The Financial Times reported that at the end of 2017, the number of start-ups in the UK continued to rise. 660,000 businesses were incorporated in 2017, compared to 608,000 in 2015. The reasons for this could be manifold – the changing culture of the workplace, the accessibility of franchising and becoming self-employed, and the rise in the power of technology leading to a greater degree of businesses being set up in a digital space. But what are the most lucrative sectors to be in if you were to start your own business? The answer: Interestingly, ones that involve building something.
Building Online – Technology
The technology sector is likely to be the one that sees the greatest rise in the coming years. The turnover of digital tech companies in the UK in 2017 was £170billion, as the Tech Nation Report 2017 shows – an increase of £30 billion in five years. The sector has maintained steady, and with the rise of interest in technology – from self-driving cars to AI and virtual reality – there looks to be no reason for it to slow down. The key to making it in the tech sector is to hone down on a niche and fill in a gap in the market. For example, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world – with a wealth of $90 billion – and jumped from millionaire to billionaire in only two years. Bezos founded Amazon, which continually diversified its offering as technology grew – and still does, with smart home applications and smart land-based supermarkets. From an online marketplace to food shopping to media creation, Amazon’s humble beginnings relied on the technology of the time and of the near future. Similarly, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google have a combined wealth of almost $100 billion and single-handedly revolutionized the internet. Not only did they benefit from the tech advances at the time, they helped build them – with Google becoming a household name as a digital giant.
Building Offline – Construction
Sometimes the most lucrative sectors are the most simple. The construction sector has been in full swing for centuries and continues to be profitable for those involved. Construction employment increased by 210,000 in 2017 according to Bureau of Labor statistics — an impressive gain from job growth figures of 155,000 in 2016. The rise in demand for smart homes – the market size is expected to total $53.45 by 2022 – and the growth in green energy to utilize facets of the home e.g. solar panels, water generators, green boilers etc. will provide a greater scope for traditional construction. The environmental aspect could create a great deal of wealth for the construction industry, especially for corporations who are determined to show consumers they care, could result in intensive projects to make the logistics and operations of companies greener. Getting involved in construction businesses through commercial building owning has a fairly low barrier to entry (provided you have the cash). Taking inspiration from the Netherlands, which sees Dik Wessels become the third richest man in the country through his innovation in construction. Wessels’s Wessels Groep control construction of anything from soccer stadiums to wind farms in the UK. Emulating Wessels’s success in offering a large portfolio in one sector and by taking advantage of current trends could end up being lucrative. Co-owners of Koch Industries Charles and David Koch also top the billionaires list with $60 billion each, says Bizjournals – and construction through shelter is one of the conglomerate’s offerings. However, narrow profit margins make construction a gamble of a sector.
Of course, both technology and construction success comes from taking the current trends and adapting them slightly to forge forward into the future. There could be a shock to the system and cryptocurrencies could produce the new crop of billionaires – indeed, the industry is one to watch, though perhaps too volatile to provide any certainty. And of course, the way a business carries itself on the global stage and brands and markets itself initially and throughout its existence also plays a huge part in how successful it becomes. However, based on the projections and the tried and tested methods of previous success, both building online and building offline appear to be the most lucrative throughout 2018.