The southeastern U.S. offers distinct entrepreneurial opportunities unlike anywhere else in the country. These states are affected by many different multicultural influences, and the unique consumer population demands new, innovative businesses.
The South has long fostered legacy industries such as manufacturing, timber, textiles, and agriculture. And, while these businesses still thrive, the eastern Dixieland industrial landscape has shifted significantly over the past few decades. This slice of the country is now home to many high tech, communication, research, and energy businesses.
The business opportunities of the Southeast are as diverse and varied as the people who inhabit these changing states.
Tourism in Florida
The southeastern U.S. is home to several tourist destinations: New Orleans, Miami, Nashville, and Orlando —to name just a few. Great weather combined with historic culture attracts tourists to this corner of the country year-round.
Tourism is a longstanding economic driver of many southeastern states, but no state does vacationing quite like the Sunshine State. Florida alone welcomes over 100 million tourists a year, which contributes over $60 billion to the local economy.
Although there are few certainties when it comes to tourist trends, there are a couple entrepreneurial mainstays worth investigating. Consider what makes your state unique and play to those advantages to draw in tourists. Boat rentals, restaurants, hotels, bars, and bodegas are all viable Florida business prospects.
Owning a business that directly appeals to tourists is a great way to carve out a comfortable living for yourself while tapping into Florida’s growing travel economy.
Farming in Georgia
Farming in Georgia is more than just peachy. There are over 40,000 farms in the state growing a diversity of crops including cotton, peanuts, and corn.
Thanks to a humid, subtropical climate, Georgia receives plenty of rain, which promotes lush greenery and healthy crops. Summers and winters are tame, and natural disasters rarely affect Georgia significantly.
If you’re still unsure about betting the farm on Georgia crops, consider this: according to the USDA, the total value of agricultural products sold from Georgia is worth upward of $9.2 billion, and this market value has steadily increased over the years.
Farming might be unfamiliar territory for many, but this is one of the most promising business opportunities in Georgia. Simply plant your entrepreneurial seeds in Georgia soil, sit back, and watch it grow.
Research in North Carolina
Research Triangle Park is the largest science park in the world. Now, if you’re not from the area you might wonder, “What, exactly, is a science park?” Science parks are a special type of park where you’re likely to find “slides,” but of an entirely different variety. These educational hubs are characterized by innovative research with the goal of producing new technological and commercial products.
RTP is comprised of the three neighboring cities of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill which have all, in their own right, gained international reputations for cutting-edge research. These cities are each home to a major research university (Duke, NC State, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively), which makes this section of the country a hotbed for tech development.
Over 50,000 people work in RTP —14,000 of whom work out of the world’s second largest IBM office. So, although RTP is full of potential competition, savvy entrepreneurs will see this as a business advantage, not a hindrance.
RTP is full of talent. Not only in the form of new graduates, but also valuable specialists. Highly trained and remarkably educated employees are always looking for their next career move. It’s not uncommon for people to splinter off from established jobs in search of the next big startup or seek out a new career at a small business.
With all of this in mind, you’re probably wondering: which businesses in North Carolina are flourishing today? Healthcare, technology, medicine, or any other research-based business are always a safe bet nationwide, but especially in RTP.
From farms to pharmaceuticals, the southeast has a little bit of everything. The swell of business opportunities in the southeast should not be ignored, so if you’re looking to own a business, rise to the occasion down south.
Bruce Hakutizwi is the USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.