Most Common Types of Industries for Small Business Owners

Camino Financial20 Nov 2019
If you are considering opening a small business you might not know where to start. What industries are currently profitable? What is easier to get into? Let’s go over the most common types of industries for small business owners, and give a couple of things for you to think about when choosing an industry that is right for you.

Most Popular Industries for Small Business Owners

The following are a few of the most popular types of industries among small business owners in the current economy, taken from Mightycall:

Food Services

The food industry has always been a prime target for small business owners. Not only are there so many different aspects of the food industry (cafes, food trucks, catering, bakeries, etc.), but they are some of the most profitable types of industries as well. Depending on what you want to do, you may not need formal training, but the food industry can be crowded and hard to get into without providing something unique.


The U.S. is currently going through a health craze, which is providing many opportunities for small business owners. Those with a passion for physical fitness can become personal trainers, while those with knowledge of nutrition can help people with dieting (lots of Americans are trying to lose weight). The amount of education you need varies by profession, while you need almost no formal education to be a personal trainer you would likely need a degree in nutrition to become a nutritionist. This is a great industry for those with a passion for fitness and making others a better version of themselves.

Website Design

In the modern world, a business with a poor website is likely to lose thousands of dollars on potential customers. This is why website design has become such a booming career option. Aside from the obvious benefit of getting to work from home most of the time, the demand for websites that both look sleek and function seamlessly will pretty much never run out. Even if a business already has a website, it will likely want to redesign or optimize it at some point. While you could get a degree specifically in web design, you could get by without a degree provided you had a portfolio of websites that showed a strong sense of style and functionality. 

Auto Repairs

So many Americans drive a car (or multiple) and as any car owner likely knows there is always something to be done on one’s car. This is why auto repair shops are so enticing to small business owners (especially those with an affinity for automobiles). You can open a general auto repair shop, or you can specialize in certain aspects like tires, detailing, paint jobs, brakes, etc. You typically need to get a vocational degree or study under a master mechanic for a long time before you can break into the industry, but as long as you hire great mechanics you could also just manage the business side of things. The only problem with auto repair shops is they are more expensive to open, with a lot of expensive machinery and equipment needed to get the job done. 

Most Common Types of Industries by Region

The start of any good business location. An ice cream parlor would likely do better in a region that gets hotter, while a winter clothing store wouldn’t do well in the mild weather of California. Below is a nifty graphic from SmallBizTrends showing the most popular types of industries for each region:

Most Common Types of Industries for Latino Entrepreneurs

The following graphic from a Stanford study gives a good idea of the types of industries where there are more Latino business owners than other demographics: According to Stanford, there is a larger concentration of Latino business owners in both transportation and warehousing, as well as construction. In the Leisure and Hospitality category, Latino business owners are typically in the food and accommodation industry.

Most Common Types of Industries for Women Entrepreneurs

The Women's Business Enterprise National Council have collected data on women entrepreneurs and come to the following conclusions about women and types of industries:
  • Half of the Women-Owned Businesses fall within the following sectors: Education, healthcare services, and professional/technical/scientific services.
  • Women-owned businesses have seen substantial growth in the utilities, construction, accommodation and food service, and administrative support sectors.
Thestoryexchange also has provided a list of industries that tend to attract women entrepreneurs:
  • Healthcare, Wellness, and Fitness – Many women are passionate about health and are opening up health clinics, gyms, or diet clinics. There are also many women who are becoming personal trainers or health coaches.
  • Apparel and Accessories - Women have become forces in the fashion industry, especially for clothing brands designed specifically for women. There are many women who have created their own fashion line and are selling their own product online (this is a hyper-competitive field however, you really have to stand out!)
  • Consumer Goods – Women are also growing in the consumer goods industry. Women are creating products such as glassware, pottery, jewelry, and other home goods and selling them online marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon.

What Industry Is Right for Me?

After reading all of the above about the different types of industries, you might still be struggling to think: what industry is right for me? This is a tough decision to make, so here are a few things to consider when deciding on an industry:
  1. What am I passionate about? – Starting a small business is extremely difficult and requires a lot of hard work. This is made easier when you are creating a business that you take pride in and are passionate about. If you love cooking, consider going into the food industry. If you have always been crafty, consider selling custom made home goods, etc.
  2. What can I make a profit doing? – The reality is that you will need money to support yourself and your business. This is why it is important to have a solid business plan and figure out how you will turn your ideas into a profit. If you sell home goods, consider spreading out your merchandise to multiple websites so more people can look at your product (the same can be applied to fashion, catering, professional services, etc.)
  3. What will set me apart? – Many industries have a lot of competition that could cut into your business if you are not careful. You need to be sure that your business will be providing something that no other business near you provides. It can be a new take on a classic dish or providing specialized auto services that other auto repair shops don’t provide. Just make sure you are bringing something new to the table.
Still indecisive? Take this quiz: What Type Of Entrepreneur Are You?
Now that you have all of this information on the types of industries for small businesses, we hope we’ve helped ease the decision of which sector to break into.  For even more helpful articles and guidance, be sure to join our Camino Financial Newsletter. We always strive to fulfill our motto: “No Business Left Behind”, and a big part of that is creating a community of small business owners and giving back through our business loans and loan financing coaching. Become a part of our community today.
If you’re still wondering what business is right for you, these articles will help you:    Most Profitable Businesses in the U. S.    Profit Margin by Industry

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