The economic climate is getting sunnier by the day, creating an ideal opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on burgeoning trends. But some industries are a better bet than others. Unsurprisingly, as the mobile revolution continues, many of these industries center on new technologies and the needs and opportunities they create. Others are growing because consumers have fatter wallets, full of disposable income to spend on nonessential—but highly rewarding—goods and services.
So what are the most promising industries for startups this year? We’ve checked with news sources (like Inc. and The Week), research firms (like IBISWorld), consulting groups, and the U.S. Census Bureau to bring you this list of the best industries for startups in 2013.
- Social network game development: As mobile devices become ever more popular, people will naturally spend more time on them. Connecting with friends and playing games are favorite activities, and this rapidly growing industry combines them both. Social network game development is expected to have grown by an impressive 30% in 2012, and its compound annual growth rate over the next five years should weigh in at 184%.
- Corporate cloud services: Secure data storage is a must for today’s multinational corporations, many of which employ teams who must work together seamlessly in offices around the globe. Big data was a $3.2 billion industry in 2012, and it’s expected to hit $17 billion by 2015.
- IT consulting: As more businesses move to mobile and cloud-based computing, this industry has grown at a remarkable rate. Between 2007 and 2012, the industry added 200,000 new jobs, and grew by more than 8% a year. Experts predict a growing emphasis on security consulting to help businesses keep their data secure.
- Restaurants: Thanks to the rising rate of per capita spending, even budget-conscious folks can afford to eat out. This industry already employs about 10% of the workforce, and is expected to grow by 5.5% in 2013.
- Residential construction: The recovering economy has finally put this industry back on its feet. Now that property developers can afford to build, and homeowners can afford repairs and renovations, this industry will grow by more than 10% a year over the next few years, hitting $573 billion in 2017.
- Pet services: Almost two-thirds of us own at least one pet, and we’re more inclined than ever to spend money on our best friends. The pet services industry was worth almost $53 billion in 2012, and it’s expected to grow by more than 5% a year over the next five years.
Whether you’ve always wanted to be your own boss or whether you’re on the lookout for lucrative expansion opportunities, these industries are a great bet. Of course, if you have a truly innovative idea that the market yearns for, perhaps it’s time for you to help define the hottest industries of 2014…