Best Entrepreneurial Opportunities 2014

When it comes to starting new businesses, the landscape is always changing. A highly profitable idea one year may be less profitable the next. Here we’ve done budding entrepreneurs the favour of putting together a list of the best start-up opportunities for 2014.

Recycling pickups

Recycling truck

Recycling truck. Image by eppingforestdc

People’s collective eco-conscience is becoming stronger, so leverage this and help them in their green endeavours. A lot of people would happily keep a recycling bin and an organic waste bin, and recycle broken electronics, but they just don’t have the time to locate or make it to the appropriate recycling depots and pick-up points. You can easily make use of this opportunity by starting up a recycling pickup service, operating a round trip weekly or fortnightly in the suburb or city of your choice. Whilst there are a few operators in South Africa’s urban areas this remains a highly underleveraged business opportunity.

Software training

People are increasingly aware of the positive impact that proficiency in particular kinds of software can have on their job prospects. However, teaching yourself can be tough, especially if you’re completely new to specific software. As a result, there’s a gap in the market for friendly, practical and personalised software training. Get together a group of friends who know some essential industry software, whether it’s related to design, music, coding or even word processing, and help people make the most of their computers.

Self-storage

Self-Storage facility

Self-Storage facility. Image by Omar Omar

As the consumer lifestyle continues on its upward trend, people are always going to need extra space to store their excess goods. Businesses, too, often need to make use of self-storage facilities to free up space in their offices, whether it’s to make space for new employees or new equipment. Savvy South African entrepreneurs like XtraSpace and several others have jumped at the chance to take a piece of this profitable pie, as a self-storage start-up has several factors that make it a good investment, such as low initial building and management costs and the low likelihood of storage property devaluation (as opposed to real estate).

Mobile consulting for business

Increasingly, businesses have to provide mobile functionality and content – from mobile-friendly web sites and apps to social media profiles – if they’re to survive. According to a study by The 60-Second Marketer, more people in the world own mobile devices than people own toothbrushes, so dismissing the mobile market is an unwise risk. Most business owners don’t have the knowledge or time to rethink their online and mobile presence, so starting up a firm to assist businesses in going mobile is a great idea.

Employee monitoring

Home office

Home office. Image by Sean MacEntee

It’s becoming increasingly popular for employees to work offsite, whether via Wi-Fi connections in coffee shops or from their homes. The challenge is keeping them (and their deadlines) in check. Traditional time-clock apps and pay-roll management software don’t really do the trick and are too easily manipulated. A company that can solve this problem while also offering some HR functions would be in great demand in this new “remote desktop” work environment.

Smartphone repairs

Capitalising on the same enormous market that the mobile consulting idea does, smartphone repairs are a great new venture prospect for 2014. If you own a smartphone, it’s likely you’re familiar with the frustration involved in trying to get one repaired. This is either deemed “impossible” or costs as much as a brand new phone. Enter a new business start-up idea – buy unwanted old phones, harvest the parts and use them to repair phones at a reduced price. There’s definitely a large gap in the smartphone repair market – you just need to find out how to fill it!

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