Alongside goal advice and year-end reviews comes the inevitable trend articles that proliferate as a new year begins. My world  of business brokers are no different. We see trends too, and unlike last year, when I identified 7 Hottest Industries to consider, this year I’m recommending only 5 business sectors.

My top 5 this year might seem obvious – as if the train has already left the station – but there are still plenty of space in each of these broad categories for profitable opportunity. Let’s get to it!


Drones, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, 3-D Printing…there is still plenty of room in the technology field for a start-up, for a developer, for the next big thing!  Just the Medical side of the robotics industry is predicted to double in gross revenue in 2018; the potential for the rest of robotic development is impossible to put a number on.

Drone revenue surged 36% in 2016, with a 40% increase reported for 2017.  A free “Drone Market Environment Map 2018” is downloadable by clicking on that title.

The Artificial Intelligence field has become so large, there is no one report that quantifies the whole.  Inkwood research comes the closest, in terms of free information, with a forecast of 43.6% over the next 9 years.


Pet Care

The anti-dote to tech is a soft, loyal animal who requires looking after and returns love and affection in a way that technology still can’t do for us yet… Americans are thought to have over 300 million pets during 2017. Most pet owners do more than just care for their pet; many pamper and spoil them  – making Pet Care a thriving, if incomprehensible, opportunity for growth.

An industry that just offered food, rubber balls and feather on a string type simple toys, and grooming, now adds organic food, daycare, training, beds, cages, medical services and a lot more!  Analysts suggest that more affluent homes will spend up to 60% of their monthly income on pet care.

3 Trends:

  • Humanization – the pet is a member of the family
  • Premiumization – specialty products, high-tech medical services, luxury services and spas – to demonstrate how important the animal is to its owner
  • Health Benefits – scientific research proves what man has always known by instinct – owning and caring for an animal is of mutual benefit, weighted in favor of the human. (HABRI – the Human Animal Bond Research Institute)


hot industries for 2018

Construction Management

Ask anyone looking for a home (to buy or rent) and they’ll tell you they would like “new construction” over “old” every time. Technology has improved every part of the building process so that homes are now more energy efficient, more suited to today’s casual lifestyle and less likely to turn into a money pit of repair and renovation.

New construction starts in 2018 to increase 3% to $765 billion

According to the Labor Dept,  the construction sector saw a 35% increase in jobs over 2017; and that 75% of all contractors want to increase their headcount.  Construction spending is also soaring, up to a record $1.257 trillion in November, according to the Commerce Department.  Meanwhile, Fox Business News reports that jobs earning easily 6-figures are going unfilled.

healthy food hot trend business broker Jacksonville fl

Health Food

Food fads are not new, yet it is remarkable that $127 billion spent on specialty food in 2017, according to the Specialty Food Association! People are more focused on health and peak performance than ever before, perhaps because there are good choices now that there never were before.  People care about what is in their food.  More than additives, they want to know that produce was responsibly farmed, that animals were dealt with humanely and that whatever they put into their bodies is as good as they can afford.  When an online e-tailer like Amazon chooses Whole Foods as its entry point into the food business you know that the traditional grocery business is about to undergo a sea change.

Jacksonville Business Broker recommends ecommerce for sale


“When even your grandmother…”

Ecommerce continues to disrupt the Retail landscape, and is our only repeat from last year’s list.  With more closing of KMart, Sears and Macys, malls are having to change the way they present and market merchandise.   “Discovery shopping” used to be a popular pastime that malls could count on. People would browse the shops and discover just what they never knew they needed!  When even that experience can be replicated online, (e.g. Tophatter, etc.) you know that e-commerce is here to stay.

Augmented reality and virtual reality started with paint chips – where you could upload a photograph of your room and the paint company would show you how your room could look in a different hue. It wasn’t terribly successful initially, but as the technology has improved, so has the experience and usefulness. (Consider: Ikea Place )



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