Working at Small Business BC, I experience the province’s business trends first-hand. I am a passionate believer that information is power and there is nothing more powerful than knowing the market for your business.
To help small business owners ring in the New Year and seek new opportunities, here are my top 10 most popular business ideas for 2015:
- Social media coaching
- Personal trainers
- Homecare for the elderly
- Massage therapy
- Renovation related businesses
- Interior design
- Immigration consulting
- Pet services, such as doggy daycare and grooming services
- Tour operators
- Beauty salons
According to Statistics Canada, 80 per cent of small businesses in British Columbia are service-based – up 10 per cent from 13 years ago. In keeping with this provincial trend, these businesses dominate the types of entrepreneurs that we help start here at Small Business BC.
Specialized personal services are constantly growing. Personal shopping, catering, stress management, time management, life coaching, personal trainers, personal planners, pregnancy coaches, consultants and personal concierges, are all businesses that meet the needs of the fast-paced lifestyle of BC and the willingness for people to pay for this type of service.
Our increased pace of life, less leisure time, higher incomes and a world of increasing choice are all factors driving the demand for personal services.
Through managing brand loyalty, businesses can concentrate on fewer clients and offer a higher level of service. These businesses can benefit from promoting their services through social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Flickr, which encourages the recommendations of those loyal customers.
Baby Boomer Services
The Baby Boomer generation will provide a large market for products and services for the next 18 years. This group’s health, mobility, and increasing average life trend are factors for a growing market. Examples of the business types that serve this group include:
- Cuisine and catering services
- Health, fitness and happiness startups (including vision care, orthotics and treatments for mobility)
- Travel tour services
- Age reduction products
- Energy food and liquids
- Technology coaching for communication and social media tools
Elderly Health Services
British Columbians are living longer than any other province in Canada with an average age of 83 years. Since 1999, this number has increased by 3 years.
According to Statistics Canada, the fastest-growing population group are retirees and are expected to continue growing for future decades. There are over 5 million Canadians who are 65+, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years.
Business opportunities that serve British Columbia’s elderly can include:
- Chauffeur services
- Personal shopping
Renovations for elderly that can increase their mobility can also present an important opportunity for small businesses. Access ramps, expanded doorways for wheelchairs, automated lifts for stairs, all are projected to be in demand for BC’s aging population.
Online Services and Products
The popularity of smartphones has opened up the market for application development in the same way the internet opened up website design. Application or app downloads went from 4.5 million apps in 2010 to over 102 billion in 2013. Apps range from testing your alertness on long car trips to converting your phone into a credit card reader to process payments, and more.
Other online business opportunities for 2015 include:
- Employment placement agencies
- Online planning websites
- Affiliate marketing strategies
- Virtual or augmented reality products
Much like Facebook or Twitter, daily deal websites, such as Groupon, have brought local businesses and buyers together based on an electronic social network.
In its infancy Groupon provided deals for all types of local suppliers and shoppers. Now as the concept develops, these businesses have begun to target particular psychographic groups, such as women shoppers, young shoppers, Fairtrade businesses and ethical shoppers.
Other online business opportunities include website design, graphic design, online marketing, social media consulting and content developers.
To learn more about researching the trends that affect businesses, enroll in Small Business BC’s Start Smart for Market Research.
If you have any questions about this article, don't hesitate to email me.