CF Saskatchewan Blog

8 Up-And-Coming Markets That Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford to Ignore

  • January 25, 2018
  • Written by Community Futures Saskatchewan

The times, they are a-changin’! As they change, new industries and niches are emerging that aspiring entrepreneurs across Saskatchewan can take advantage of in order to build successful small businesses. The eight markets mentioned below are chock full of fantastic opportunities and possibilities — and even those small business owners who already run thriving companies should pay attention to these exciting trends!

  1. Renewable Energy

With so much beautiful nature to appreciate around Saskatchewan, it’s no surprise that many trailblazing entrepreneurs are pushing renewable energy forward. In fact, “clean energy” sources—moving water, solar, ocean energy, and more—provide nearly 19% of Canada’s total primary energy supply.

Moving water is the top producer of this energy supply but wind and solar photovoltaic power are quickly becoming frontrunners. Expect this trend to continue across Canada, which means plenty of opportunity for enthusiastic entrepreneurs interested in taking advantage of Saskatchewan’s geographical diversity. For example, businesses that specialize in installing solar panels for residential and commercial properties—brick-and-mortar companies, farms, etc.—could see solid returns in the next several years.

  1. Refurbished or Sustainable Furniture

Along the same vein as renewable energy is refurbished or recycled furniture. As living sustainably becomes more fashionable and necessary, more consumers are searching for ways to minimize their carbon footprint. One strategy to accomplish this is to invest in refurbished or recycled furniture, such as a door that can be repurposed as a headboard, or to purchase sustainable pieces like bamboo utensils.

Entrepreneurs who are interested in interior design and woodworking, take note: this could be a great way to source “junk” wood pieces from farms and lumber yards and turn them into something that homeowners could enjoy for life. Taylor Made Furniture, for instance, has been providing Saskatchewan residents with custom built wooden furniture for 25 years!

  1. Pet Grooming

The pet industry as a whole is booming (it is an estimated $620 billion industry in the U.S. alone), but pet grooming is becoming particularly popular. Some niches of this new market include self-serve dog washing, high-end grooming services, animal massage, and holistic grooming products. Two of the greatest benefits of these services are:

The demand and opportunities for these services is particularly rich in Saskatchewan. According to data from Amazon, Saskatoon holds the number two spot for most pampered dogs in the country (based on amount of spending per capita). Halloween costumes, winter wear, toys, bedding… Saskatchewan residents buy it all for their furry friends!  

  1. Content Marketing and Cross-Channel Marketing

To be fair, content marketing is not necessarily a developing niche; it has been king for years. Today, though, content marketing is bigger than ever as one piece of cross-channel marketing. Also known as omni-channel marketing or multi-channel marketing, cross-channel marketing involves interacting with prospects and customers across a variety of platforms and devices.

Think email, retail, company website, direct mail, mobile, and more, for a comprehensive and seamless consumer experience. If your small business wants to better engage customers and prospects for stronger branding and greater sales, this is one up-and-coming niche to pay attention to. Research shows that successful companies are 34 times more likely to utilize cross-channel marketing than their underperforming counterparts!

  1. Online Tutoring

From language classes to math lessons, online tutoring comes in many forms and appeals to all ages. In fact, experts predict that the global K – 12 online tutoring market is poised to exceed $77 billion by 2021. This means plenty of career opportunities for rural entrepreneurs who enjoy providing customized lessons and one-on-one attention to eager students.

With a little bit of effort, you could transform your Skype account into a work-from-home career. Start by thinking about what special skills or talents that you possess.

  • Are you an accounting whiz who could share your knowledge about Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks with other small business owners?
  • Do you speak another language fluently?
  • Do you shine at computer programming?

Then, sit down and create a business plan for success.

  1. Boutique Fitness Clubs  

The Canadian gym, health, and fitness clubs industry has grown 2.3% between 2012 and 2017, with a revenue of approximately $3 billion. Although this market isn’t expanding as quickly as some others on the list, it may grow at a more rapid clip in the near future if obesity rates continue to rise. Boutique gyms in particular are performing well, including barre studios and other non-traditional fitness clubs.

  1. Craft Brewing

Also known as microbrewing, “craft brewing” refers to small-scale, independently-owned alcohol producers. In just one year, the number of beer brewing facilities across Canada increased by more than 20%—a clear sign of the industry’s growing strength. Saskatoon and Regina alone are home to 9 Mile Legacy Brewing, Prairie Sun Brewing, Pile O’Bones, and a dozen other microbreweries.

It is also worth mentioning that the craft brewing surge will positively affect other horizontals and verticals. Even if you aren’t interested in actually brewing the beer yourself, consider getting involved in other ways such as bottling, labeling and branding, providing the grain and hops, or distributing beer across Canada.  

  1. Specialty Foods and Beverages

This hot market encompasses everything from craft beverages such as refrigerated juices to health foods like gluten-free and non-GMO snacks. Millennials (those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s) are helping to drive this trend, but don’t count Baby Boomers or those from other generations out for the count.

All in all, everyone seems to want a piece of the specialty foods and beverages market… which is great news for entrepreneurs across Saskatchewan! Clever entrepreneurs can take advantage of this demand in several ways, such as offering cage-free eggs and free-range beef (ideal for farmers) to health- and environmentally-conscious buyers, providing restaurants with organic produce for farm-to-table delights, or even making specialty cheeses to sell to local markets or grocery stores.

If you would like to capitalize on any of these hot opportunities in the coming months, be sure to grab Community Futures’ “Ultimate Resource Collection for Entrepreneurs: How to Make Your Small Business a Big Success in the New Year!”

The guide contains 75 small business resources, a new company start-up checklist, and more. It only takes 60 seconds to fill out the form below and download your free copy today!