3 Startup Ideas on the Rise (and 3 on the Way Out)

by Brad Chacos on October 25, 2011
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The long-term outlook for your chosen industry is an important thing to consider when you’re deciding whether to take the plunge into small-business ownership. Getting stuck holding last year’s bag while the market moves on to bigger and brighter things isn’t exactly a path to success. With that in mind, here’s a look at three industries that analysts expect to fly sky-high in the next decade — and three that are set to crash and burn.

The future looks bright for …

But the future looks bleak for …

  • Physical media. As noted above, the digital age has arrived and physical media is so, like, 1999. Netflix, iTunes, and their ilk dominate the landscape. IBISWorld expects DVD, game and video rental revenue to drop 11.2 percent and record-store revenue to plunge 11.6 by 2016, while the Small Business Administration reports that more than 25 percent of all video distributors, bookstores, and periodical and newspaper merchant wholesalers now default on their small-business loans.
  • Some specialized retailers. The SBA says that over a quarter of all shoe and men’s clothing stores defaulted on their small-business loans between 2000 and 2009. Meanwhile, IBISWorld’s list of dying industries ranks formal wear and costume retailers in tenth place, with an estimated 17.2 percent decline in revenue by 2016. Chalk the losses up to cheap imports and the poor economy.
  • Real estate agencies. Every locale is different, and fresh blood may be just what the real estate market in your area needs. But the odds aren’t in your favor: The SBA’s data shows that just over one of every four offices belonging to real estate agents and brokers fails to pay back its small-business loans, and CNN Money reports that “housing starts are near historic lows and consumer confidence remains depressed.”
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