Top Industries and Small Business Sectors With High Growth Potential

Bar chart showing growthFinally! Are we able to at last talk about the economy with some optimism? We’ve apparently turned the corner, and USA Today reports that growth is expected to pick up over the coming years. In 2014, the economy is projected to grow by 2.7 percent; for 2015, the forecast is for another 3.2 percent.

But we also know that not every city, state, industry or business recovers at the same rate. Some have come roaring back, while for others, growth is coming more gradually. For still others, the struggle isn’t over.

At the close of 2013, took a look at industries we should be watching in 2014 and highlighted the 10 fastest growing fields. One of the most exciting points: “…when one industry prospers, outsiders often find a way to tap into that success.” That’s great news: When an industry’s growing, it may create new suppliers, distributors or back-end service providers and even new competitors. So success and growth can spread exponentially.

The financial information company, Sageworks, did an analysis of the financial statements of privately held companies to identify the fastest-growing industries of the past 12 months. In fact, they found dramatically higher growth rates among the leaders, some of whom have made the list in prior years, and others that are new and unexpected. While the Sageworks study was based on past performance, Forbes says that it’s still a sound starting point for looking at the potential for sales growth in the next few years.

The obvious question for business owners or those thinking about launching a start-up: How can I fit into this picture? If you’re a service provider, for instance, can you specialize in a given industry? Even so, experts have always advised looking at trends with caution. A good example: Manufacturing, which helped boost the recovery but has slowed since. And believe it or not, even though an industry shows strong sales growth, it may still not be that profitable. Do your homework!

The Sageworks table in the Forbes article includes the industries with the highest growth, along with their NAICS codes and rates of growth for the past 12 months. Be sure to click the link above to see the details. But we’ve listed brief descriptions here:

    • Mining/support activities


    • Oilseed and grain farming


    • Beverage manufacturing


    • Manufacturing of agriculture, construction and mining machinery


    • Other crop farming


    • Computer systems – design and related services


    • Real estate agents and brokers


    • Chemical and allied products (merchant wholesalers/distributors)


    • Personal and household goods – repair and maintenance


    • Employment services

Do the highest-growth small business sectors mirror high-growth industries overall? Near the end of last year, explored the 10 fastest growing small business sectors. It also looked at some Sageworks analysis, but this time, of companies with less than $5 million in annual revenues. (These figures were reported at the end 2013, so it is not likely that we’ve seen massive changes since then.)

Sageworks found that four of the 10 fastest growing sectors of 2013 were related to housing. Building finish contractors and real estate agents offices saw sales growth of nearly 15 percent last year, followed by architectural and engineering services (14.2 percent) and foundation, structure and building exterior contractors (10.6 percent).

Here’s the list of the fastest-growing small business sectors. Notice that it does have some industries in common with the high-growth industries list.

    1. Oilseed and grain farming


    1. Building finishing contractors


    1. Real estate agents and brokers


    1. Architectural, engineering and related services


    1. Management, scientific and technical consulting services


    1. Computer systems design and related services


    1. Other fabricated metal product manufacturing


    1. Utility system construction


    1. Specialty food stores


    1. Foundation, structure and building exterior contractors

Image courtesy of jscreationzs /

Share this article with your followers: