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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
The Hottest Businesses for 2004 -- Part #1
Entrepreneur Magazine has issued a list of the hottest new U. S. business opportunities for 2004. Because the list is so lengthy (18 entries), we will use two separate posts to cover the opportunities.

Part #1 of the Entrepreneur list includes:

    Online Learning -- a $6.6 Billion (US) industry expected to grow to $23.7 Billion (US) by 2006, according to research firm IDC. The hottest segment of this industry? Blended learning...which simply means online learning combined at times with instructor training, video training and other methods.
    Mobile Gaming -- No, we're not talking about playing blackjack while riding in a limo. Mobile gaming means playing games using a mobile phone. "Eighty percent of all mobile phone users in the United States and Europe will play online games using wireless devices by 2005, according to technology research firm Datamonitor. That's more than 200 million people. Creating and distributing games is where the opportunity is in this fledgling market."
    VoIP -- "Homes and businesses around the world are leaving their regular phone service behind to make their calls for a fraction of the price over the Net. *** While large enterprises will likely be slow to adopt VoIP, consumers and small business will be on the forefront."
    Tech Security -- Security is a fast growing area of technology. "One of the biggest computer stories of the past few years is the rise of technology security. It's a wide-open area that encompasses everything from biometric thumbprint scanners to VPNs to consulting to firewalls to virus protection and beyond."
    Spas -- One in 5 Americans visited a spa in the past year. As the spa business grows, it is diversifying into specific niches. Some spas target certain age groups, or males or females only. Spas can be medical oriented or family oriented. And the niche focus will continue as the industry grows and develops.
    Upscale Pet Services -- Americans love their pets. So much so, that they will spend $31 Billion (US) on their pets in 2003. Luxury services for pets - such as day cruises and pet spas - are a growth industry.
    Wireless -- "While on the surface the wireless arena appears to be dominated by jumbo-size enterprises, a lot of the innovation and nuts-and-bolts work is provided by growing businesses and start-ups." Wireless hot spots is an area getting a lot of attention right now. But other areas that are promising are: prepaid wireless services, location-based technologies like e911, and wireless home networking.
    Outsourcing -- We hear so much about the threat of offshore outsourcing, that we can forget how much opportunity is to be had in outsourcing. Among these opportunities: there is room for smaller enterprises that help companies figure out what to outsource and how to manage their off-shore projects.
    Senior Care -- As the population ages, products and services for seniors are a hot area, as are services to help children caring for aging parents. Personal fitness trainers for seniors, in-home care, senior day-care, personalized moving services -- the list goes on.

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