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Pull out your thermometers, 'cause things are heating up! Here's our annual roundup of the newest trends, hottest markets and business ideas that promise to sizzle in 2005.

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This story appears in the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every year, Entrepreneur eagerly anticipates our "Hot" meeting-a daylong discussion of the trends, markets and ideas we think will be hot for the coming year. Besides hashing out what's hot, we also assess ways entrepreneurs can parlay these trends into new . This year, we noticed four strategies smart entrepreneurs are using:

1. Tap the countertrend. For every trend, there's a potentially lucrative countertrend waiting to be noticed. Consider C&C California, the T-shirt company whose "classic" T-shirts have struck a chord with women sick of skimpy, midriff-baring tops. While the niches you'll target when catering to a countertrend are generally small, they often have passionately loyal followers. And if the countertrend becomes as big as the original trend, won't you be glad you got in on the ground floor?

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