Small business blog posts we liked this week

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Here are some recent interesting blog posts and articles from the world of entrepreneurship and small business. Have you read anything you’d like to share lately?

 

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10 High-growth business ideas

10 high growth business ideas

Most small businesses start with a great idea, and sometimes that great idea comes from trends in the world around us. Looking at what’s trending in society, our economy, technology, and government regulations, we think businesses in these areas will grow in the next 10 years. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration here!

Nanotechnology

The science around matter and processes that operate at the molecular level is growing rapidly. Scientists and engineers are developing molecular machines. Nanotechnology will open the door to thousands of new products and services that never existed before, so think small!

Autonomous Vehicles

Uber and Lyft are the most popular examples, but more autonomous vehicle and car-sharing companies are expected to step up to the plate in the coming years. They will start businesses to make traveling easy and convenient, and to create apps and geolocation technologies. Car-sharing also appeals to the social and environmental consciousness of many people. This can have a significant effect on companies offering auto insurance and liability coverage, as well as car-sharing drivers.

Machine Learning

Machine learning and AI have the potential to be one of the biggest trends impacting businesses in the near future. Machine learning uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” through pattern recognition. The transportation and medical industries are likely to be first in line for disruption by machine learning and AI.

Blockchain, Bitcoin and Digital Currencies

When Bitcoin broke onto the scene, it garnered a lot of buzz — a digital currency being used to buy all kinds of things. Then the excitement shifted to another aspect of Bitcoin: public online accounting ledgers. Blockchain — the technology used for verifying and recording transactions that are at the heart of Bitcoin — is seen as having the potential to reshape the global financial system and possibly other industries. Companies such as Bunz have adopted their own currencies that can be used to pay for IRL goods and services.

Internet of Things

Tiny sensors, proliferating at astounding rates, are expected to explode in number over the next decade, potentially linking over 50 billion physical entities as costs plummet and networks become more pervasive. What we’re describing may sound like a science fiction movie, but it’s quickly becoming reality. For example, embedded sensors in the furniture of seniors’ homes can alert caregivers to unexpected or no movement.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Billions of dollars invested by companies will lead to a new generation of displays and user interfaces. The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans.

Seniors’ Services

Products and services designed specifically around the needs of the elderly will continue to grow — everything from dating services, to cafés designed for seniors, to home health care to services that drive elders to appointments.

3D Printing

3D printing, a process for creating a three dimensional object from a three dimensional digital model by the “printing” of successive layers of material, is forecasted to be a multibillion dollar industry. Manufacturers across a broad spectrum of industries including automotive, aerospace, dental, high tech, and medical products are all actively piloting and using 3D printing technologies today.

Financial Planning

Demand for personal financial planning services is on the rise. Amsterdam’s private bank Insinger de Beaufort provides a unique financial planning service — sending a shoe box by courier to the client’s home on a monthly basis in which the client deposits all of their bills, parking tickets, insurance documents, tax returns — which are taken care of by the bank. The bank pays all of the bills and returns a summary to the client of all of the transactions that were made. Another unique twist is MasterCard’s face card — a product aimed at teens over 13 to put a new twist on allowance. A reloadable card that’s accepted anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

Security Companies

In today’s world of cybercrime and identity theft, we feel less secure, both online and offline. People are willing to pay for services to help protect them from identity theft, for home security systems, and for shredding services to foil dumpster divers.

Ready to take the plunge into one of these high-growth industries? Get prepared with our 100 Essential Small Business SkillsTM training!

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Who should your small business’ founders be?

small business founders

The decision of who should comprise your founding team is an essential one for entrepreneurs. After all, it’s been said that venture capitalists and angel investors would rather invest in a first-rate team with a second-rate idea than in a second-rate team with a first-rate idea.

It’s very important for the success of your small business that you surround yourself with a first-rate founding team – those people who will help you actually get your business up and running. Don’t duplicate the skills that you already have yourself. The members on this team must be experienced, bright and worthy of being part of your company. The size and responsibilities of the founding team will differ across industries and company characteristics. 

So, what makes a good founding team for your small business? Look for the following qualities:

Experience

How great will you look if the person in charge of your financials can’t explain to investors the logic behind your projected sales figures? Understand what skills you’re after, and look for people with enough experience to give your small business the best chance of success.

Smarts

Look for people who are bright, driven, and are able to eloquently express what they do for your business. And as the founder, it’s wise to know when to listen to those around you and take their advice – let their knowledge work for you!

Personality

Personality clashes could have serious negative impact to the health of your business. You’re going to be working very closely with these people for the next little while, so make sure to reduce the risk of major friction. You don’t all have to be best friends, but do everyone a favour and make sure you all share similar goals and values.

The right amount of people

Does your business need salespeople? How many? Is it possible you don’t need any at all? Different businesses and different industries demand different things. Evaluate what your small business needs right at the beginning, and determine how many people can fill these roles.

Passion

Each member of your founding team should be so passionate about your small business that they’re excited to talk about how great it is and how it’ll work. After all, that’s a huge chunk of pitching to investors, isn’t it? Look for people who take your small business idea as seriously as you do.

A great founding team is one vital component in the successful launch of a small business, so be sure to take your time, do your research, and trust your instincts!

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Ask yourself these vital questions about your industry

 

 

Every small business owner is part of a wider industry, and is affected by that industry to some degree. To help you determine the health of your industry, undertake research to gain answers to the following six industry health questions:

  • Is the industry growing?
  • Where are the opportunities in the industry?
  • Who are the key players in the industry?
  • Are there young, successful businesses in the industry?
  • What are the typical financial results for businesses in this industry?
  • How is new technology being used in the industry?

As a starting point, we recommend searching for secondary data sources using your NAICS code. Also known as the North American Industry Classification System, NAICS is used to classify companies, to collect, analyze and publish statistics, and to provide collective industry definitions across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Finding your NAICS code

To find which NAICS code matches your company’s industry, visit Statistics Canada’s website to figure out which sector, subsector, industry group and industry your business falls under. Here, you can either browse through industries or search for example activities that these businesses perform.

 

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

small-business-planningIf you’re enjoying a long weekend this weekend, we hope it’s a relaxing one. In any case, why not take a break to enjoy some of these small business articles we enjoyed this week?

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