In Partnership with Simply Business

By Rieva Lesonsky

Whether you’re a startup entrepreneur looking for the newest ideas to start a business or an existing small business owner trying to grow, you need to know about 2019’s hottest industries, ideas, and markets.

Targeting your market

A lot of the trends driving today’s markets are specific to demographics. If you own a business, or plan to start one, with a physical location, first make sure your targeted demo lives in the area. You can get that info from the local chamber of commerce or the U.S. Census Bureau.


By their sheer numbers and purchasing power, millennials are the demographic almost no business can afford to ignore. Ranging in age from 19 to 37, the 84 million millennials impact most aspects of American life.

Weddings are already a $72 billion industry, and it’s sure to grow as younger millennials approach the median age of first marriage—29 for women and 31 for men. So many industries, from retailers to restaurant owners to wedding planners stand to benefit from this wedding boomlet.

Millennial parents

Millennials are the nation’s parents—51.2% of households with children under age 18 are headed by millennials. Parents are big spenders (they spend $1 trillion annually). For the first time in U.S. history, women in their 30s are having more kids than those in their 20s. This is good news for business owners, since parents in their 30s and 40s have more money to spend on food, furniture, clothing, décor, and toys for their kids. The National Retail Federation (NRF) says subscription services “which offer both convenience and the chance to discover new products and brands, are a big draw for these young parents, [who] are about twice as likely to use a subscription service as other generations.” More than one million millennial women become new mothers every year, and since so many millennials are still in their 20s, this is a long-lasting trend.


Single millennials, according to the Los Angeles Times, are really into plants, creating opportunities for businesses that sell plants and plant accessories (macramé plant holders are back), or take care of other people’s plants.

A few years after millennials get married, about a quarter of them buy a new home. While home ownership peaked in 2004, it’s now on the rise, thanks to millennial buyers. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennial home ownership is up from 34.7% to 36% in a year.

The good news is millennials value originality and uniqueness when it comes to houses, and are willing to buy fixer-uppers. Between them and older generations of home owners holding on to their houses, there’s a remodeling boom going on. According to the National Association of Home Builders the most in-demand remodeling projects are:

  1. bathroom
  2. kitchen
  3. whole house
  4. room additions
  5. window/door replacements
  6. adding green home features (most common: low-E windows)

If you’re a painter, interior designer or own a home store, you know décor matters too. The colors of the year for 2019 range from the moody blues (Blueprint from Behr and Nightwatch from PPG Paints) to earthy tones (Cavern Clay from Sherwin-Williams and Spice of Life from Dunn-Edwards) to Pantone’s much brighter, energetic Living Coral.

There’s also increased demand for home services from seniors, many of whom are holding on to their homes (82% of seniors are still home owners). They’re hiring builders and remodelers to senior proof their homes so they can live in them longer. They want wider doorways, lower cabinets, wood floors and bathroom remodels to make their homes safer and more accessible.

As they get older, seniors often prefer to have others handle the maintenance of their homes. Home services businesses are in high-demand to provide these services. While housecleaning, landscaping/lawn care, snow removal and handyman services aren’t just for seniors, targeting this market can help small business owners build a thriving business.

Eat up!

Americans love to eat, so every year brings new food trends. Restaurant and hospitality consulting firm af&co. named donuts the 2019 “dessert of the year.” These aren’t your typical donuts—af&co says these artisanal donuts are rising to a new level with “unexpected savory flavors and fillings.”

Food on demand (either pick-up or delivery) is also becoming increasingly popular. Off-premises dining (including carryout, delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup and food trucks) accounts for 63% of restaurant traffic nationwide, and delivery is the fastest-growing segment of the off-premises market, says the National Restaurant Association. Consumers expect restaurants to deliver food, either themselves or through a third-party service.

Younger millennials actually prefer off-premises dining—24% of them orders takeout three to four times a week, compared to 21% of older millennials, 17% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers, according to the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) and the Center for Generational Kinetics.

These are just a few of the trends expected to sweep the country in 2019. Consumers are more demanding than ever, so you’ll have to work hard to meet their expectations.

Check out the rest of the series!

2019 stock photo by Vik Y/Shutterstock