If you’ve ever thought about escaping the routine of working for someone else and have thought about launching your own business, chances are that one of the major factors that has prevented you from taking the leap is simply not knowing where best to invest. Recently, a list of the hottest trends in new businesses was released and the good news is that there are at least five great ideas that could work in a rural setting as well as in the city.
The prospect of leaving the security of a regular pay cheque to take a gamble on entrepreneurship isn’t a guaranteed pathway to success, regardless of how great the idea is. In fact, in Canada statistics show that 25% of all new businesses will fail within the first year. Of those that survive, only two thirds will survive their second year. However, part of your preparation is in the research of those industries that are growing and how your venture can fill an existing need in your market.
The hottest trends for new business in 2016 include:
1. Senior Care
For a number of years, speculators have been cautiously eyeing the aging workforce and predicting the impact on the labour force when the baby boomers began to retire. While the focus of that information was to prepare business and industry for succession planning, what wasn’t being discussed was the needs of those people retiring. At present, seniors represent almost 25% of our population and as they age and seek to remain independent in their own homes, there is an increasing need for services that increase convenience and care for our seniors allowing them to avoid the fate of being placed in a care facility – that is, of course, if they aren’t left in wait list limbo for an extended period of time. Businesses which focus on the needs of seniors and fill a need, particularly those that bring the services to their homes will continue to present opportunities for enterprising individuals.
2. Self-storage units
This one may surprise you, but when you consider how increasingly common off-site storage is becoming in cities, it seems only a natural fit for rural communities. Whether it be for the off season storage of recreational vehicles, or simply for homeowners to better manage their growing collection of “stuff”, the future looks bright for self-storage businesses. It’s a relatively low-maintenance type of operation which could even be operated as a sideline enterprise, or an extension of an existing venture, if you have the land to facilitate the construction of a building.
3. Gluten-free products
You can’t look anywhere today without seeing the gluten-free movement. The growing awareness of celiac disease and the impacts of gluten are changing approaches to food production and consumption. Even those who don’t need to steer clear of gluten out of necessity are starting to explore alternatives to their diet as well. The production and marketing of gluten-free products, expanding their availability from specialty stores to the market that is looking for them has seen steady growth over the past five years and is expected to exceed a billion dollars in sales annually probably by the time you read this.
As the beer-making hobbyists have started to perfect their craft and delight all within their social circle with their brew master abilities, the number of licenses for breweries in Canada has exploded over the past decade. It might surprise you to learn that the number has increased by 70% in only a short time. Micro-breweries, while very cost prohibitive for many at the start, promote the notion of local food production and, combined with a restaurant/beverage room element, have become increasingly popular in the area of experiential tourism across the country.
5. Mobile dog grooming
Similar to the services for seniors, with increasingly busy schedules, dog owners enjoy the convenience of a service that comes to them on their own schedule. It is believed that the procedure is less stressful for the pet when they can be in their own familiar environment, and it also reduces the need for an entrepreneur to incur the overhead of a store front location – instead taking their show on the road with a mobile grooming station in a pull behind trailer, which can be appropriately branded and decaled to promote the business throughout the area that you serve.
Now, how do you get started?
The good news is that there are a number of resource agencies in the Brandon area to help you take your idea from a thought to a well-prepared business plan. Government-funded departments such as Entrepreneurship Manitoba, FuturPreneur and Community Futures can each offer some expertise and insight to help you prepare for business and may be able to assist with funding.
In addition to these agencies, Manitoba hosts a variety of entrepreneurship conferences and events throughout the year. Dauphin’s “Take the Leap”, Winnipeg’s “Launchpad” and Minnedosa/Neepawa’s “What’s the Big Idea?” are just a few of the special events which offer cash prizes and incentives to help startups get the wheels turning .