WomensNet News

January 20th 2012

Business Start-Ups Women Should Think About in 2012

We at WomensNet.net wanted to share a few quick thoughts about what business start-ups will be hot in 2012. Before we do, a quick heads up that the deadline for the next WNN Amber Grant for Women is in just a few weeks. If you’d like to be considered for our women’s business grant, please take several minutes to tell us your story!

Now to other thoughts that can help a woman entrepreneur like you…

You’re ready to build your own woman-owned business, but you’re not sure where you should be investing your time and money. What will work and can make you money in 2012 and beyond? Look around.

That’s what Brian Miller, president and COO of consulting firm The Entrepreneur’s Source, told Laurie Kulikowski of TheStreet.com. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/starting-out/top-5-industries-to-start-a-business-in-2012/article2287411/)

“One of the things I often tell people is ‘Think about what’s happening in society and you will see emerging business models that follow suit,’” Miller said.

So what IS going on? The population is getting older as people live longer and the Baby Boomers hit retirement age. People are trying to get healthier as healthcare costs push to the forefront. Big companies are outsourcing what they can. Oh yeah, and computers seem to be catching on.

Here are a few related areas full of earning potential for women like you.

Caring for the elderly. An aging population needs someone to help out. That means greater demand for in-home services. Business and franchises can focus on medical care or physical therapy that enables the elderly to stay home instead of moving to a nursing facility. Perhaps opportunity lies in helping the older crowd with more typical daily tasks: cooking, cleaning, etc. Senior Helpers offers such in-home help without the need for medical training. StartUpHomeCare provides a similar opportunity, though the site stipulates that it isn’t a franchise.

Cleaning. Our parents and grandparents aren’t the only folks who could use a little help around the house. Among Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 10 home-based franchises for 2012, 6 center on residential and/or commercial cleaning. ServPro sits #1, specializing in restoration after disasters (e.g. fire, flooding). That franchise comes with an expensive buy-in — at least $132,000. But it’s followed immediately by Stratus Building Solutions. Franchise fees start as low as $3,450 for Stratus. If starting your own business, it’s important to make yourself unique among competitors. This Texas carpet cleaner is building off lessons from previous employers and a different cleaning system.

Health and wellness. Who doesn’t want to be healthier? The challenges of getting proper exercise, monitoring your diet and simply keeping everything on track can be daunting. People are increasingly seeking regimens, advice and products to help get them fit. If you’re considering franchise investment, Jazzercise could be a fit. The familiar workout program – launched in 1977 — has ranked among Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 21 fastest-growing franchises for 5 straight years. It has also ranked among the top 5 home-based franchises 3 straight years. Perhaps most importantly, it’s also among the cheapest to start. If you pursue a franchise or your own startup, though, make sure to know your marketplace and seek long-term potential. The diet and exercise worlds are rife with fads.

Child care. No matter how far we advance technologically (or otherwise), someone will always need to take care of the kids when they’re not in school. Just make sure to study up on the certification laws in your area before pursuing this path. ChildCare.net offers a “business package” said to include all information, forms, etc. needed to start your own day care.

Computers/Online. This is obviously an expansive umbrella with near-endless opportunities. For starters, though, Web design is an area of constant need. Most any successful business today needs some sort of Web presence but you need to do more than create your own site and set your rates. Multiple sources strongly recommend creating a business plan before striking out on your own. Here are some basics. If your experience lies in other areas, perhaps you offer value as a consultant. Whether computers or another field, you can find tips online for pursuing the consulting path.

More important than any trends, however, is finding something you enjoy. Lee Rhodes started out making artisanal candleholders and found herself 2011 Entrepeneur of the year. Create your own opportunity … and success!