The best business opportunities in 2008 opened the doors of
success for entrepreneurs looking to start their small businesses. Within these markets, businesses both
successful and bizarre established themselves and found their niches.
1. Eco Products
With the publicity around the green movement growing and
more people attempting to make their lives more eco-friendly, it does not come
as a surprise that this was the #1 industry to establish a small business in
InterfaceFlor holds the title of world's greenest firm;
literally, since it won Best Overall Environmental performance at 2008's Green
The top 10 green gadgets of 2008 that reduce your carbon footprint can be seen
here, in an article published by Popular Mechanics.
For further information on the interesting eco products and
businesses that dominated the market this year, visit Gloria Campos-Hensley's
2. Niche Travel
These businesses don't just focus on particular travel
destinations; they cater to specific denominations and interest groups. The
more usual industries are tours for seniors or travel for groups to
A couple of unique businesses that come to mind, which you
may see featured in more depth in the future are Off Beat Guides, which provide
custom, personalized travel guides for the niche travel industry; or Synth
takes video game enthusiasts on guided tours of virtual worlds, like Second Life.
3. Senior Care
According to Statistics Canada, the number of individuals
aged 65 to 74 alone is expected to double over the next few decades. With more
seniors requiring care, there is an open market for those businesses that
specialize in senior care or provided industry related resources.
I have already introduced you too CareBuzz.com; one example
of a cutting-edge new business in 2008 that takes a modern approach to senior
care. This past year, the industry has exploded; and whether the idea is unique
or progressive like this one, entrepreneurs should take the opportunity to
capitalize on the growing market.
4. The Mobility Product Industry
This industry rolls up under senior care, so I needn't say
why breaking into this industry is a good idea. New technology to improve the
market of motorized scooters, wheelchairs, ramps and lifts are always becoming
available; however, ‘interesting' or ‘unique' are terms that MOSTLY do not
I did say mostly; the IBOT 4000 Mobility System definitely ticks both of these boxes. It's
essentially a wheelchair, but inventors of this product have taken it to a
level seniors have never seen before, and in some ways I mean that literally.
Even sitting in this device, seniors are at eye level, they can climb stairs,
curbs and travel across just about any terrain. While this innovative product
was not introduced in 2008, the newly released model included some great
improvements like a fold-and-store design, more comfortable armrests and
5. Solar Panel Installation Businesses
Tying in with the green trend, there has been a growing need
for companies who can install solar panels and other natural energy sources to
make homes and businesses more environmentally friendly.
A couple of examples of business breaking into this growing
Generation Solar Renewable Energy Systems
Real Goods Solar Power
6. Environmental (GREEN) Consultants
There's that ‘green' word again...still not surprised.
Essentially, green consulting companies offer services to assess how your
lifestyle positively or negatively impacts the environment and presents
adjustments to make improvements. I don't need to name them, because just about
every major TV station features a show that does just this; often by ambushing
families the way reality TV loves to.
Green consulting firms are slowly beginning to dominate the
Yellow Pages, so if this is a niche you're hoping to capture, you better have
an effective marketing strategy or a unique new twist on the concept.
Looking for more information on this industry? The search
engine results are endless, so Google it.
7. Organic Food & Produce
Yet another industry that is partially fueled by the green
movement, coupled with individual's concern for their health and animal rights
issues. Eating organic endorses locally grown products, avoids the consumption
of contaminants, and saves our planet. It's an expensive, yet trendy phenomenon
and with every grocery store and major food distributor on the planet carrying
a line of organic products businesses need to be creative to be successful in
the market. Two businesses that stand out in my mind, which I will later
discuss in further detail, are Graze; which delivers
healthy, organic snacks and is marketed towards career oriented people; and My
Farm which organizes
personal, urban gardens.
8. Xeriscaping - Landscaping Industry Addition
If you're not familiar with this term, which I must admit I
was not; xeriscaping is landscaping that helps conserve water. Gardening and
landscaping companies can train and have this interesting green concept added
to their services or make xeriscaping their main specialty. This trend has created a whole new industry
that incorporates media, books and informational services as well as the
emphasis upon gardening and landscaping.
Looking for a new idea to get into the xeriscaping business
trend? There seems to be a lack of school or educational programs to teach
green thumbs the concept.
One of the first of its kind is offered as an Extended
Learning course at the New Mexico State
9. Import Consulting
Depending on whether or not your country of residence is a
major importer, this could be a great business opportunity for someone with a
background in logistics and customs.
This is a relatively stable industry, that's not likely to
undergo many changes unless your country's trade involvement changes.
10. Home Renovation
You can't change the TV channel without encountering one of
the masses of shows on this topic, and that only gives us a small glimpse into
the prevalence of this industry. Not only is there money to be had in the
trendy word of house flipping, this is another example of an industry that has
expanded drastically. Services, products and gadgets are now available marketed
towards the typical renovator. Rona offers some fantastic cutting-edge, online
tools to make home renovation easier; my personal favorite, the Virtual
Walkthrough, which is a virtual
replication of the home in question to give over haulers a renewed perspective.
The Top 10 Business Opportunities listed above were initial
predictions by About.com article writer Susan Ward at the beginning of 2008.
Psycic? I doubt it, but she certainly has a good grasp on annual business
trends which have bred some strange, unique and forward-thinking businesses
Stay tuned to find out what your entrepreneurial pursuits
should be in 2009!