1997s Hottest Businesses

Job Training/Retraining

In a world where the skills you have determine how successful you are, it stands to reason that the more skills you have, the better your chances for success. That's why today's employees are clamoring for additional training to make themselves more well-rounded, increase their promotability or provide them with a backup plan in case they're laid off. No wonder businesses that train the general public and retrain the downsized-and-out are multiplying faster than you can say "You're fired."

"People are having to make changes more quickly than ever before," says Laura Berman Fortgang, owner of Verona, New Jersey-based InterCoach Business Development & Training. They don't want to wait until the ax has fallen before taking action, so they are reinventing themselves.

That trend has created a market of at least 1,500 individual job coaches nationwide and untold numbers of training businesses, according to Thomas J. Leonard, founder of Brandon, Florida-based Coach University, a training and development company.

Today's courses target everyone from newly divorced women seeking to re-enter the job market to people who want to learn word processing or executives hoping to become more promotion-worthy. And depending on the type of training you specialize in, you may be able to skip establishing an office altogether; some of your clients may prefer you to train on-site.

While laid-off or downsized employees (or those fearing such) are the hottest market right now, they aren't the only game in town. According to Leonard, tens of millions of self-employed and homebased individuals are also ripe for coaching or training. "People want to get ahead," he says. "They don't want to lose out."

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This article was originally published in the December 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 1997s Hottest Businesses.

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