This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Under-the-Radar Hot Industries For Small Business Profits

Stocks in this article: ABAX IDXX WOOF AIRM NTSC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's often the least sexy, lack of brand-recognition businesses that present the best growth opportunity. Or in other words, today's entrepreneur looking for a new business venture or career shift might want to pass on the Dunkin' Donuts' franchise license and learn how to administer antibiotics to sheep and pigs, or use a microscope to test an R&D-phase consumer product for toxins.

Veterinarian health care, ambulance services and laboratory-based product testing are industries ripe for profitable returns.

The barriers to entry are high, but that shouldn't deter aspiring entrepreneurs.

"These are growing industries with favorable operating conditions that present opportunities. If entrepreneurs can overcome the high barriers to entry there is significant growth and profitable opportunity to offer specialized services in these industries," says Doug Kelly, an industry analyst at IBISWorld in a recent report on the growth opportunities.

Here is a brief rundown of opportunities in these select industries.

1. Veterinary services

Continued growth in pet ownership and consumers' increasing willingness to pay for pet services, including health care, means strong growth prospects for the veterinary services industry.

Vet service providers have been able to increase their prices by gauging strong consumer demand. More importantly, a majority of these services are paid for out-of-pocket as opposed to the hassle of dealing with insurance companies. Those who can offer specialized services will have a leg up against competitors.

"Despite high barriers to entry, the top four industry players only account for an estimated 8.3% of industry revenue, which presents industry operators with opportunities to gain market share through acquisitions and transitioning toward group animal-care practices that can offer enhanced services and achieve economies of scale," the report says.

The vet services industry also includes another growing area: laboratory and diagnostic testing for licensed veterinary practitioners.

To be sure, start-up costs are high. In order to operate profitably labs rely on long-term fixed contracts, meaning securing contractual relationships with different vet practitioners in the area. The labs also need highly trained staff and state-of-the-art medical equipment, Kelly says.

Major players in the vet services space include Idexx Laboratories (IDXX) and VCA Antech (WOOF), and smaller firm Abaxis (ABAX).

The problem for vet health services is the limited number of certification programs in the U.S. (which seen in another light could limit the threat of new market entrants, IBISWorld says). The second problem is the high cost to obtain certification.

Still, if you can get past likely having a big student loan bill, the biggest opportunity for animal-friendly entrepreneurs is the labor shortage in veterinarians that specialize in livestock health, particularly in rural and agricultural areas.

"America's shortage of food supply veterinarians has become a crisis, and it's expected to get worse. This shortage leaves some agricultural areas of the country without a local veterinarian to treat local livestock populations, which puts America's food safety in danger. Studies have shown that the current shortage of food supply veterinarians will grow by two to four percent every year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association's website.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs