Understanding what the market trends are, and how you can use this information to generate business ideas or new product ideas, will keep your business innovating and ahead of competition.
There are several shifts coming to the British Columbia business landscape and how you utilize and adapt to them will ensure your small business survives in the long term. In this article, we will be diving into those data-backed trends as well as exploring related business ideas.
The demand for electricity is, and will continue to be, a very important trend throughout 2018 and beyond. One only needs to take a look at the media for stories relating to how Bitcoin mining is placing a massive strain on electricity supplies, and this is only one small actor.
In BC, electricity usage has been near all-time highs for a long time now, without a lot of growth in capacity to provide cheaper energy. According to BC Hydro, demand for electricity will continue to grow, almost 40% over the next 20 years. Noting our over reliance on fossil fuels, many people are turning to electric cars. Tesla rules the roost in this space, but there are huge possibilities for savvy businesses to step in and make their mark. Business ideas include:
- Energy storage systems for homes & small businesses
- Solar Power equipment provider/installations
- Blockchain-operated community energy grids
- Land Consulting
- Aftermarket electric car modifications
Our Aging Population
Canadians are living longer, healthier lives and this is reflected in recent data released by StatsCanada. By 2031, more than 1.3 million people in BC will be over the age of 65. Our province provides a desirable place for people to retire to, which will lead to a greater demand for innovation in the healthcare realm, as well as a rise in demand for associated tertiary services. Business ideas in this fast growing industry include:
- Interior/Exterior home cleaning services
- Home assistance
- Luxury transportation
- Medical condition trackers
- Accessibility installation services
The Beverage Industry
The local craft brewing and winery scene exhibits robust growth as British Columbians continue their love affair with quality beverages. The number of breweries operating in the province grew by over 25% between 2015 and 2016, while there are almost 929 vineyards in British Columbia. Given such a healthy backdrop, opportunities abound for entrepreneurs in this sphere.
- Production of DIY brewing accessories and kits
- Craft Brewing monthly subscription boxes
- Specialty marketing companies for brewing
- Portable eco-friendly six pack ring packager/bottler
- Brewery/Winery tour event business
In 2017, Canadians spent almost 25 billion dollars online. By 2021, that figure is expected to reach 29 billion dollars. This fast-growing movement toward online has had a devastating effect on brick and mortar stores, but it creates significant opportunities for retailers versed in e-commerce. Take the example of Best Buy. This retail giant places an ever-growing emphasis on their online component, even going so far as to launch the “Best Buy Marketplace”, a rival to Amazon’s 3rd party sellers. This e-commerce movement creates huge opportunities in the areas of distribution, operations and logistics for processing goods. Ideas for e-commerce business opportunities:
- Warehouse/distribution services
- Warehouse automation services
- E-Commerce store design and implementation services
- Fulfillment of international E-Commerce orders
- 3D printing
A lot of BC media focuses on the Lower Mainland, but there are exciting market trends afoot in Northern BC. According to experts at MNP, Northern BC is enjoying a boom in transportation, manufacturing, basic needs servicing, and of course, liquid natural gas (LNG). With this growing economic development comes heavy demand for goods and services that serve the workers providing it.
- Compliance and Environmental consulting
- Local grocery and basic needs stores
- Heavy duty equipment/fleet truck insurance solutions
- Ground and aerial surveillance
- Automated truck distribution systems
Led by the likes of Hootsuite, Slack, and Unbounce, BC’s tech industry has been one of the province’s strongest performers in recent years. Tech start-ups continue to flourish province-wide, leveraging new tech such as augmented reality to create exciting apps and business opportunities. In this ever-changing realm, plenty of business opportunities exist:
- Augmented Reality analytics solutions
- Augmented Reality children’s books
- AI driven digital assistant software
- AR/VR art galleries
- AR marketing applications