Best Industry Bets for Small Business Startups

Small businesses are a big deal. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 54 percent of all U.S. sales come from small businesses. But starting one can be risky. Selecting a profitable sector in which to open your business is crucial during these rough economic times. There is no conclusive list, but industry research shows that health care and personal consulting are among the best bets. Here are five small business industries that are ideal for starting out in 2011, as selected by industry research company IBISWorld:

Testing and educational supportMany people are dodging unemployment by continuing their education or going back to school. Even though government funding for education is subject to change, enrollment in elementary and secondary schools will continue to grow. Education-related businesses have already shown growth and revenue should reach $19.1 billion in 2016, IBISWorld estimates.

Internet and technologyDemand for technology is still growing. Think about the ways in which the internet has become an integral part of your everyday life. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the computer systems industry will increase 45.3 percent between 2008 and 2018. This industry is full of opportunities to start a small business.

Environmental-friendlyThe “green” industry is growing in popularity, and small business opportunities are emerging as companies need help reducing their carbon footprints. Having an eco-friendly brand is one way to draw in consumers who care about the environment. Additionally, some companies are aiming to cut costs by making their office buildings energy-efficient with solar technology and recyclable materials.

Residential and commercial constructionThe Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of construction-related jobs will increase 19 percent through 2018. Although the labor market remains challenged, industry experts have noticed opportunities in specialty construction that include plumbing, heating and masonry.

HealthThe combination of health care reform and aging baby boomers makes health-related services prime sectors for small businesses. Alternative treatments, like massage, acupuncture and yoga, are growing in popularity. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that home health care, services for the elderly and people with disabilities, and nursing care facilities will all jump between 2008 and 2018.