Before starting a business, it’s a good idea to analyze its growth prospects not just based on the state of the present-day market, but also on future trends. Statistics show that 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years and, after cash flow problems, one of the main reasons why they don’t succeed is because there isn’t a market for their product or service. It’s therefore very important to look at current market trends and see how popular your idea will be a couple of years from now to avoid collapse. The business world has definitely seen some interesting changes in the past years and experts forecast that by 2020 we will see an explosion of successful businesses in incredibly niche markets, some of which didn’t even exist ten years ago.
The comeback of healthy foods
Although fast food shops are still thriving, business analysts estimate than in the following couple of years people will start to lose interest in them and become more concerned with what they eat. This trend is already starting to show: for the first time in decades, McDonalds closes more restaurants than it opens, Subway is on a downwards spiral with more than 900 closed stores in the US and, afraid of what could come, other fast-food chains such as Burger King and Chipotle are starting to pivot, diversifying their menus and incorporating healthier options. More and more people want to eat vegan, organic and locally sourced foods, which means that by 2020 health food stores will be very popular. Apart from local farmer’s markets such as Trader Joe’s or Wild Oats Marketplace, which are already trending in the US, experts say that in the future we could see a new type of business: the healthy fast-food store. A couple of these stores are already popping up in large cities and try to satisfy customers who want to grab a quick bite on the go: freshly packed salads, smoothies, whole grain wraps or vegan burgers.
Copy shops where huge in the 1990s, but now no one hardly ever uses them anymore. But 3D printing…well that’s another story. Although still in its prime, 3D printing technology has already started to revolutionize business. You can 3D print almost anything, from food and wearables to shoes and car parts. This is a huge innovation that will impact every industry, which will make 3D printing services highly sought after in the following years. What’s more, the startup costs of launching a 3D printing business are starting to diminish, so it has become more feasible. If we’re looking at standard commercial printing, the average startup cost is at around $20,000, but if you have more ambitious endeavors and want to print prosthetics, it will cost you up to $650,000. Want to start slow? Then you can find a simple 3D printer for jewelry and simple décor items retailing at about $500.
It seems that in 2018, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are either starting their own cryptocurrency, or they’re investing in it. Although when it first came out Bitcoin had an uncertain future, it had an incredible evolution and it was quickly followed by other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripple. Despite some fluctuations in value at the beginning of 2018, Bitcoin is still worth a lot of money, it’s being used for online payments and experts estimate that it will be around for many years. It entered pretty much every industry, including gaming, and specialists say that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) will permanently impact financial markets. Should you consider this business idea? Well, the profits can be huge, but keep in mind that ICOs have their own marketing challenges, so you’ll have to work with an expert in order to raise the interest of the market and write a compelling white paper.
Diversified delivery services
Whether it’s because of lower prices, convenience or wider product variety, more and more people are starting to replace traditional shopping with online shopping. On the one hand, this opens new possibilities for online shops, but their popularity isn’t exactly breaking news for entrepreneurs. What’s new is the correlation between the shift in shopping patterns and the advent of diverse delivery services. Thanks to services such as Amazon Prime, shoppers can already get next day delivery on their online orders, but that’s not the only option. For example, they are willing to pay a monthly fee to have custom meals delivered to their home or workplace or to have their car gas delivered to their parking spot. It seems that delivery services are more diverse and streamlined than ever before and, with new technologies such as drones and high end cargo systems, they will become a profitable niche by 2020.
Virtual reality is one of the most exciting technologies and you don’t even need to be a tech person to enjoy it. What seemed like science-fiction 20 years ago is now part and parcel of daily life and, as VR innovations advance, we are starting to see more of it in all industries, including healthcare, auto, real estate, not to mention immersive gaming. Most tech giants say that this technology is incredibly promising and its multiple applications make it and its associated accessories an investment worthy of consideration.