Best Small Businesses To Start – For many, owning a business is a dream. Are you oppressed? You should go for it. The first thing you’ll hear about starting a small business is that it’s all about location, location, location. But when you think about the best place to start a business, it’s not just about the location in the city, it’s about the city itself. Square recently looked at where specific types of businesses are seeing the most revenue growth.
This data looks at food and restaurant, retail, health and beauty, and supply companies that use Square to see which US cities are doing best for these industries. The results can be helpful when considering the best businesses to start in your area.
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If you want to open a restaurant or other business in the food industry, two cities are above the pack. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania leads the restaurant category – 66 percent of restaurants sold to Square saw revenue growth over the past year, the highest percentage of any U.S. city. When it comes to food trucks, Portland ranks first, with 61 percent of its food trucks growing year over year.
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Interestingly, the best performing cities in the beauty industry are not located in major metropolitan areas. Salons and barbershops thrive in Bothell, Washington; Boca Raton, Florida; and Hialeah, Florida—57 percent, 56 percent, and 56 percent of beauty businesses are growing in those cities (respectively).
Perhaps because of the year-round warm weather, those who live in Florida may want to consider contracting – data suggests it may be one of the best businesses to start. Fifty-three percent of businesses in this sector are growing in Fort Lauderdale and 51 percent in Orlando.
Florida could also be a hot spot for retail. Fifty-four percent of Miami Beach businesses saw revenue growth in the past month. Learn more about starting a retail business.
Overall, this data can indicate several things. Apart from clearly showing that certain businesses in these cities are doing something right, the numbers can also indicate which locations have a strong desire for particular services or products. However, if you live outside of these cities, this does not necessarily mean that there is no market for your new business. In fact, you have the advantage of being one of the first people on the scene that will help you get buzz (and maybe some press).
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But if you’re thinking of starting a small business in the food and restaurant, retail, health and beauty, or supply industries, it’s also important to look at things on a macro level. Below is an overview of the current landscape in food and restaurants, beauty, suppliers and retail, as well as emerging trends in each. It will be important to know where things stand – and where everything is headed – before you decide on the best small business to start.
You often hear people say doomsday things like “50 percent of restaurants fail.” While there may be some truth to this perception (starting a restaurant is neither easy nor cheap), there are also encouraging statistics that show that restaurants are on the rise. The National Restaurant Association predicts total industry sales of $782.7 billion in 2016, up from $586.7 billion in 2010. Restaurant job growth is also predicted to outpace the economy in 2016, so growth is clearly reach the industry as a whole.
What are consumers looking for? Here’s what the National Restaurant Association predicts will be the top food trends for 2016. And perhaps not surprisingly, sustainability, healthy eating and being environmentally friendly rule the roost:
But that doesn’t mean kale and quinoa are a piece of cake. In fact, quite the opposite. Members of the Culinary Federation of America are predicting a decline in kale, quinoa and, surprisingly, gluten-free cuisines in 2016. Instead, ethnic foods, especially unexplored African flavors, are on the rise. Those considering starting a small food business should take these trends into account.
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Food trucks have also gained attention in recent years as great small business startups. There’s no denying that the market is hot (you’ve seen those lines around the block). And the data backs it up. The mobile food truck industry is in its seventh year of continuous growth, with total annual revenue of $1.2 billion in 2015. Although there are approximately 4,130 food trucks in the United States (each generating an average annual revenue of $290,556), there is still room . until the next one. Many cities across the country are still figuring out how to regulate the industry, and many are moving toward ordinances that allow food trucks to flourish. So if you live in a city without a vibrant food truck scene, check with your local government where things are going – it always helps to be one of the first on the scene. And if you live in an area already saturated with food trucks, think of ways to differentiate yourself and stand out. Such as offering dog food.
The retail industry is also experiencing growth, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasting industry sales to grow 3.1 percent, above the 10-year average of 2.7 percent. But a strong online presence is becoming more important: NRF expects non-store sales to increase by six to nine percent in 2016.
So if you’re opening a local brick and mortar store, it’s important to create an omnichannel experience as well. This means investing in an e-commerce platform, especially one that is optimized for mobile devices. Forrester predicts that mobile and tablet commerce in the US will reach $142 billion in 2016, accounting for 38 percent of all online transactions. And more than 30 percent of sales will have a mobile cross-channel component—meaning customers will use their mobile device at some point during the purchase lifecycle from product research to in-store interactions.
When it comes to merchandising, there’s a trend towards a “less is more” experience – meaning a small, curated selection rather than a heavy selection of items (as evidenced by the growing popularity of companies like Everlane). A curated subscription service for a specific target group is also a great idea for small businesses, as this approach allows customers to choose products faster and easier.
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Another way to consider pop-ups is when thinking about the best businesses to start. According to Popup Republic, the popup industry has grown to about $10 billion in revenue. Not to mention that opening a pop-up is 80 percent cheaper compared to opening a traditional brick and mortar store. But with the trend towards omnichannel, if you go the pop-up route, it’s a smart idea to complement it with an online presence.
People will not stop needing haircuts. Could be one of the reasons that you might want to open a salon. The beauty industry is incredibly resilient, and according to Franchise Help’s 2016 Beauty Industry Analysis Report, beauty businesses generated $56.2 billion in 2015.
As you might expect, hair care is still the biggest part of the industry, with over 86,000 locations across the country. However, skin care is growing rapidly. This industry sector is expected to reach nearly $11 billion in revenue by 2018. Experts attribute this growth to the growing awareness of the importance of skin care – specifically, the growth of the men’s market.
But getting into the beauty industry doesn’t have to mean opening your own brick and mortar store (which can be expensive). With the overall cultural shift towards the importance of extreme convenience, “mobile” is an option to consider. This way, you can go to clients and work in different places (and also you don’t have to stick to the set operating hours of the salon or barber shop).
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The construction industry is poised for a strong year, with Dodge Data & Analytics predicting six percent growth in 2016. In line with overall consumer demand for green buildings, they continue to flourish—accounting for 26 to 33 percent of the market whole real estate.
However, you may want to focus on renovations rather than new homes. Perhaps because of the mortgage market (or how people perceive it), many people are staying in their current homes. So marketing yourself as a renovation (and green) company can be more profitable.
With the right strategy for your location, niche, and marketing practices, it’s a great time to start a small business. We hope this information helps you narrow down the best small businesses to start – and where to start.
When starting a business and getting new clients, you’ll want to make sure you stay organized and get paid on time. Writing a contract is a great way to establish mutual understanding and set expectations for clients early on. With a contract, you can provide a framework for the scope of work, disclose payment information, and
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