overseas bulk discount suppliers such as Alibaba
– By arbitrage – purchasing discounted items online or from retail stores and reselling them for a profit

If you wish to start a product sales business the Amazon FBA program is an ideal way to get into the online retail marketplace.

2. Software Engineering and Development

Software engineers and developers create, test and maintain software on a variety of platforms, from mainframes to mobile devices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for software developers is expected to increase by 17 percent each year through 2023, and the median pay in 2017 was slightly over $100,000 per year – making it a great business opportunity for those who pick up the skills.

The nature of the software development industry makes it ideal for contract employment. Many software engineers start out as salaried employees and eventually become self-employed contractors. Cloud computing and ease of remote access make software development an ideal home-based business.

Other high demand, well paid opportunities in the Information Technology sector include:

– Systems analysts
– Hardware/software technicians
– Network engineers
– Security specialists 

3. Self Storage Units

The self-storage industry continues to be a booming business across North America, fueled by a more transient workforce, downsizing homeowners, the general trend for people to accumulate more and more possessions, and reality shows such as Storage Wars. In some locales such as New York, demand exceeds supply by 300%.

Ironically, the trend for businesses to reduce or eliminate storefront space has also contributed to the demand for storage space. Plumbers and electricians, for example, can store tools and equipment in self-storage at a much lower cost.

Modern self-storage requires a climate-controlled environment, lighting, and security. Initial capital costs for land and building construction are high but can be easily financed from rental income assuming there is a steady demand for storage space in your area – making your business plan attractive to banks and other potential investors, a great legup when you’re starting a new business.

Trachte Building Systems has free web-based calculators for determining the profitability of self-storage based on estimated capital expenses, operating expenses, and rental income.

4. Bike Sales, Service and Rentals

Given the health and environmental benefits, it’s no wonder that bicycling has become the second most popular outdoor activity in America by frequency of participation. According to peopleforbikes: 

– U.S. bike commuting has grown 47 percent nationwide and 73 percent in the largest cities over a 10-year period. North American cities are trying hard to increase the number of people using bikes rather than cars to commute to work.
-Americans spend $81 billion on biking annually, generating 770,000 jobs.

Anything that’s healthy, popular, good for the environment and heavily promoted by government is a pretty good business bet. In addition to pedal-only powered bikes, E-bikes have become very popular. E-bikes can be pedaled without electric power or use electric power to assist, and sales are expected to rise to over 40 million units by 2023. Regular pedal bikes can be converted to E-bikes with a kit that allows replacement of the front or back wheel hub with one containing a small electric motor and adding a battery and cabling.

If cycling is your passion and you want to become an entrepreneur, this may be the perfect business opportunity for you.

5. Facilities Support Services

Facilities support services is a catch-all term that encompasses the full range of facilities services for businesses, including:

– Cleaning
– Security
– Building maintenance
– Painting
– Moving

The industry is expected to grow by 30 percent through 2026. If you have a background in maintenance or construction and good organizational skills, why not consider a business as a facilities support services coordinator?

6. Senior Care Services

Senior care services continue to rank as one of the best business opportunities. Demographics play a big role. The first baby boomers hit age 65 in 2011. The entire baby boomer generation will have will have reached age 65 by 2030. Seniors will make up 1/4 of the entire U.S. population. Unfortunately, although they are expected to live longer lives than previous generations, it’s also expected that they’ll spend more years in sickness, according to a report on senior’s health by the not-for-profit United Health Foundation. 

Fortunately, baby boomers are a wealthy demographic compared to previous generations. For the most part, they can afford to pay for the services necessary to maintain their lifestyles. This includes continuing to live at home in their own communities. According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), nearly 90 percent of seniors have this goal. 

Many affluent seniors suffer from various health and/or mobility issues and are increasingly uncomfortable or unable to drive their own vehicles. They may find it difficult or impossible to take care of household chores such as landscaping, cleaning, cooking or caring for their pets. Others travel extensively and require house sitting or pet sitting and property maintenance services. All in all, a wealth of opportunities exist for entrepreneurs who wish to take advantage of the senior care trend. If you’re not interesting in starting your own business from scratch, various senior care franchise opportunities are available.

When Toys “R” Us announced plans to close all 735 of its U.S. stores back in March, it wasn’t exactly a surprise as sales and marketplace shares were lost to online companies like Amazon. This past Friday the harsh reality hit home as Geoffrey the Giraffe said his final goodbyes and like Lionel Playworld / Kiddie City and KB Toys before them, Toys “R” Us closed forever affecting close to 30,000 employees.

But as one major toy brand rides off into the sunset, another is rising from the ashes.