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!
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!
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 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.
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, 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.
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.
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!