Where Do You Start?
Starting a new business is a big decision, which has to be taken with much thought and diligence. No two years are the same and with changing trends one has to be vigilant enough to tap the right business opportunities at the right time.
The year 2012 is the year of the retail business, personal care, hospitality and education. While these are not the out-of-box industries that seem to be providing good potential for growth, but it is the way one propels their business using the right techniques catering to the modern times. Success lies, not in what you sell, but how you sell it. Here is a brief overview of the top five industries to start a new business:
Health and wellness: a healthy lifestyle is something which every one aspires for. The health and wellness industry covers a large domain including healthy eating, fitness centres, fitness consultancy, personal grooming, care of the elderly and to an extent hospitality. Consumers are growing aware of what they are eating, the sources of their food, keeping fit by visiting gyms and fitness centres, consulting with yoga gurus and experts and even opting for stress management activities. All these areas of health and wellness offer opportunities to start a new business.
You could start a franchisee that offers healthy snacks or open up a fitness centre or a gym. If you are good at providing consultation, you can go for a health and fitness centre with expert consultants offering tips on healthy and nutritious eating. The corporate sector too is urging its employees to be more fit, healthy and stress-free, which means that you can introduce wellness plans for the corporate sector.
The beauty industry: trends are indicative of the fact that the beauty industry is a growing sector and so it has made the list of the top five industries to start a new business. As per the surveys conducted worldwide, it has been seen that consumers have more disposable income, allowing them to spend more on personal grooming and healthcare. For this reason, there has been a surge in beauty salons, spas and centres for beauty treatments. Barber schools and cosmetology are the growing sectors in this industry with more and more people becoming interested in looking and feeling good.
Clothing industry: clothes have always been a favourite with women. However, with the new trends pouring in, it is seen that even men are getting more particular about the way they dress up. For this reason, the clothing industry along with the clothing accessory industry is a very good area to tap into when looking to start a new business.
Education: with increasing globalisation and the need for highly trained and skilled professionals all over the world, education has come to the forefront as one of the top industries to start a new business. Whether it is a business school, language school, a trade school or an educational consultancy, you are sure to receive a very good response.
Food industry: with recession almost gone now, people have higher levels of disposable income. This means the capacity to spend on healthy and organic foods and snacks has increased. Taking up franchisees of a frozen yogurt, healthy snacks, organic foods can be a way to start a small business.
So, if you are interested in starting up a new business, one of the safest bets would be in one of these mentioned industries. However, these are only 5 of the many industries out there. So, if these donâ€™t take your fancy, there is a plethora of other industries to choose from.
Working as business & finance analyst in Brisbane, Jim is very much interested in management consulting for finance projects. He writes about new challenges coming up in next year’s in the industry. You can find more information at bsbdc.com or follow Jim on Twitter at @JamesForrest8
Thank you, Jim!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
by Mihaela Lica
Social Networkers and Social Conversations Everywhere
Social media is going stronger than ever, Google + now seizing the forefront of all our frontal lobes, or at least resting on the minds of networkers everywhere online. The power of that so called “conversation” we all adopted as a fact of life though, does not come without a price. Along with the profound positive effects Facebook, Twitter, and g+ afford us, there appear to be some “less than positive” effects you may not be aware of.Scientists now believe social media may impact cognitive function and development negatively. From multitasking to other focus oriented skills, it appears a sort of transformative process is occurring – in short, our brains may be adjusting. The infographic courtesy Assisted Living Today below is demonstrative of this theory. You may want to investigate this.
[Click the image to see the isolated infograph and again to see it full size.]
Let’s Move Some Ideas at a Human Pace
As you can see, How Social Media is Ruining Our Minds opens up a bit of a can of worms where knowing what’s good for you on the web goes.
Did we all assume pecking away at our keyboards, smacking those barriers with a slingshot and Angry Birds, endless hours of looking at crazy or not so crazy video would have no effect? The bigger question is, “Just how rewired have you become?” Our attention spans have become so short (perhaps) that soon a friend will have to get even the most “fuzzy” feelings across in microseconds. I don’t know about you, but I like my kindness and consideration delivered at a leisurely pace. That goes for absorbing other wonderful things on and off the web. Of course, those pesky “scientists” don’t know everything yet. Let’s hope so anyway.
Mihaela “Mig” Lica founded Pamil Visions in 2005 where she uses her hard won journalistic, SEO and public relations skills toward helping small companies navigate the digital realm with influence and success.
You can find Mig on Twitter as @PamilVisions
Thanks, Mig! Thank you, too, to Assisted Living Today!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2011 Employer Health Benefits Survey released this fall, employers are putting more money toward their employeesâ€™ healthcare premiums than at any other time.
The survey, which interviewed close to 3.200 public and private firms with a minimum of two employees, notes that prices grew 9 percent over the past year. The premiums for family health care coverage have increased to an average of $15,073, with business owners covering more than $10,000 of the cost.
Some highlights from the survey:
- Six-in-10 companies made health benefits available to their employees in 2011, a sharp contrast from the nearly seven-in-10 who did so just a year earlier;
- Employees pay $4,129 toward the premium, while employers cover the remaining $10,944;
- Single policy health coverage costs also grew some 8 percent, coming in at $5.429 yearly. As a result of this coverage, employees pay $921 toward the plan;
- Overall, PPOs are much more common plan types, enrolling 55 percent of those covered;
- Seventeen percent of those covered workers are enrolled in an HMO, while 10 percent have a POS plan, and 1 percent utilize a conventional plan;
- The majority of covered workers have to deal with added expenses when using health care services. A large number of workers with PPOs (81 percent) and POS set ups (69 percent) deal with a general annual deductible for single coverage that must be taken care of prior to all or the majority of services being reimbursed through the plan;
- In all, 31% of covered workers have a policy with a deductible of at least $1,000 for single coverage, a major increase from the 22 percent such reported in 2009;
- Most employees also are required to pay some of the expense of doctor office visits. Approximately 75 percent of covered workersâ€™ pay a co-payment toward office visits for a primary care doctor or a specialist physician, along with any general annual deductible a plan may have.
According to a spokesperson for Kaiser, â€œThis yearâ€™s nine percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery.â€
Meantime, according to a report from Aon Hewitt, employees nationwide who have healthcare coverage can figure on seeing a cost hike of seven percent in the coming year.
So, how can both small businesses and employees lessen the chances of needing some of this healthcare in the first place? Among the things to consider are:
- Stay healthy and activeâ€“ More and more companies are instituting comprehensive wellness programs that involve disease management, offering cancer screenings, flu shots and smoking-cessation sessions. Some businesses also offer discounts or even free admission to local fitness centers in order for employees to stay in a good shape;
- Give them what they want â€“ While some plans have requirements as to what coverage and at what cost it is available, sit down with your human resources individual or team and see what your employees are most interested in. By doing so, you can potentially eliminate some of the more costly options if they are not being used;
- Look into health savings accounts â€“ More businesses are giving a second look to HASâ€™s. The accounts are tax-exempt, used to cover a number of medical costs;
- Get a number of quotes â€“ Small business employers are advised to shop around and obtain a variety of quotes. Also, donâ€™t settle on the first quote even if it sounds really good. By shopping around, you have the opportunity to get a good health care insurance product at a reasonable price.
As 2012 comes to light in a little over a month, make sure both you and your employees have a health care plan in place that is both affordable and provides solid coverage.
Photo credit: businessnewsdaily.com
Dave Thomas, who covers among other subjectsâ€™ workers compensation, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.
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