It is time to stop focusing on our economic problems and to start considering the new needs created by the current economy. Opportunities for entrepreneurialism abound.
It’s always good to know where growth markets are. Recently, I asked my SUCCESS Magazine board of advisors to point out the industries and businesses that are booming because of the economy.
Here are a few trends that seem to be surfacing:
Safety and Comfort. It has been established that the economy is driving people to psychologically safe places. People are escaping by renting movies, visiting their counselors and psychologists and buying comfort foods. While high-end restaurants are struggling, places like McDonald’s and other inexpensive takeout spots like Wingstop, who’s sales are up 6.5 percent, 75 percent of which are takeout, are growing.
A Return to Prudence. A social shift to cost-saving measures redirects dollars to alternative services. People are cancelling their cable subscriptions and using the streaming television Web site Hulu.com to watch the same programs through the Internet for free. Additionally, people are staying home versus going out. Netflix subscribers have increased to more than 10 million, and iTunes’ sales are way up, with growth of more than 25 percent.
Also, because we are staying home for fun, the video gaming industry has reported an increase of 31 percent. GameStop is outperforming the retail sector with expected growth of 18 to 22 percent for 2009.
Retraining, Retooling and Re-evaluating. In a poor economy, people update and advance their education to give themselves a competitive edge in the job market. Community colleges’, business schools’ and distance learning programs’ enrollments are up. And, of course, job search and résumé consulting, networking and preparatory service companies are thriving.
Contract Services. Instead of hiring full-benefit employees, companies are hiring outside consultants and contractors for specific projects, including IT, design, production and creative services. This increase in specialized contract work has spurred an increase in independent consulting and small contract service businesses.
The Unfortunate Obvious. Bankruptcy attorneys, accounting services specializing in accounts receivable collection, law firms representing displaced employees, realtors specializing in bank-owned properties, restructuring consulting companies and equipment liquidators have also done well in this economy. Overstock.com has reported a 17 percent increase in business.