Most of us dream of being our own boss one day. Once you’ve become good at the job that you do, you’ll eventually become resentful about the fact that your boss earns more of the money that you make than you do. You’ll convince yourself that you’re more than capable of doing everything that your boss does, and you could run a similar business yourself and keep all of the proceeds of your labor.
You might be right with that assessment, and you might be wrong. Most people who’ve survived their first year of self-employment will tell you that they quickly realized that their bosses were doing far more work than they initially thought they were! Your success won’t only be governed by the factor of whether or not you can do all of that extra work, though. It will also be governed by the type of industry that you set up shop in, and the type of business that you create. Just because there are people making money in one industry or sector doesn’t mean that there’s space for new business in the same sector, and knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing what to pursue.
Keeping your eyes on trends is essential when it comes to choosing a route to take in business. Which sectors are growing, and which are shrinking? Which are at saturation point, and which are crying out for new blood? As an example, think about how many times you’ve seen adverts for online slots websites recently. You’ll find them on social media, and all over the rest of the internet. Online slots companies sponsor the shirts of Premier League football clubs. There are even a few adverts inviting you to come and play UK online slots on late-night television in some parts of the world. That’s a booming industry right now, but it takes a little specialist knowledge to get involved in it. There are other industries you can get into with far less expert knowledge, but some of them are bad ideas. Let’s look at some of the more obvious ones.
If you’re a keen traveler, you know how to put together an attractive vacation package, and you have an excellent knowledge of geography and culture overseas, why not set up a travel agency? The answer to that question is that travel agencies are in steep decline, and those that operate on the high street are almost dead. In the United Kingdom alone, it’s been forecast that one-third of all travel agents will be out of business by the end of 2021 – and that was before the events of 2020 hit the industry. Consumers have become accustomed to turning to the internet for assistance in putting travel packages together, and they no longer need the aid of a human being when doing so. Based on the decline that’s set into travel agencies, we doubt that the occupation ‘travel agent’ will exist at all in 2030.
Clearly, there will always be a demand for people who can build attractive web pages and websites. The internet is never going to go away, and every new business – including yours – needs its own website. The issue with the web design business isn’t obsolescence – it’s saturation and changing habits. Sites like WordPress have taken a lot of the hard work out of web design, and if the average web user is prepared to spend a couple of days learning how to use WordPress, they can make a basic website of their own. They no longer need you. It’s possible to overcome this by focusing on making specialist websites and sites that feature greater functionality, but your knowledge base needs to be enormous in order to do this successfully. Knowing HTML5 isn’t enough. You’ll need to understand java and CSS, and you’ll also be expected to understand SEO and perhaps even graphic design, too. That’s a lot of expensive skills to learn – and yet with so many rivals in the market, you’ll have to cut your prices in order to attract customers. This is a profession with ever-tightening profit margins, and it’s best to avoid it altogether.
A few years ago, you’d see the name ‘Zara’ on every high street in the world. In June 2020, Zara announced that 1200 of its outlets would be closing down permanently. That was hot on the heels of Warehouse and Oasis, both of which closed down permanently two months earlier. Consumers are no longer buying their clothes in person. They order them online, try them on when they arrive and return them free of charge through the post if they don’t like them, or they don’t fit. There’s still something to be said for seeing clothes with your own eyes and trying them on in-store, but seemingly not enough to keep clothing stores open. There might be an exception to this rule if you’re considering opening, for example, a vintage clothing store or something else that would appeal to a niche market, but the days where you could make a good living by selling clothes over the counter are long gone.
Electronics Repair Store
This is a very tempting professional to get involved in if you’re technically minded. If you’re the person that your friends and family always turn to when their computer, telephone, refrigerator, toaster, or other electrical items break down, it’s probably already crossed your mind that you could charge other people for access to your skills. Thirty years ago, you’d be right, and you’d find yourself in high demand. Here in 2020, your skills are no longer required. Electronics get cheaper by the day, and they’re covered by longer and more comprehensive guarantees and insurance policies. When an electronic appliance breaks, people are more inclined to return it to the store they bought it from or throw it away than they are to pay someone else to repair it for them. You’ll always be a savior around your home when something goes wrong, but sadly it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to make a career out of your practical skills.
We could go on, but instead of doing so, we’ll offer an alternative piece of advice. Focus on the internet. The most reliable, dependable trend we’ve seen in the past twenty years is that more and more people are going online and buying products and services through the internet. If you’re considering setting up a new business of any kind, do it through the internet. You’ll save on overheads, you’ll save yourself an enormous amount of start-up costs, and you’ll also have less mess to extract yourself from if it all goes wrong!