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The Best Business Opportunities of 2011

Part 1: The Best Business Opportunities for Starting a Small Business

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What are the best business opportunities of 2011? As always, those that best meet the needs of consumers. 2011, like 2010, is another year where consumer markets will be dominated by the perceived needs of baby boomers, so you'll find that many of the best business opportunities target that group. From travel through medical technology, it's hard to find an industry not impacted by the boomer population bulge. Here are my predictions for the best business opportunities for 2011.

(See my predictions for the Best Business Opportunities of 2013 here.)

1) Tour Packages

There's no better time to be selling travel packages. The great boomer bulge is hitting retirement or already retired and neither dwindling portfolios or increased airport security will deter them from seeing the exotic places on their lists before they "kick the bucket". So business opportunities abound in organizing appealing packages of accommodation and activities in popular exotic locales. As I write this, African safaris, Southeast Asia and Antarctica are destinations of choice.

2) International Education

Canada and the U.S. are increasingly popular with foreign students, creating business opportunities for providing the educational experiences students from China, Japan and other countries are looking for, from courses on Learning English as a Second Language through schools that provide a full curriculum with accredited degrees or certification. Remember that most of these students are looking for the "Canadian" or "American" experience as well; online offerings won't cut it.

3) Microbreweries

A waft of chocolate. A lingering malty sweetness. Beer drinkers today want their beer to have flavour and body making microbreweries excellent business opportunities. Microbreweries can produce the specialized flavours and styles of beer that sophisticated beer drinkers are looking for, and the number of such people is growing. Beer tasting has become as popular as wine tasting. If you go this route, don't forget to have a brewpub on your premises.

4) Mobile Marketing Consultants

Mobile marketing is hot. How hot? Well, a report by BIA/Kelsey indicates the US mobile advertising market will grow from the $491M posted in 2009 to $1.2B in 2011 and produce nearly $3B in 2014. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that businesses are going to flock to an advertising space like that. And that means exploding business opportunities for savvy marketing consultants who know how mobile marketing works.

5) Green Technologies

Yep, I know that I mentioned this one last year. But once again, green technologies of all kinds are prime business opportunities this year because this is where the government funding opportunities are. (See the Government of Canada's Funding Technologies for the Environment website, for instance. Green technologies are attempts to solve environmental challenges which gives startups a huge scope from developing sources of clean energy through better waste management.

Continue on to the next page to read about five more of the best business opportunities for 2011.

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