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BFS Capital Blog

8 Emerging Small Business Industries You May Not Have Thought Of

August 6, 2014

So we already told you about the fastest growing industries of 2014. And you probably said “Thanks, BFS. Next time I’ve got $40 million lying around to start building condo towers, that’ll come in real handy.” But look a little closer, and you’ll see plenty of opportunity for people who may not have the means to start manufacturing automated forklifts. That same Sageworks data tells us some of the fastest growing small businesses, and many are easier to start up than you think.

Real Estate Agents

There are cities where this industry is in such demand that your barista is also studying for his Real Estate certification during breaks. But when construction is the fastest growing field of the economy, somebody needs to sell all those properties, right? Don’t let the ubiquitousness of real estate professionals scare you away; because so many people do it as a side job, a professional company with a specific focus will stand out.

Health and Specialty Foods

Since apparently gluten is the 21st century’s version of bubonic plague, food manufacturers are scrambling to make everything they can without this substance people have just discovered they’re allergic to.  And while grocery stores can carry a lot of it, their inventory requirements won’t let them carry it all. That’s why health and specialty food stores are growing so fast. And even when the anti-gluten fervor has died down, health-conscious people will still need a spot to get hard-to-find items.

Online Baby Products

If you have kids, you know that parents have about as much free time as Justin Bieber’s legal team. If you don’t have kids, you still know because your friends with kids have completely fallen off the planet. knows this, and listed online baby products as one of their top small businesses for growth, as not only do busy parents need a convenient way to buy diapers, pacifiers, and Mr. Potato Head nightlights, people without kids need places to buy that stuff for baby showers they forgot until the day before.

App Development

If you’re an astute reader, and we know you are, you’d have seen this story and thought to yourself “Man, people charge up to $10,000 to make a smartphone app? I’m in the wrong business.” Perhaps. But if you’re not really in any business and looking to start one, there’s no shortage of small, medium, and large-sized companies looking for people to develop apps for them. There is, however, a shortage of people who can do it well.

Landscape Architects

Yes, in theory, this really IS a business a 12-year-old could start. Just ask that neighbor kid who you still owe $25. But the design and maintenance of high-quality landscaping is growing by 15 percent per year according to Sageworks, largely because all that construction needs pretty green stuff to go around it. Even if said construction is in somewhere that lacks pretty green stuff, desert landscaping is just as valuable a skill. And those arid areas are some of the fastest growing in the country.

Translation Services

“We’re America! We don’t need to know no other stinkin languages!” Right? Keep on thinking that. Larger companies with international aspirations don’t always have the linguistic skill to aid in said international expansion, and need people to not only translate for business meetings, but also marketing materials, employee guides, and pretty much every other form of business communication. Just make sure you know enough that you don’t end up, like Chevy did years ago, marketing a car called Nova in Mexico.

Management Consulting

Even though you might not have the means – or desire – to enter the dusty, hot world of construction, you may know a lot about running a business. Or some MBAs who work for you do. Either way, Management Consulting has become a major offshoot industry of every other industry that’s seeing growth. Businesses trying to expand always need people to guide them along the way.

Technical Consulting

Because who among us has not been working with a new software program and not wanted to scream, cry, or generally do something that – around the wrong audience – might get us Baker Acted? If you’ve got exceptional technical expertise, and don’t operate out of a call center in Bangalore, you’re going to be very popular. If you can make a company’s IT system flow, you may become their greatest asset as they grow. And a steady stable of clients like these mean your business will grow with them.
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