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More Hot Trends 2008

Just when you thought it couldn't get any hotter, here's more in-depth information on 23 hot opportunities.
November 28, 2007

Getting Started: Health-Care Staffing
Demand is booming in the health-care staffing sector. Here's a prescription for getting your business off to a healthy start:

Getting Started: Biotech/Health Technology
Health tech has gone high-tech. Check out these tips for launching a biotech company:

Getting Started: Web Apps
Web apps are a wide-open business opportunity. Help bring your business into focus with these suggestions:

Getting Started: Tech Consulting
You don't need a consultant to learn from these tips on starting your own tech-consulting business:

Getting Started: Beer Business
Interested in beer? Get your head out of the keg and take a look at these important tips:

Getting Started: Wine Business
Wine might be enticing enough to draw customers on its own, but to ensure your business gets off to a smooth start, check out these pointers:

Getting Started: Spirits Business
The spirits industry can be a bit daunting, so clear your head with these tips before you jump in headfirst:

Getting Started: Enhanced Beverage Business
Ready to get your feet wet in the beverage industry? Check out these golden rules of advice:

Getting Started: Special Needs Food Business
Food allergies represent a golden business opportunity. Take a look at this recipe for success:

Getting Started: Senior Products
Eager to launch a product to help seniors deal with Alzheimer's and dementia? Check out the following tips to launch:

Getting Started: Senior Services
If you're passionate about advocating for seniors, check out these tips for starting your own senior services business:

Getting Started: Sunglasses Business
You're great at wearing shades, but if you want to become the next sunglass mogul, listen to these surefire startup tips:

Getting Started: Handbag Business
Get a handle on your own handbag business with these pointers:

Getting Started: Specialty Shoe Business
These steps can help you walk into your own profitable shoe empire:

Getting Started: Specialty Lingerie
Before launching your hot new lingerie business, let these tips help your venture take shape:

Getting Started: College Planning
Ready to help out some of the more than 17 million students applying to college every year? Consider these startup tips:

Getting Started: High School Athletes
We asked Jim Kaufman, CEO of Rise, a national teen sports magazine, for his top five tips on getting into the game:

Getting Started: Solar Energy Products
Gary Gerber, a solar expert of 31 years who has seen many changes and much growth over the years, offers his tips on how to tap into the solar energy market without getting burned:

Getting Started: Green Apparel
Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious, turning green-friendly apparel into a hot commodity. Here are five tips for stitching up your own green clothing line or boutique:

Adds Smith, "It's showing them that there is another choice, then helping them make that choice."

Stahl agrees. "It's something that's here to stay, so our business is about a lifelong commitment." --L.H.

Getting Started: Green Business Services
Whether you're launching a consulting firm or a green consulting firm, offering shipping services or eco-friendly shipping services, you're starting a business. Here, two experts offer some tips for doing the latter:

Getting Started: Household Services for the Rich
The rich are getting richer, and they need help. Whether you offer butler services, domestic employee placement or upscale concierge services, here are five tips for getting started:

Getting Started: Crafts Business
Making a product with your own hands can be an incredibly rewarding pastime. Here are five tips for taking your crafts from hobby to business:

Getting Started: Executive Recruiting
Executive recruiting can put your people skills to the test, as well as your business acumen. Follow these five tips for startup success:

Growth Areas

Social Entrepreneurship
Social entrepreneurs are turning their business acumen to social issues, making a difference instead of just a buck. Both experienced and new entrepreneurs are finding that what works for business can also work for social change. The academic sector is helping drive this change, as well as the media and the funding field, says Lara Galinsky of Echoing Green, an angel investment firm that seed funds social entrepreneurs.

Like many social entrepreneurship organizations, Echoing Green was started by General Atlantic, a wealthy private equity firm. "They wanted to apply what worked for them to social change," says Galinsky. "Because there are so many people who've become wealthy quickly in the past [several] years, we're seeing more early adopters of social entrepreneurship." Examples: The One Laptop per Child project led by Nicholas Negroponte, and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network, which invests in microfinance institutions.

But this isn't just a rich man's game. Many new entrepreneurs are starting social enterprises, and business schools are helping. According to a survey conducted by the World Resources Institute and The Aspen Institute, 54 percent of the 91 business schools surveyed required students to take a course in ethics, corporate social responsibility, sustainability, or business and society. Organizations like Echoing Green are the next step, helping young activists fund their social entrepreneurship dreams. There are more resources than ever to help you get a social enterprise off the ground. --L.T.

Government Contracting
Good news for businesses seeking their fortune in government contracting: Federal procurement spending rose from $377.5 billion in 2005 to $412.1 billion in 2006, and 40 cents of each discretionary dollar spent went to a private firm.

"We clearly see the trends shifting [to a] breakout for small business. It's unmistakably clear," says Tim Walsh, president and CEO of ePipeline Inc., a federal contracting opportunity research service. Based on the contract opportunities ePipeline is tracking, Walsh sees growth in the operations and maintenance arena--small-business set-asides there grew from 54 percent in 2002 to 64 percent in 2007--as well as IT, where he says large contracts are being unbundled for small businesses.

Women- and veteran-owned businesses, especially those owned by service-disabled veterans, are also on the government's radar. Tom Johnson, publisher of Set-Aside Alert, a government contracting newsletter in based in Bethesda, Maryland, believes a set-aside for women-owned small businesses should be a reality in 2008. "That's been in the works for more than five years," says Johnson.

Regarding the SBA's recertification of small companies that got acquired by large firms so they will no longer count toward small-business contracting goals, Johnson doesn't see a widespread impact: "As far as small business, most of the agencies are meeting their goals. The impact is going to be on those companies that have grown and are being acquired more than [on] the companies that are still small." --L.T.

Saying "I do" will never go out of style, if the $72 billion-per-year wedding marketplace is any clue. Brides and grooms seek goods and services to make their day special--and are willing to spend an average of $27,000 to get it right. Even second weddings are becoming more popular. Ann Nola, founder and director of the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants, says, "If they didn't have the wedding of their dreams the first time, they're having it the second time."

And with the nearly 80 million echo boom kids starting to hit marriageable age, look for this market to continue to grow. Weddings are also going green, notes wedding planner Loree Tillman of Tillman & Co., who says couples are purchasing everything from natural fiber wedding gowns to recycled paper invitations to organic food and wine to show their environmental savvy.

Today, 85 percent of couples use the internet to help plan their weddings, and Kristin and David Ciccolella, , 38 and 40, respectively, are smack in the middle with Their Hackensack, New Jersey, online directory matches couples with local wedding vendors. With $3 million in sales, Kristin notes, "No matter what is going on in the world--whether the economy is booming or in a recession--people are still getting married, and we want to capitalize on that." --N.L.T.