Follow Your Passion: Starting a Business in the Service Industry

by Michael Curry

The Service industry is the fastest growing economic sector, and nowhere is that growth more evident than America’s small businesses. Harnessing the power of technology, entrepreneurs are increasingly transforming themselves into successful service-based businesses.

The decline in America’s manufacturing business is attributed to increases in automation, cheap offshore labor and globalization, which drastically reduce profits and send jobs overseas. Agriculture has also become less significant to our economy as technology increases production and an abundant, inexpensive food supply depends on fewer workers. Conversely, service-related businesses are growing at a rate never before seen in history.

A competitive advantage is necessary to protect your market from competitors. Technology, such as computers, custom software, the web and email, is often used to make service businesses profitable and successful longterm.

Twenty years ago, services were a small part of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) and most jobs were manufacturing goods or agriculture- related. Today, the Department of Labor reports that 70 percent of the U.S. GDP comes from services. These services include people working in a wide range of positions, from babysitters to doctors and from pet grooming to lawyers.

One contributing factor to the growth in services is the increasing complexity of our world. The tasks a person has to do in a normal day require such attention to detail that we run out of energy long before our to-do list is under control. Now, more than ever, TIME is our most precious commodity. Hiring someone to decorate a home, prepare your taxes, or build a website is a wise use of resources.

If you are looking for a new career, chances are you will find the greatest opportunity in the services industry. In the past, employees may have felt obligated to work in unfulfilling jobs to earn a living. However, that trend is changing, and today it is common for people to follow their passions. Many men and women leave traditional jobs to become successful small-business owners. The small business is a powerful economic force in Central Oregon and throughout our country. An increasing market demand for services fuels this growth, which benefits many entrepreneurs.

How to identify a service business opportunityHow does one identify a business opportunity in the service market? It is my belief that when an unfulfilled market demand meets an individual’s passion and expertise, there is an opportunity to generate revenue by providing a service. However, if there are no barriers to the market, then you will not be profitable for long as competition erodes your market. Therefore, to deliver services at a sustainable rate it is also necessary to have some competitive advantage.

The competitive advantage successful entrepreneurs enjoy is increasingly supplied by information technology. Computers, software programs, email and the Internet are able to help decrease costs, speed up delivery and automate tasks. Web Mentors, an eBusiness solution provider develops web-based software for customers, who, in turn, realize a significant return on their investment and become more profitable.

In summary, the decline in profits from manufacturing goods and agriculture has been more than offset by a growth in services. The demand for services creates an opportunity for individuals to follow their passions if they are unhappy with traditional career choices. In order to identify a viable service-business opportunity, it is important to find a niche that satisfies each of the following:
  1. An unmet demand by the marketplace;
  2. An area of expertise one is also passionate about;
  3. A competitive advantage, usually the application of information technology.

A competitive advantage is necessary to protect your market from competitors. Technology, such as computers, custom software, the web and email, is often used to make service businesses profitable and successful longterm.



 
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Small Changes Yield Big ResultsTechnology is increasingly the competitive edge businesses use to distinguish themselves from competition in order to become more profitable.  How might you apply technology to your own business practices? This article provides a few examples of how technology has helped many other small businesses, such as:
  • Saving Time
  • Reducing Error
  • Increasing Revenue
  • Decreasing Costs
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