For entrepreneurs looking to start a company, the industry and business you choose can be the difference between walking away with nothing or reaching the pinnacle of success. Only 30 percent of small businesses make it past their first decade, so you have to choose wisely. Here’s a tip: due to issues with managing finances throughout the year, lack of labor continuity and trouble engaging customers consistently, seasonal businesses can be more difficult to run. When starting up, you may be better off choosing from industries that aren’t seasonal.
Here are seven promising industries that you can operate at full scale during any season.
Unless you’re selling something like Halloween costumes, you can easily run an e-commerce business throughout the year. Ideally, you should care about the products you’re selling because it will make your life easier. But you don’t have to, as Neil Patel demonstrated.
Sujan Patel, a leader in digital marketing, recommends taking advantage of all the free and freemium tools out there, like WordPress to build your site, Sumo for marketing and analytics, and Zendesk for customer service.
2. Automotive repair and maintenance
The U.S. automotive repair and maintenance services industry grew 30 percent between 2010 and 2015. On top of that, the average age of vehicles on the road is 11.6 years. Naturally, auto repair and maintenance is a thriving industry.
To start an auto repair business, you will need capital for equipment and a physical location, as well as proper licensing from the state. You can start a franchise through a brand like Jiffy Lube, which offers you name recognition and marketing advantages (though there is a franchise fee).
3. Website development
In the digital age, a company’s website is crucial to business success. That’s why the entire economy has an increasing need for talented web developers.
Job opportunities for website developers are expected to increase by 27 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Clearly, if you know how to design and create websites, this is a good industry to enter. Other business owners need your help regardless of whether it’s sunny or snowy outside. Startup costs also tend to be lower compared to other industries, since there isn’t much overhead for materials and equipment.
4. Content marketing
Bad weather isn’t going to stop content writers (unless the power literally goes out). No matter what you do in content marketing, you can do it remotely. And most decision-makers today understand the value of content marketing, with 78 percent of CMOs viewing custom content as the future of marketing.
If you possess important content marketing skills, like performing in-depth research, leveraging trends and writing, this may be the industry for you. As long as you stay updated on technical skills, such as SEO and web analytics, you can become a competitive player in a growing field.
5. Food and beverage
This isn’t an easy industry to break into. Yet the food and beverage industry generates $799 billion in sales each year, according to the National Restaurant Association. Surprisingly, 35 percent of food service businesses make it past their first decade—higher than the overall average.
Can you cook a delicious meal? If so, you may have people willing to pay good money to eat your food. Get yourself a stellar location and pass those safety inspections—and then get ready to stick it out for the long haul.
The global shipping market, which includes air, ocean and ground transportation, is valued at a whopping $2.1 trillion. Can your startup get a piece of that? The answer is a resounding “yes,” especially as companies like Alibaba and Amazon focus more on improving last-mile delivery and logistics services.
A good example to look to for inspiration is Lalamove, a Hong Kong-based on-demand logistics company. The startup recently raised $30 million and is now expanding across Asia. Not bad for a business that just entered the competitive logistics space in 2013.
7. Home health care
The U.S. population is aging. Currently, 15 percent of the population is over 65. By 2060, that number will reach 24 percent. There is an obvious, growing need for home healthcare services. Job growth for home health and personal care aides is estimated to reach 26 percent from 2014 to 2024 (much faster than the 7 percent average overall).
Costs to start a home health care business vary depending on whether your business will be non-medical (assisting with daily living needs) or skilled medical, which requires nurses, therapists and even doctors. You will need to obtain state and Medicare/Medicaid certification, as well.
What does everyone need?
These are some of the more promising business sectors in recent years. But there are plenty of other types of small businesses that aren’t seasonal. The common denominator for all non-seasonal startups is a good or service that is needed year-round.
Given you experiences and current expertise, think about what you can offer that your ideal customers will always need. What would you enjoy doing most for them? Only you have the answers.
Originally published Dec. 27, 2017. Updated Sept. 15, 2022.