I was recently reading Entrepreneur Magazine’s article on hot trends for 2009. Now, I don’t always like Entrepreneur and other small biz magazines because I think sometimes these publications focus on businesses that require substantial startup capital. While there’s an obvious need for brick and mortar businesses, they’re not the first thing on my mind when someone comes to me to start a business, especially in this economy.

That said, I do like the current issue, primarily because of the “hot trends” article. The top trends aren’t exactly big news, if you’ve been paying attention to the world around you lately. I think we all know that alternative fuels, environmental services, and “green” businesses are the wave of the new future. And health care is always big, but there’s definitely a trend away from plastic surgery, as we move in a more “natural” direction, so the beauty industry is growing. Interestingly, Entrepreneur points to both ends of the spectrum where retail is concerned: discount retailers and luxury products are of interest these days. Predictably, credit and debt management services and tools provide a rapidly-growing area. And it’s no secret that with the current economy, technology, social networking and business coaching are predicted to be huge in the coming year.

So what should you do with this information? Well, it depends on where you are in your entrepreneurial adventure. If you’re already in business, take a look at the top trends and see if you can make some slight adjustments to take advantage of what’s coming. If you’re in the remodeling business, for example, do what’s needed to get certified and trained so you can be the number one green remodeler in your market. If you’re in the beauty industry, transition into being an organic spa, or become your area’s spa answer to plastic surgery.

If you’re not in business yet, take these areas into account when you’re planning your business and branding. Make sure you take into account which of these areas will grow, not just in 2009, but in the years to come.

Of course, these are predictions, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that they’re fairly solid ones. Now’s the time to ask yourself how you can use this information to your advantage!

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