At one time, the wagon-wheel business was booming. There was a period when one-hour photo developing was lucrative. But as technology and tastes change, some products and services simply fall out of favor.

Are you wondering what area of business is worth diving into? Maybe you’re nervous that some pieces of technology we love today could be a flash in the pan.

That’s why doing market research before you open a business is so important. If you don’t have an idea of what your industry of choice looks like today — and is expected to look like months and years down the road — you can’t be fully confident that your business endeavor is a sound one.

What are today’s best bets for emerging and growing industries? Our latest infographic reviews a few solid choices:

Food and drink

  • Online grocery stores: This shopping option is expected to grow 21 percent annually.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate confectionery sales in the U.S. are projected to reach $25 billion by 2019.
  • Craft beer: Sales of craft beer doubled between 2009 and 2014 to $20 billion.


  • Home health services: Jobs for home health aides are expected to grow by 48 percent by 2022.
  • Corporate wellness: Consulting, fitness programs and software to track wellness are expected to grow 8.4 percent annually.


  • Mobile shopping: By 2017, more than half of Americans will have used their smartphones to make a purchase.
  • Online fraud detection: Cybercrime software is projected to generate $1.78 billion by 2020.
  • Drone manufacturing: Already a $3.3-billion industry in the U.S., the drone design and manufacturing is projected to grow to $82 billion by 2025.
  • Biometrics: Body scanning for security applications may grow from $7.7 billion in 2014 to $44.2 billion by 2021.

Specialized services

  • Green construction: This industry is expected to generate more than $303 billion over the next three years.
  • Translation: The global market for language services and technology will hit $49.8 billion in 2019.
  • Pet care: Americans already spend nearly $20 billion per year on pet care, a trend Millennial pet owners are expected to maintain.

How to choose the right industry for you

Looking at industry growth isn’t the sole way to choose the right area of business for you to enter. You’ll also want to consider the target market, not only for the industry you’re eyeing but for the specific area (location or niche audience) you plan to serve.

A business idea can be fantastic, but unless there are people willing to invest in its products or services, the idea may fall upon deaf ears.

You’ll also want to consider your competition. Do you live in a town already flush with craft breweries? You may have better odds of success if you stay out of that popular industry and instead serve one adjacent to it.

Want to talk about today’s growing industries with someone who’s watched the business world change with a close eye? Contact a SCORE mentor.

Download the infographic.