Five Great Business Opportunity Categories for 2011

There are thousands of home-based and other small business opportunities, internet-based opportunities, distributorships, licensee opportunities and small franchises out there for today’s entrepreneur to consider.  A great majority of them fall under five main categories, which we’ll discuss briefly here.  Think of this as just one of many quick exercises you will need to undertake to narrow your search for the opportunity that best suits you, both in terms of what you like to do and what you’re most suited for.

Use your mouse to navigate for the appropriate links in this article, each of which can provide you with additional information about those categories you find most interesting.

#1 Business Services

Today’s businesses are strapped for cash.  Hiring a full-time employee with benefits to do what could possibly be done by a part-time, hourly consultant is becoming a more common practice than ever before.

The list of potential support services you can provide to businesses in your area is extensive and includes:

  • Advertising/marketing
  • Social media consulting
  • Accounting/bookkeeping
  • Writing/proofreading
  • Public relations/image consulting
  • Credit repair/debt consolidation
  • Mobile services/marketing solutions
  • Financial services/loan modification
  • Insurance
  • Tax preparation/settlement
  • Events planning
  • Translation services
  • Call center services
  • Medical transcription
  • Medical/health care products/services
  • SEO/SEM consulting
  • Virtual assistant (administrative services)
  • Ink/toner cartridge refilling services
  • Blog consulting
  • Information technology
  • Computer repair/maintenance/training/software
  • Data entry
  • Desktop publishing/web design
  • Research services
  • Shipping and supplies
  • Construction cleanup
  • Battery regeneration
  • Telecommunications
  • Waste services
  • Judgment recovery/legal
  • Real estate
  • Retail/wholesale
  • Energy monitoring
  • Transportation solutions
  • Food storage/transport/preservation
  • ATM machines/processing
  • Audio/video services
  • Foreclosure cleanup
  • Vending
  • And more…

#2 Home/Auto Improvement/Maintenance

Given the current economic climate, people just aren’t buying new homes or cars these days.  In fact, the vast majority of them are grateful if they’re able to hang on to what they’ve already got.  The good news is that many of us are spending what we can to make sure the home we’re living in or the car we’re driving will go the distance and that it’s as comfortable and energy efficient as possible.  As a result, home and auto improvement/maintenance-oriented business ventures of all kinds―especially those that are “green” in nature―are an attractive option for any hard-working and ambitious entrepreneur.

Here are just a few of the best home services businesses to start for your consideration:

  • General contractor/construction
  • Handyman services
  • Maintenance/repair
  • “Aging-in-place” home renovation/senior in-home safety
  • Landscaping/gardening (especially organic lawn care)
  • Foreclosure cleanup
  • Leaf/snow removal
  • Automotive and marine products/services
  • Air duct cleaning/ventilation
  • Compost management
  • Home restoration
  • Cleaning services, including carpets (especially “green” cleaning services)
  • Home insulation/weatherization
  • Mold remediation/removal
  • Mattress/upholstery cleaning (again, especially with “green” products/methods)
  • Security
  • Real estate
  • Pest control

#3 Personal Finance, Care and Leisure Services

The realm of possibilities when it comes to personal finance, care and leisure services of all kinds is practically endless.  Given the current state of economic affairs, the need for personal finance services, especially when it comes to credit repair and loan modification is huge!  Additionally, those who have managed to keep their jobs are busier than ever just trying to keep them.  So busy in fact that they are oftentimes looking for reliable and trustworthy people to take care of their day-to-day living needs so that they can focus their attentions elsewhere.  In fact, many large firms will hire personal assistants for their most senior-level employees, especially when deadlines are tight or they need them to be out of the country.  The aging of the baby boomers means more people want to grow old in their own homes, which has opened up all kinds of possibilities when it comes to senior services and home renovation in particular.  Child care and support services are always very much in demand, as are services that enhance everything from personal appearance to lifestyle.

Here are just some categories any entrepreneur who’s interested in the personal finance, care or leisure services industries should be thinking about:

  • In-home eldercare services
  • Eldercare daycare services
  • Personal concierge/shopper
  • In-home party planning
  • Home-based daycare provider
  • After-school babysitting services
  • Exercise programming for children
  • Education/tutoring/personal development
  • Cloth diaper services (It’s the “green” parent’s 21st century choice!)
  • Teeth whitening
  • Travel consultant/tourism
  • Sport and recreation
  • Food service/restaurant
  • Audio/video/multimedia services consultant
  • Nutrition/health/organic/fitness-related products and services
  • Credit repair/debt consolidation
  • Disability advocacy
  • Judgment recovery/legal services
  • Medical/health care
  • Financial services/loan modification
  • Insurance products
  • Pets/pet supplies
  • Flowers/floral
  • Mobile services
  • Tax preparation/settlement
  • Water filtration
  • Foreclosure assistance
  • Women’s products/services
  • Fundraising
  • Coffee

#4 Crafts, Gifts and Home Products

Some of the personalized crafts and gifts businesses are really booming right now.  After all, isn’t everyone looking for just the right affordable and yet personal gift idea these days?  In addition, home products are always a huge hit, as the at-home party platform provides a fairly low-cost and no-sweat opportunity for people to socialize on a relatively limited budget.  Organic products in particular are also enjoying a huge following right now thanks to the increased interest in all things environmentally friendly.

Consider these options:

  • Beauty/personal  care and cosmetics
  • Nutrition/health/organics
  • Cleaning products
  • Personalized hand/footprints
  • Personalized art work, ornaments and other items
  • Food products
  • Home décor
  • Kitchen products
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Personal improvement/inspirational outreach
  • Nutrition/health/organics
  • Furniture/bedding

#5 Green Business Services and Products

History will reflect on the beginning of the 21st century as the pivotal moment when we all began to turn green!  There’s no question that the world is changing when it comes to treating our environment with greater care.  The time to capitalize on this exploding trend, which is guaranteed to only grow, is right now!  Smart entrepreneurs will want to explore every environmentally friendly new business start-up option out there, and there are many.

Consider these groundbreaking, oftentimes ingenious and burgeoning “green” business opportunities:

  • Alternative energy/environmental services, including mold removal/remediation, battery regeneration and energy monitoring
  • Green building insulation and cleaning services
  • Recycling and waste removal
  • Mattress/upholstery cleaning
  • Water filtration

If you are looking to be your own boss, enjoy what you do every day and make great money, one of these business opportunity categories is bound to hold some appeal.  So get going on your research into what it is you want to do with your future, and may all the success in the world be yours! Discover business opportunities in hot and trending categories!