10 Fastest Growing Industries For Small Business

At KSBDC, we often receive questions from potential entrepreneurs related to what type of business they should start. As Catherine Clifford at Entrepreneur.com writes, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the old business truism says. But you also may have heard that you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you have been.”

Entrepreneur.com partnered with Sageworks.com to analyze financial data from small businesses across the US to produce these results. Here’s a look at the industries where U.S. companies with $10 million or less in annual sales have shown the highest and lowest percentage change from Jan. 1 to Dec 31, 2012. As a benchmark, the average growth rate across all U.S. small businesses in the time period was 8 percent, says Libby Bierman, an analyst at Sageworks.

Fastest-Growth Industries for U.S. Small Businesses in 2012

1.) Residential building construction: 14.77 percent
2.) Building custom software and servers for businesses: 14.29 percent
3.) Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers: 13.75 percent
4.) Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 12.31 percent
5.) Architectural, engineering, and related services: 11.40 percent
6.) Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors: 11.37 percent
7.) Building finishing contractors who make additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs: 11.32 percent
8.) General freight trucking: 10.41 percent
9.) Services to buildings and dwellings, including pest exterminators, janitorial services, and landscaping: 10.11 percent
10.) Other specialty trade contractors, including site preparation activities and other specialized trades: 10.04 percent
And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, they also list the slowest growth industries.

Slowest-Growth Industries for U.S. Small Businesses in 2012

1.) Skilled nursing care facilities: -3.29 percent
2.) Printing and related support activities: 1.86 percent
3.) Automotive repair and maintenance: 2.81 percent
4.) Offices of physicians: 3.00 percent
5.) Highway, street, and bridge construction: 4.24 percent
6.) Insurance agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities: 4.32 percent
7.) Lessors of real estate: 5.07 percent
8.) Other miscellaneous manufacturing including jewelry and silverware, sporting and athletic goods, dolls, toys, and games, office supplies other than paper, and signs: 5.55 percent
9.) Offices of health practitioners other than physicians and dentists, including chiropractors, optometrists, mental health practitioners, speech and occupational therapists: 5.98 percent
10.) Other amusement and recreation services including bowling centers, golf courses, and recreational centers: 6.03 percent

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