Growing industries, new trends, and a focus on local shopping have made for a lot of business opportunities for local entrepreneurs this year. If you’re tempted to run your own business and put your entrepreneurial skills to use, but just don’t know where to start, one of these ten business ideas may be the venture you’re looking for.

1. Convenience Subscription Services

The rise of Blue Apron and other meal kit services is part of a wider trend. Consumers want convenience services that save them from running errands like grocery shopping, or that help keep them organized.

It’s not just about food, there are many errand and organization services you could provide, including:

  • Personal shopping/styling
  • Home and clutter organization
  • Cleaning services (from homes to offices, to vehicles)
  • Replenishment services for bathroom items or other household goods

Starting your own subscription or meal-kit service is a good opportunity, but be sure you learn from experience when you do. It seems that price is a big obstacle Blue Apron is facing. If you can provide these subscriptions at a lower cost, you’re more likely to find success.

2. IT Contractor

If your skills are more to do with technology, you may find a good opportunity as an IT contractor. Instead of working for one specific company, you can become your own boss and work on IT issues for many different clients.

Forbes named IT professionals one of the most in-demand professions of 2018 and listed some technologies it’s wise to have experience in. In this profession, keeping up with technological changes and being available for last-minute issues are both keys to success.

3. Event Planner

Weddings, birthdays, charity galas and professional conferences all need to be planned by someone who has high attention to detail and great coordination skills. Is that you? If so, event planning is a great industry in which to start your own business. According to the United States Department of Labor, the industry will continue to grow faster than average from 2016 to 2026. The key to success will be choosing your event specialization wisely.

4. Drone Photographer

Drones exploded in popularity over the last few years, but they’re still just getting started.

Drone photographers are often freelance operators who shoot everything from weddings and events to real estate, construction sites, and natural disaster damage. While drones are becoming more common, along with drone pilots, developing a specialty like thermography can help you establish a niche for years to come.

5. Handcrafted Goods

The shop local movement has made all kinds of hand-crafted products viable small business opportunities. The craft industry is worth 30 billion dollars in the United States. More local markets and trade shows pop up all of the time.

Creative types will thrive in the craft industry. There are always new kinds of goods and trends to capitalize on. Some ideas include:

  • Up-cycled furniture
  • Vegan cosmetics
  • Handmade baked goods
  • Homebrews
  • Locally designed or hand printed clothing
  • One-of-a-kind jewelry
  • Knives and forged items
  • Handmade paper products

In order to make this one a success, you’ll need talent for making the product, plus great marketing and social media skills.

6. Self-storage

If you’re looking for a business that is more investment-heavy, and more likely to graduate from side-gig to full-time work, the self-storage industry is a great place to start.

Self-storage has seen tremendous growth, becoming a 38 billion dollar industry in 2017. Almost ten percent of Americans use storage facilities now, and demand is expected to grow. Depending on the size of the storage units you can rent out, you can make quite a margin.

Heirloom tomatoes

7. Local Produce Farmer

It may seem like old news, but the demand for locally grown food is still growing. According to Business Insider, the industry’s growth is outpacing total food sales’ growth. In 2019, it is expected to reach 20 billion as an industry.

There’s lots of opportunity in farming local goods, so long as you keep your focus on sustainable practices and high-quality goods that someone nearby demands. You can choose to sell at a farmer’s market, to local high-end restaurants, or other local businesses that need specific plants.

Don’t limit yourself to lettuce. Consider flowers, herbs, dye and scent plants, food for local animals or pets, and other unusual plants. Connect with other local businesses to see what they need to create their products.

8. E-Sports Bar or Stadium

Online games like League of Legends have become competitive sports. With that, amateur players in every city are looking to gather to watch games, or are looking for a place to participate in tournaments. According to Business Insider, e-sports will soon be a billion dollar opportunity, with many revenue streams left untapped. Plus, catering to e-sports is a great way for local bars to capture the attention of young men and stay in business.

9. Corporate Wellness Retreats

Corporations are focusing more on their employee’s satisfaction and productivity, and are turning to wellness retreats to help meet their goals. According to Forbes, the annual revenue growth in the corporate wellness industry was 9.8 percent from 2011 to 2019. Over the same period, the average enterprise in the industry grew 8.7 percent.

If you have experience in human resources, you’ll have an inside edge in providing the services corporations want. Partnering with someone who can offer interesting or team-bonding experiences is a good idea too.

Though some corporate wellness businesses are investment-intensive, with large facilities, they aren’t all. Many corporate retreat companies offer on-site retreats or focus on small companies whose staff can be accommodated in smaller spaces.

10. Become a City Manager for ShopCity.com

If you have a passion for supporting small businesses of all types, your best opportunity might be here at ShopCity.com. A City Manager forges connections between community leaders and helps businesses thrive. You may spend your day attending a grand opening or helping an older business refine their approach to digital marketing and sales.

Some of the most successful city managers are entrepreneurs. Others have backgrounds in marketing, local government, and sales. If you have the drive and are passionate about your town and the businesses that enrich it, reach out to us to learn more about becoming a City Manager.