By Ryan Velez
Starting a business requires a combination of passion and foresight. While you may have expertise in a certain area, you need to realize that certain fields are simply doing better than others. Choosing wisely, or unwisely, may start your business venture with a handicap or boost. The Hartford has recently profiled some of the weakest business fields right now, giving some potential advice on where not to start your own potential company. With 50% of small businesses failing within the first five years, you want to do everything you can to beat the odds.
The bulk of the worst businesses to open right now are easy to pinpoint. Many of these are in areas already in decline, or those that have many alternatives that are easier for customers to use than going to retail.
Two great examples are video rental stores, which are practically already on death’s doorstep, and bookstores. Bookstores may be a bit surprising, but people need to realize that there are two major competing options to going to a bookstore. These are buying books online and increasing readership of E-books. Bookstores may still have a place, but the ground is shrinking under their feet. Travel agencies and taxi services are experiencing similar stories due to outside pressures.
In some cases, the market is oversaturated, decreasing your chances of standing out. A retail example is a frozen yogurt or ice cream shop, businesses that were once a rarity but now seem impossible to miss. Online, search engines and social sites are a dime-a-dozen. Yes, every now and then a Snapchat or something similar will break through. But you have to realize there are likely thousands of other stories that die out quietly due to a lack of options to compete against the big dogs.
Shopping trends are also growing, on top of how “everyone goes online” these days. For example, a growing consumer awareness and culture means that people these days are more likely to be conscious about what they buy. This can work to your advantage if you are organic or something similar. But if you are based on impulse buys, you may have a bad time. For this reason, gift shops may not be the best options to open up.