Top five areas to start a business in 2014

When it comes to starting your own business, it can be a challenge working out what sectors have the best potential.

Business evolves with changes in technology, global developments and the whims of customers.

We spoke to Brad Callaughan, of business advisors Callaughan Partners, about which business sectors might fire in 2014 and provide lucrative opportunities.

IT and technology

Callaughan says apps and website development will be a lucrative area to start a business as internet use continues to grow.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in October showed broadband downloads in the three months to June 30 surged by nearly 60% on the same period last year. Mobile handset downloads have also surged as the number of people with smartphones increases.

Businesses are also increasingly taking up technology. The Sensis e-Business Report for 2013 found that 98% of small to medium enterprises have a computer, up 3% from last year, 69% have a laptop, up 10% from 2011, and 41% own tablet computers.

The report also found small business internet penetration has grown to 96% from 23% in 1997, with 60% using a website to promote themselves.

“As there is more demand for apps with each business and the development of new apps to make life easier, there will be an increase in the demand for companies that can service this area,” Callaughan says.

“Website and IT support will again be winners with the changing technology environment.

“There will also be an increase in online activity, so business will need to be up-to-date with technology and have the best equipment to be able to support this infrastructure.”

Baby boomers

It’s well documented that Australia has an ageing population.

A recent Productivity Commission report says that the number of people aged 75 years and more is expected to rise by 4 million from 2012 to 2060, increasing from about 6.4% of the population to 14.4%.

Callaughan says our ageing population and Baby Boomers have “always provided numerous business opportunities”.

But he suggests people think outside the box of just aged care housing and consider the numerous needs people have as they age and move into retirement, highlighting travel as a potential area ripe for growth.

“There will be more opportunity for services like tours and travel agents that cater to travel for retirees,” he says.

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