Part 24: Top Ten Business Opportunities in 2014

by K.C. See

This is the time of the year where I would be asked by my students and members of the Money Mastery community, what the top 10 business opportunities for 2014, would be. I used the same process I used before called Opportunity Search designed by my guru Alan Weiss. The process is based on the concept that opportunities come from change and from the opportunity; we derive the possible business idea. So the three words are Change – Opportunities – Ideas. So lets start by identifying some possible changes in the market place.

  • Higher cost of living and running a business.
  • Crime rate perceived to be growing.
  • Urbanization of population.
  • Health consciousness continually increasing.
  • Work life balance as younger generation wants different life style.
  • Aging population who higher propensity to spend compared with the previous aged.
  • Younger generation willing to spend more.

You would note that these are strictly my opinion and you may not agree with it and further more, the business ideas are primarily for smaller operations. Some of the opportunities I mentioned last year remain so, as I believe the opportunities still hold for 2014. So they are not entirely new ideas.

1) Area of Opportunity: Business Improvements for SME
Business Idea 1: SAAS ( Software as a service) / PAAS ( Platform as a service) / cloud computing for niche areas
Small and Medium size operations in the past are owned and run by baby boomers and Gen X and although investment in information technology has been emphasized, their resistance to change and the cost barrier to entry makes actual adoption slow and in some cases non-existent. Time has changed, with the younger people taking charge and with cloud computing making initial investment lower creates significant opportunities.
Business Idea 2: Business Consulting/ coaching
For the same reasons above and coupled with the fact that organizations are pressured by rising costs, the need to get external help for new ideas and to improve efficiency provides opportunities for consulting and coaching.

2) Area of Opportunity: Mobile Marketing
Business idea 1: Mobile apps for business
I have a vested interest in this being part owner of the largest mobile app developer in this region. The signs are obvious ; the shift is from computers to mobile devices and every business would need to have their own mobile app. The list of reasons is too long to explore in this article.
Business Idea 2: Wechat / Whatsapp marketing
Wechat has grown at such a tremendous pace ( 600 million and counting) that it is simply amazing and from the perspective of Facebook and the other social media platforms; threatening . So as Facebook marketing is the hot area now; wechat or whatsapp marketing will be the future and it would not be faraway.

3) Area of Opportunity:  Organic & Healthy Food
I repeated this from 2013 list. However the idea of opening up cafes and restaurants are increasingly restrictive as retail rental continues to go higher . I suggest the alternatives.
Business Idea 1: Food delivery
Food delivery is common and big in other countries such as China and in a place where going out to eat for lunch is a hassle, food delivery will be an idea to consider
Business Idea 2: Food trucks
For similar reasons food trucks make this opportunity more doable and viable.

4) Area of Opportunity: Health Empowerment
Business Idea 1: Health analysis & information
As health consciousness increases more and more people wants to take charge of their own health and to follow a preventive regime rather then to look for help only when they face health problems. To empower themselves they need three things; Diagnosis, Information and Solutions. They will look for methodologies, systems and devices to diagnose and analyse. They need more information on health issues and better understanding of causes and possible solutions.
Business Idea 2: Anti aging and weight management
These are two areas that will continue to be big and are million-dollars industries.

5) Area of Opportunity:  Marketing Services
Business needs help and will continue to be challenging as they look for new avenues to market their products or services.
Business Idea 1: Online marketing
Online marketing are capabilities that most small and medium size operations may not have but would require in order to remain successful and to be more global. They need to go beyond the traditional ways on how they do business and would now be more receptive. Providing such capabilities as a service especially in a holistic form would be a big area.
Business Idea 2: Lead generation services
With the implementation of the Data Protection Act( different names in different countries); organizations can no longer do random SMS or email marketing. However getting leads is still an important part of the business process and organization that can provide this as a service, would be of value.

6) Area of Opportunity: Contracting and Outsourcing
Business Idea 1: Online market place for services
By market place I mean providing a platform where potential customers can find and choose their suppliers or vendors all in one place. This could primarily be an online opportunity but have existed as a brick and mortar option as seen in wholesales markets, which are thriving in certain sector e.g. fashion. One example would be an online platform for people to find renovators e.g.
Business Idea 2: Niche outsourcing
There are some niche areas of services that organizations are looking for and would require to outsource or to engage people who specialized in these areas. One example would be property management company which would want to outsource their house maintenance service whether it is plumbing, electrical services or minor repairs. Another niche area is home inspection services required by home buyers who need to inspect their newly bought homes and has no idea how to do that well before they sign off on that piece of paper which absolve the developers from future responsibilities.

7) Area of Opportunity: Human Resource Management
Business Idea 1: Free-lancing providers or sites
Free-lancing will continue to be an opportunity as organization finds it challenging to recruit and employ permanent staff in some job areas. They will have to shift to using free-lancers or similar forms such as contract staffing. Whilst there are online sites that would be a market place for this, niche areas freelancing could be an opportunity.
Business Idea 2: Human Resource and performance monitoring systems
There will be more and more employees working from home and as many organizations and managers are not equipped to manage and monitor this category of staffing; technology and performance management system to do that would be required.

8) Area of Opportunity:  Recreational and lifestyle
Business Idea 1: Specialized sports and niche hobbies
As work life balance is treasured more people would embark on personal pursuits and especially niche and cool areas  such as mountain biking, marathon running or even belly-dancing.
Business Idea 2: Home-based entertainment systems
People spending more time at home will need to find home based entertainments, be it in exotic games and or home based equipments
Business Area 3: Pets Services
Pets are big businesses. Most things that relate to pets cost more than for normal human beings; such as pet grooming, pet hotels and toys for pets.

9) Area of Opportunity: Services for Seniors
Business Idea 1: Tours for seniors
Seniors’ holidays are different from the normal. They can’t do the 6-countries-in-6 days tour, typical Asian style. They need more time and specialized care.
Business idea 2: Retirement planning & homes
This opportunity has often been talked about but more can be done. The elderly today wants to live in a more holiday type resort for their retirement and the market that can afford this is increasing.

10) Area of Opportunity:  Smart Devices
Smart devices go beyond smart phones and Ipads or the like. Technology advances to include wearable technology and over the next few years, no homes would be without some form of these ‘smart’ devices.
Business Idea 1: Repair services
Obviously there is a need for people who will look after these areas as reliance become more. Try to be without your smart phone for a week.
Business Idea 2: Accessories
Especially for the younger generation, personalizing your ‘toys’ is a self expression of who you are, they want to ‘customize’ their ‘toys’ and accessories for these becomes their fashion statements.

You are welcome to write to me at [email protected] to discuss these suggestions.
“KC See is the Founder of MasteryAsia an organization dedicated to coaching people for multiple sources of income. He is a serial entrepreneur with businesses ranging from health to mobile technology and runs the renown Money Mastery Mentorship Programme since 1997.”

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