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Biz Buzz: Predicting small-business trends for 2007

Joseph R. Perone
December 28, 2006

Plenty of big companies started in a garage, a barn or a tool shed. What small idea will burst into a big one in 2007? Homestead.com, a Menlo Park, Calif., software company, has compiled a list of hot ideas for entrepreneurs in the new year. The latest trends involve home-based, service businesses that are inexpensive to set up, including:

  • E-learning: Advances in software to create podcasts and video blogs are reducing the cost of providing education online.
  • Garage organizers: Organizing closets was once the next big thing. Now, it's organizing a messy garage.
  • Background checks: These companies investigate prospective employees for small businesses that don't have the time themselves.
  • Pet-sitting: Allows animal lovers to get paid for walking someone's pooch.
  • Specialized coaching: These entrepreneurs mentor others about spiritual, relationship and business matters.
  • Debt collection: A low overhead, home-based collection service can serve niche markets.