Niche Industries That Are Netting Big Profit

Time was that not too long ago, if you made hand crafted artisanal cheeses, you were doing it for the love of dairy and probably not living large from the profits. A shift in public interest, though, coupled with new means of advertising and getting products to consumers means that new niches are popping up with incredible success rates, and passion projects don’t have to remain labors of love anymore.

While some niches will always be profitable, like dating, moneymaking, Cleveland title loans, and weight loss, others are just starting to come into their own, and they’re bringing big bucks with them. Here’s a look at a few niche industries on the rise, and the companies that have made bank off of them.

The “Sharing” Industry

Ridesharing, homesharing, even boatsharing – if there’s something you have that may be of short-term use to others, chances are there’s a tech company making money off it right now. Companies like Uber and Airbnb target audiences looking for a very specific thing by using mass appeal.

Sharing, as a whole, is often branded as more affordable, more ecologically and economically mindful, and more immersive for consumers than the traditional alternatives. After all, why would you pay $300 a night for a hotel in Buenos Aires when you can spend $70 a night to stay in house in an up and coming neighborhood and get the added bonus of spending a few days with a host that knows the city inside and out? And hey – why not make some extra cash and meet people from all over the world by renting out that spare bedroom on the weekends?

Resource sharing companies appeal simultaneously to the desire to save money with the desire to make money, and that has them flushed. Airbnb is poised to cross the half billion revenue mark in 2015, and even when posting a net loss while spending to grow the brand, Uber’s paper valuation is around the $50 billion mark.

It looks like it really does pay to share.

Craft Food and Beverage

That artisanal cheese maker reference wasn’t tongue-in-cheek – it pays to be passionate about what you’re doing. The cheese thing doesn’t have all the numbers behind it, but the industry as a whole sure does.

Take a look at craft beer if you want to get an idea of how things are going. According to the Brewers Association, America had 50 breweries in 1980. As of 2012, they were reporting over 2,000, with the whole craft sector grossing over $10 billion a year. In 2012, the Boston Beer Company (the minds behind Sam Adams) brought in $580.2 million, while the opening of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s Chicago facility rocketed it to the 5th largest brewer in America, pushing out 500,000 barrels annually from the new facility.

As for the craft food segment, look at the ever-expanding Whole Food empire, purveyor of everything local, fair trade, organic, raw, or otherwise special. Their 2014 annual report shows sales growing to $14.2 billion across its 399 store chain.

Personal Health and Fitness

Like I said, weight loss and fitness will always be a profitable industry, and the same way that trainers were bringing in students by the handful with jazzercise classes in the 80’s, brands that focus on exercise trends including yoga and crossfit are making money today.

With over $64 million in revenue across its 74 studios in 2012, hot yoga giant Core Power Yoga is coming up strong as a fitness forerunner, while CrossFit as a brand has brought in over $4 billion.

There’s no secret behind the industry’s appeal – look better, live longer. What these companies are doing that’s making them so successful is that they’re promising a new means of accomplishing these goals that go beyond the typical fitness model.

Both promise not only physical but mental changes that will impact practitioners for a lifetime. Yoga holds a spiritual lilt while CrossFit appeals to the work-hard play-hard mentality that’s emanated throughout young America.

If history is any indicator, these will go the same way as jazzercise and all other fitness trends eventually, but for now, they’re shaping up their profits faster than they’re shaping up their clients.

Niche Marketing

Not surprisingly, with more and more home-grown entrepreneurs using increased connectivity and accessibility to turn their passion into profit, finding people who can understand and market in the industry is becoming increasingly more valuable.

Digital advertising, as an industry, is predicted to reach $185.4 billion by 2017, with marketers finding newer, increasingly more clever ways to organically sell to people and build brand recognition.

As traditional marketing strategies have tapered in impact, companies are shelling out more than ever to reach their target audience and get their brand known. Marketing companies like Showroom Logic and Ad Karma that can do that for them have nothing to worry about when it comes to cash flow or work availability.

4 Cool New Tech Startups that Prove You Can Make Money from Just About Any Idea

Not every idea will have the massive, demographic-spanning appeal of Facebook, or that perfect Uber-style mix of affordability and convenience. However, some ideas that look so-so on paper can take on a life of their own when given the right nurturing.

If you’re thinking of starting a startup, there has never been a better time than right now to take a chance on an idea you think has potential. However, you may be hemming and hawing for fear your idea may seem too quirky, or on the flipside, not quirky enough. But with a unique twist, the right angle, or that one-of-a-kind originality that sets your idea apart, and you could be raking in six, seven, or eight figures – or more.

Here are 4 cool new tech startups that managed to strike a balance between quirky, realistic, and useful – and reaped the rewards of the risks they took.

