Welcome to my list of the best small businesses opportunities for 2018, chosen from across a variety of industries. To make my list, these businesses must:

      1. have the potential to be profitable now and for many years in the future;
      2. be able to do well even in uncertain economic times;
      3. not require a PhD or decades of experience. Some require trade school training, a university degree or a prior apprenticeship, while others need only some prior experience and a passion for the industry.
      4. not require large amounts of startup capital, but only what every startup business requires: dedication, hard work, perseverance and a desire to succeed.

Most of these opportunities can be operated as home-based businesses.

If your goal in life is to become very wealthy, chances are you won’t get there as a small business owner. But you’ll have a chance to generate a healthy income, be your own boss and make all the decisions. You could potentially have a more flexible lifestyle. Building something from the ground up can make starting a business very rewarding in itself.

Here are my picks for the best small business ideas based on current trends in business and demographics.

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     Virtual Reality

    young asian man with VR in modern cafe
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    Virtual reality computing (VR) is a huge leap forward in immersing the user in a realistic sensory experience. Hardware and software vendors are working furiously to bring new VR products to the marketplace and the industry is growing at a parabolic rate – according to statista by 2020 the worldwide size of the VR market will be in excess of $40 billion.

    The potential uses of virtual reality for business or pleasure are practically limitless, for example:

    • 3D movies – watching a movie in 360 degree VR
    • Real estate marketing – imagine searching for a new home and being able to take an online VR walk through of an advertised house from the comfort of your desk chair
    • Gaming – VR is revolutionizing the gaming industry, with new VR titles being released on an almost weekly basis
    • Team-building exercises – shaking up team building events with a group VR experience
    • Social media VR interaction – friends will be able to interact in a virtual online space
    • Training – VR can inject a much higher degree of realism into training scenarios. Many businesses (such as UPS) are launching new delivery driver training programs using VR.
    • Meditation – VR is ideal for customized meditation

    VR “escape rooms” and lounges (where groups of people get together to play VR games or go on VR adventures and/or solve group puzzles) are experiencing phenomenal growth. If you are tech savvy and interested in the technology, virtual reality could be the business opportunity for you.