Change is absolutely constant, and so are some small businesses which use to thrive back in the days as were film developing, video stores, dial-up internet services, cinema halls, etc.
Recently, financial expert discovered and you would also agree that those days are gone and these small businesses are no longer a good choice to invest your time and money into, because their potential market has been saturated.
Unless there are other reasons you believe they will surely thrive in some regions, you have to find a specific niche you can target and/or have especially strong skills. Otherwise, for others, times have changed and no matter how talented you are or how much you love the idea, your business is unlikely to be profitable.
According to Susan Ward, here are small businesses you don’t want to start.
1. Pet Supply Store
Among other small businesses, starting a pet supply store (pet food, wears and others) can only be profitable if you live in a densely populated region with lots of pets such as dogs, cats etc, and where there’s no pet supply store within five miles. Otherwise, it is a business idea that is becoming difficult for the independent operator, because retail chains, grocery stores, vets and online sellers have swallowed this market.
Although, there are still many other pet-related businesses you could start that could make money.
2. Travel Agency
Statistics has shown a 60% decline in the number of retail travel agencies since 1990’s, since emergence of the internet which has influenced the business tremendously.
Rather than have someone else book their trips, the internet has spurred budget-conscious travelers to go visit online booking sites to get instant access to airfares, hotels, and transportation, thereby thwarting the market for travel agencies.
3. Computer Shop
Stampede in computer services, including repair, virus removal, on-site tech support, etc. has continued to shrink and there hasn’t been a lot of money in selling systems since margins on computer equipment have declined. The market is getting saturated and facing ever stiffer competition from retail chains that also want a piece of the “computer help” market.
4. Appliance Repair
With decline in the price of appliances (home, office or wherever), the annual revenue for appliance repair businesses has been knocked down. If a broken appliance is not under warranty, it makes no sense to the consumer to spend thousands of naira to repair a five-year old appliance when a brand new model can be purchased for a few hundreds or thousand naira more.
Even most manufacturers offer extended warranties on new appliances and warranty repairs are handled by designated warranty depots.
5. Clothing Store
A visit to the clothing section of your local Costco store will tell you all you need to know about the demise of mom & pop clothing stores; the designs are either out of fashion or expired because it’s not going off the hanger fast enough.
For big-brand products, small clothing stores simply cannot compete with the discounted prices that large retail chains, big box stores, and online vendors such as Amazon can offer.
If your dream is to open a clothing store, focusing on high-end brands that the bigger retailers do not carry will give you the best odds of success.
6. Limousine Services
Some people in certain region might scuff at this kind of business because it would never have been considered as lucrative in developing countries. Not that it is none existence, but among other reasons, the limousine industries are being crushed by ride-sharing companies.
In developed countries, Uber location base taxi services thrives in profits, while in developing countries, taxi and public transports make profits.
As a result limousine services, with their heavily-regulated business models, have seen business decline by as much as 50 percent in some locales.
But like the expert would advice, you might want to think about specialized areas such as transportation for seniors (elderly) or the handicapped.
7. Web Designer
For developing countries, wed designing might still thrive in good financial profits, but statics has shown that the glory days of the market is fast fading since it requires much more than just having basic skills and knowing some HTML.
Expert says it’s no longer a business for beginners, because you need knowledge of CSS, content management systems such as WordPress, graphics software, domains, search engine optimization, and ecommerce platforms – for a start. Now that it is easy to create a blog or website using applications and/or templates, the days of being able to make a living creating simple ‘placeholder’ websites are gone.
Therefore, they suggest that it’s not a good choice for someone who doesn’t have a high level of skill and is looking for a new business with low barrier entry.