Cool New Tech Startup 1. Groupon – Because you should never pay full price for a murder mystery dinner or air duct cleaning.

Yes, the jolly green(startup) giant we have all come to know and love as Groupon started out in a tiny office with just a few employees. However, this startup was more than just a website offering local coupons. Groupon developed a convenient and user-friendly online platform and app, and set itself apart with funny, playful, sometimes bizarre writing in their deals, e-mails, and other communications. Coupled with a knack for hunting down a combination of deals people wanted and deals people didn’t know they wanted until they saw they were being offered, Groupon went from a quirky startup to a multi-billion dollar corporation with hundreds of employees.

Cool New Tech Startup 2. OneLogin – Because resetting your password requires three minutes you just don’t have.

How many times have you been caught cursing the login page of your online banking app or LinkedIn profile because you changed your password one too many times, and can now no longer remember what it is? We’ve all been there, which is why OneLogin was created. This program provides users – specifically employees of large businesses – with access to cloud applications from any device.

Cool New Tech Startup 3. SmartThings – Because not everyone is bothered by technology that’s half a step away from self-awareness.

This app takes technology to a slightly eerie level by giving users the ability to monitor their homes (which can include turning lights on or off and even sensing motion within the house) from anywhere in the world. You can tell how many people are in your home at any given time, and even set the program up so that your coffee maker senses when you wake up and knows to start brewing coffee. Yes, they really did think of everything…everything.

Cool New Tech Startup 4. Stitch Fix – Because being stylistically impaired is the 8th deadly sin.

Stitch fix is a female-focused styling service that allows subscribers to answer questions about their clothing likes and dislikes, then have a stylist hand-select fashion forward pieces that would best suit customers’ body types, occupations, and preferences. Instead of simply taking a page from the book of a lifeless mannequin in a busy store, this startup put a unique twist on fashion by becoming a one-stop shop that includes consultation, and a large selection of everything from work outfits to clubbing dresses to casual clothes. Gone are the days of women having to fend for themselves or risk looking like anything less than a supporting cast member on The Hills. For those who are less style-inclined (but who would prefer to seem like they are) Stitch Fix helps fill in the wardrobe gaps.

Americans Switching Their Favorite Companies

Americans Take Action Today by Switching to Their Favorite Up and Coming Companies of Today

The world is in a constant state of change, and so it makes sense that most Americans don’t just stick to one thing when there are better options out there. Americans are proactive and willing to support the companies that offer the most attractive services.

Cable vs. Streaming Sites

The most prominent example is the decision to switch from cable — which has been a staple in American households for years — to streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

There have been a ton of articles about “cutting the cord” (we like this one from USA TODAY). The reason? Cable is expensive, and life is busier than ever. It can be difficult to align schedules based on when a TV series airs. Streaming sites give consumers access to episodes of recent shows with a reasonable monthly fee available at any time of day, not a bunch of channels to navigate.

Cell Phone Carriers

Without a doubt, it can be overwhelming to take in all of the advertisements for cell phones. It can seem like a ton of white noise. Though, many Americans have navigated through all the fine print and switched carriers or opted to toss a two year contract in favor of less restrictive plans.

For one, T-Mobile’s commitment to allowing cell phone users to switch to their company without early termination fees has appealed to many. Though, it makes the most sense for people who are interested in trading in their phones, not those with the latest Android and iOS models.

In any case, when it comes to switching, a lot of factors come into play, like the quality of service in an area, data usage, and number of phones on a plan. While T-Mobile or prepaid plans (i.e. Virgin Mobile and Cricket) are go-tos for some, making an educated decision lays in the hands of each American.

Non-Local vs. Local Foods

Let’s shift gears a bit and talk about food. Lately, where food comes from has been in the news. Words like organic and GMOs are sprinkled throughout our modern world. On a similar note, in order to support local businesses, some Americans choose to buy produce from farmers markets and sometimes directly from farmers themselves.

This choice prioritizes the success of valuable local small businesses that don’t have the same resources as big box stores like Walmart and Target. Additionally, the choice supports the environment, as less fossil fuels are involved when it comes to transporting the products (though, factors like growing and transportation method impact this figure).

The Bottom Line AKA How To Assess Change

At the end of the day, it’s important to note that all companies and special offers and values are in flux. For that reason, before deciding to switch, it’s a good idea to do research, as well as ask friends and family for advice.

Afterwards, of course, it would be too much to have to keep up with every minute change with the companies you give your money to, from groceries to theatre performances. So, we advise consumers to keep a look out and read about general trends. By focusing on what’s important to them, consumers can recognize when the smart time to make another switch is.