How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take?
The first question to ask yourself when you decide to start a small business is, What business should I start? Or, better yet, What business should I not start? We asked IBISWorld, the world's largest publisher of industry research, to tell us which businesses are least likely to succeed in the U.S. economy today, and which are the most likely to succeed.
Here are five businesses you should not launch now under any circumstances, unless you have in mind some tax scheme that involves a quick trip to bankruptcy court.
Once you've seen our list of the five riskiest businesses, be sure to check out the second part of our slideshow featuring the five LOWEST-risk businesses to start.
Risky Idea #1: Carpentry Contracting
Carpentry is, of course, inextricably tied to the housing industry -- and we all know how well that's going. New-home sales in the United States are at their lowest level in nearly 45 years, according to Department of Commerce data, which means that most contractors around the country are still getting nailed by the economic slump.
It doesn't look like the situation will improve significantly anytime soon. Few occupations have been hit as hard as this one. In 2006, about 1 million people were working as carpenters, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Today there are fewer than 750,000, and the number continues to decline. Perhaps the only thing left for carpenters to build these days is a new career.
Risky Idea #2: DVD, Game, and Video Rental Stores
It's hard to imagine a worse business to start than a video rental store. The last time we set foot in one was nearly 10 years ago, when Harry Potter was still wearing Y-fronts. The video rental business was hard enough when times were good; now it's downright impossible.