Past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the old business truism says. But you also may have heard that you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you have been.
To get a sense of which industries small businesses are growing in, the analysts at Raleigh, N.C.-headquartered private-company financial-information company Sageworks ran some numbers for Entrepreneur.com. Here’s a look at the industries where U.S. companies with $10 million or less in annual sales have shown the highest and lowest percentage change from Jan. 1 to Dec 31, 2012. As a benchmark, the average growth rate across all U.S. small businesses in the time period was 8 percent, says Libby Bierman, an analyst at Sageworks.
Fastest-Growth Industries for U.S. Small Businesses in 2012
- Residential building construction: 14.77 percent
- Building custom software and servers for businesses: 14.29 percent
- Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers: 13.75 percent
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services: 12.31 percent
- Architectural, engineering, and related services: 11.40 percent
- Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors: 11.37 percent
- Building finishing contractors who make additions, alterations, maintenance and repairs: 11.32 percent
- General freight trucking: 10.41 percent
- Services to buildings and dwellings, including pest exterminators, janitorial services, and landscaping: 10.11 percent
- Other specialty trade contractors, including site preparation activities and other specialized trades: 10.04 percent