Brick & Mortar Loses Ground in 2017


Brick & Mortar Loses Ground in 2017

by Amy Lignor


As September begins and we enter the final third of the year, counting down to 2018, business and industry reports are releasing preliminary statistics in various areas of the marketplace. From Forbes to USA Today, everything from the best stocks to the worst choices; from unemployment figures to political decisions made, people are trying to sum up the best and the worst 2017 had to offer. One of the subjects being focused upon are entrepreneurs. 2017 has certainly, thus far, been the year of entrepreneurial success stories. Some industries fared extremely well; so well, in fact, that in 2018 more and more businesses will most likely crop up in these targeted industries.

If you’re independent minded, determined to start your own business, and most assuredly want to be your own boss no matter what, while also bringing in a profit, here are the top three choices that proved, in 2017, to be the right paths to walk.


The most profitable business for entrepreneurs is the Mobile Business. No, not mobile phones or creating new mobile apps, but businesses that are literally on-the-move. In 2017, the mobile area claimed fame from independent businesses that actually traveled to their clients and offered products and services to the customer in their own locale. These on-the-move businesses occurred a great deal in the auto industry, including car washes. If you needed your car washed but had no extra time on the lunch hour to go to a physical site and have it done, on-the-run businesses came to your locale and made sure that when you walked out into the parking lot after a long day, your car was the shiniest of them all. When it came to auto repair, entrepreneurs set up their own “shops.” (Some even went so far as to set up tents in parking lots to repair vehicles that sustained hail damage.) There are certainly still brick-and-mortar shops for the major repairs, but entrepreneurs noted that with the skill to fix minor repairs, they could make some serious cash. With just a few simple tools, they do everything from oil changes to battery swaps.


Whether it be the popularity of “Shark Tank” or not, the Food Truck mobile business is yet another that boasted success. Up-and-comers (some of which landed huge deals with the “sharks” on TV), who had the skill to make that awesome meal but not the cash to rent a building and pay overhead costs, turned to food trucks. They parked in just the right spots and proved that they could serve a great meal at great prices and have their customers return every day for more.


Receiving IT support no longer has to be done over an 800#. Instead of people calling and waiting for a ridiculous amount of time to get answers in regards to various pieces of electronics, entrepreneurs put together mobile IT companies. With this model, there is barely any overhead. If technology comes easy, you can make money in your very own neighborhood going to businesses and getting paid to offer help to people who desperately needed it.


Along those same lines, business-to business work rose astronomically. Freelancers are being hired, from graphic designers to digital artists. Freelance contractors are out there in all forms with great resumes, who have great names in the industry. It will not be long before all businesses are hiring outside the company in order to save money by not having to pay for healthcare for employees inside the company. It is important to remember that most millennials were born and raised on social media, so if you need a Virtual Assistant or customer service reps, freelancers will also be the ones to turn to in order to fill those needs.


Last, but not least, one “path” entrepreneurs took in 2017 that turned a major profit transformed into an entire industry. Businesses focusing on children came into their own this year and show no signs of slowing down. Millennials surpassed baby boomers as the largest living generation back in 2015, which meant entrepreneurs could capitalize on all the kiddos out there by offering everything from pre- and post-pregnancy services to companies focused on children’s activities, replacing the hard-hit budgets of schools that had to cut classes ranging from art to music to athletics.


So what will you turn to in 2018 that “experts” are already saying to keep a close eye on? Vacation rentals. Various websites, like VRBO, have made it easy to profit from your unused vacation property. So if you happen to live in a highly visited tourist destination, you can make a good deal of cash by renting your unused space to travelers.


As brick-and-mortar fades and bigger companies lose their footing, independents look to take over as many industries as possible, while even creating a few new ones just for fun.

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