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What are the fastest growing small business industries? With the economy still a bit sluggish, it's a question many entrepreneurs are contemplating.
As a new report shows, small business owners with certain skill sets are finding themselves increasingly in demand as the nation begins to rebuild -- literally -- from the depths of the recession.
So which industries are seeing the most growth?
Sageworks Inc., a financial information company, recently compiled a list of small businesses (with annual sales below $5 million) that have grown at double-digit rates over the past 12 months.
Based on those figures, here are the 10 fastest-growing small business industries:
- Oilseed and Grain Farming
- Building Finishing Contractors
- Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers
- Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services
- Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
- Utility System Construction
- Specialty Food Stores
- Foundation, Structure and Building Exterior Contractors
Taking it back to our "roots," grain farming showed the strongest growth of all sectors analyzed by Sageworks, posting a nearly 20 percent increase in sales year over year. "It might be attributed to price inflation that resulted from the 2012 drought or just increased demand across the board for their goods," a Sageworks analyst said, according to Forbes.
The Big Winner: Construction
If food isn't your jam, then how about shelter?
As you can see, four of the 10 fastest-growing sectors of 2013 are related to construction. The housing market has experienced great improvement over the past year.
Reflecting the housing strides, building finishing contractors and real estate agents' offices saw sales grow by nearly 15 percent over the past year. Meantime, architectural and engineering services grew sales by 14.2 percent; while foundation, structure and building exterior contractors' sales increased by 10.6 percent, reports Forbes.
In fact, business in the construction market is booming to the point of a labor shortage, according to Forbes. Following the adage of "too much of a good thing," a shortage of skilled workers can actually present potential liability issues for a business.
Life as a soybean farmer, drywall contractor, or real estate agent may not be as glamorous as a sizzling-hot startup entrepreneur, but these positions certainly saw relatively healthy net profit margins this year.
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