BUSINESS STRATEGY & GROWTH • May 12, 2015
2 minutes Read
By Gene Marks
As someone who writes about small business, speaks to thousands of small business owners every year and runs my own 10-person company, I’m frequently asked, “How are small businesses doing this year?” It’s impossible to really answer that question. That’s because, depending on who you ask, there are between 20-30 million small businesses in this country. Some are doing OK, some are struggling, and some are doing well. So who’s having a great 2015? There are three types of businesses that fall into this category.
1. Those who are in hot industries. There are certain industries that are generating lots of profits in 2015. For example, although oil prices are down, the energy industry has been a winner over the past few years and most firms in this industry are hunkering down, waiting for prices to rise again. And they will rise again. And those firms will continue to do well. Besides energy, technology companies have pulled in billions of cash from venture capital firms and other investors to develop mobile apps, security and storage solutions as well as 3D printers, drones, medicines and other devices to make the world better. Healthcare has also seen enormous growth in the past few years, particularly in the areas of home healthcare services, “tele-health,” retirement housing and outpatient clinics as the country adapts to the Affordable Care Act and an aging population. In addition to the industries mentioned above, look for new opportunities in fitness and construction as the country continues to recover from the Great Recession of a few years ago. Want others? The National Federation of Independent Businesses has a great infographic with data about some of the best industries this year.
2. Those who are in good regions. Sometimes, it’s all about location. Many businesses in Texas, despite their industry, have been doing well over the past few years as the State’s energy, education and technology fields have grown in a lower tax environment. Small businesses supporting oil and fracking companies in North Dakota have prospered and will prosper again as oil prices go up. In San Francisco, where venture capital is king, real estate prices have skyrocketed. Small firms that have located themselves near winning companies in 2015 are seeing themselves benefit indirectly from their region’s growth. Besides the ones I’ve mentioned, here’s a listing of other fast growing state economies – businesses located in growing areas that are also prospering.
3. Those who are well managed. Sounds simple right? But it’s always the case. And if it were that simple, why isn’t every company well-managed? This is a good year for the small businesses I talk to who are running a tight ship. They have cash in the bank, accumulated over the last few years. They spend when there’s a specific return on investment. They’ve grown through outsourcing and keeping their overhead low. They’ve invested in technology and used innovative ways to control costs. They’ve marketed smartly and kept close to their customers. And, most importantly, they’ve created, nurtured, developed and helped a great group of employees that make up the core of their company – because what I’ve found is that the best companies survive the really bad years and take advantage of the better years, like this year, mostly because of their people.
So how’s your 2015 going?
Small business influencer Gene Marks is a guest blogger for CAN Capital. He is a celebrated author, columnist and small business owner.
Photo credit: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com
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