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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Friday, November 21, 2003
The Hottest Businesses for 2004 -- Part #2
The following is Part #2 of the list of the hottest new U. S. business opportunities for 2004, as contained in Entrepreneur Magazine. Part #1 of the Entrepreneur list was published yesterday (see the post prior to this one):

    Online Matchmaking -- Americans are willing to pay for connections, social or professional. The online dating industry is forecasted at $1.14 Billion (US) in 2003. However, plain vanilla online dating sites are no longer enough. Finding a fresh niche is key. Sites like Friendster.com, linking together friends (who may or may not date) and sites like EntreMate.com, which connect up business partners, are seeing some of the hottest growth.
    Children's Enrichment Programs -- Call it kids' extracurricular activities...on steroids. Offering activities and lessons to children is now a billion-dollar industry. Dance, martial arts, foreign languages, organized sports and chess are just some of the programs available, and all adding up to opportunity.
    Organic Foods -- Consumers are turning to organic foods in greater numbers than ever before. Grocers are clearing space on their shelves for organics. "If you want to go organic, creativity is key. Are you addressing an unmet need, are you bringing something new to the category, or are you just another substitute for what [stores are] already carrying?"
    Home Automation -- Formerly just for the wealthy, there is now a market for home automation among ordinary homeowners. Home security systems, home entertainment, lighting and window coverings are the main services. The big name electronics manufacturers dominate the manufacture of home automation systems. The entrepreneurial opportunity is in installing and maintaining the systems.
    Specialty Exercise Aftermarket -- Yoga, Pilates, meditation. They offer huge market potential. "Yoga-inspired foods, gear aimed at men, instructors who work inside schools and large corporations, and franchising are just a few largely untapped markets."
    Home Improvement -- According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Americans spent $163 Billion (US) on remodeling in 2002. (Yes, that's right, Billion with a B.) In such a large industry, there are plenty of opportunities in niche areas including: contracting, interior design, interior arranging (designing new spaces with items a client already owns), making homes more accessible to seniors, and environmentally-sound remodeling.
    Women's Fitness Centers -- Women's fitness is a booming trend. Opportunities include exercise spas, nutrition, personal training, workout reminders, progress tracking, clothing and equipment.
    eBay -- eBay, the most profitable of the eCommerce behemoths. Need we say more? Hot sales areas of eBay include home and garden, clothing and accessories, vehicles and parts, and consumer electronics.
    Medical Supply -- With "the number of seniors expected to grow to 70 million by 2030, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging, the medical supplies and equipment industry will continue to grow." The home health care segment in particular is growing steadily.

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