In their list of top 10 business opportunities in a down economy, John Assaraf and Murray Smith, founders of OneCoach, a provider of small-business coaching services, recommend the following:
- Business coaching: As employees get downsized, upsized or just plain sick of their jobs, more of them are starting their own businesses. You can be there to provide the coaching and mentorship they need to succeed.
- Social networking for business: Take advantage of the interactivity of social networking to connect with prospects and help other businesses do the same.
- Alternative fuels: Help consumers cut their energy costs with alternative fuels and products that boost fuel efficiency.
- Environmental services: It's the greening of America, and it's only just begun.
- Health care: People are living longer and need health-care products and services to help them maintain a good quality of life.
- Nail salons/beauty products: Think fewer facelifts and more facials. People will always tend to their appearance, even in a down economy.
- Discount retailers: Give people what they want at deep discounts, just as Wal-Mart and 99 Cents Only Stores do.
- Luxury products: Interestingly, yacht sales are up, as are sales of Prada skirts. There are still consumers with money who are willing to spend it.
- IT and technology services: Help business travelers cut the cost of flying with virtual meetings.
- Credit and debt management: Show consumers how to tighten their purse strings even further.
Karen E. Spaeder is the founder and CEO of Rain Frog Apparel, a bamboo clothing company in Southern California. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lindsay Holloway, Amanda C. Kooser, Tiffany Meyers, Laura Tiffany, Geoff williams and Sara Wilson contributed to this article.