In a gold rush, you want to be the guy selling the spades.

For numerous reasons, the world is experiencing a radical shift in its economic landscape.

Brands are rapidly finding themselves trading as a commodity as a result of developments, which have literally SUPERSIZED their competitors and whole industries. A decline of the South African GDP coupled with a stock exchange still hitting record highs signals a decoupling of the price of companies as traded on the JSE with the reality of what the underlying company is actually worth.

In order to keep up with the unrealistic expectations that market is demanding, the answer for many companies will be cost cutting, which primarily means job losses.
Thanks to technology and mechanization, the Industrial Age that led to large scale employment is now gone and in its place we have the SUPER INFORMATION age which means the opposite for mass employment numbers.

The result – a disillusioned, skilled workforce tired of downsizing and retrenchments who are out to start a venture that ‘finally brings meaning to their lives and makes them happy’. We call these HEART ventures and can go on for an hour or more about how we see them playing out, but let’s just say that in the next ten years a new ‘gold rush’ of HEART brands will be launching around the world selling everything from organic, homegrown produce to hand-crafted goods made in the old tradition of pre-mechanization.

With every trend you’ll find a massively strong counter trend, so the rise of 3D printing and mass production that is hell bent on the ‘race to the bottom’ of the price curve, will also spark the rise of the exact opposite as a growing alternative.

So here is our list of 10 industries and professions that will profit massively from the rising trend of HEART businesses and brands that are coming our way in the near future and beyond:

1. Accountants: Not the sexiest choice to start a list with, but even the smallest business needs to have books and submit a tax return. This is work for an accounting service provider that doesn’t charge the earth.

2. Online education: We all know that education is key, but with the world changing so rapidly – upskilling yourself with useful online short courses is a growing and increasingly vital industry. If you are not making yourself more skilled, you are dying and in the information age, will soon find yourself redundant.

3. Courier companies: E-commerce is still in its infancy in South Africa. With more entrepreneurs starting to make and ship products, the outlook for the courier industry is extraordinary.

4. Smaller office space / retail developments: Most South Africa commercial landlords still make use of business models that rely on the idea of ‘anchor tenants’ and then proportionally overcharge the smaller guys. Developments like The Woodstock Exchange that focus on smaller spaces and flexible leases are set to boom. Why sign a three year lease for 100 square meters of space when you just need twenty and may be insolvent in 6 months?

5. Pets: With more people starting out on their own and taking on the stresses and financial strain of starting a new business, far fewer people will be having children as a result. Companies focussing on any aspect of pet care, grooming or accessories will find a growing market as the years go by.

6. Meeting friendly coffee shops: Mobile business people need a mobile office to meet clients and associates. Coffee shops that focus on semi-private booths and dedicated power access at each booth is a lacking, yet much needed service.

7. Psychologists: With all of the gnashing of teeth associated with starting something new, psychologists and life coaches will be in high demand to try and help freaked out entrepreneurs get to grips with life without the guaranteed pay cheque.

8. Capital brokers: Long gone are the days when the only way to get capital to fund your crazy idea was to have a long chat with a bank manager. Banks are probably the last place you’ll want to be looking for finance right now, but a broker that can help connect money with great ideas is the way of the future.

9. Liquidators: Unfortunately small business is a risky game and lots of ventures will fail. Professionals with the skill and network to liquidate those failed ventures will find more than enough opportunity out there to ply their particular trade.

10. Videographers: Opportunities to film the next Christopher Nolan movie may be few and far between, but there are millions of cool little businesses that have an inspiring story to shoot and share. Content is moving towards a video way and a well shot, short depth of field video with a heartfelt story is a great way for entrepreneurs to share their struggle with the world. Those that can produce small, quality videos will be in high demand.

No matter what governments say, growth in formal employment is stagnating. The future belongs to entrepreneurs and skilled freelancers that move and seek out opportunity as it presents itself. There has never been a better time for the global economy than now, just don’t be looking for a pot of gold where traditionally you think it should be.


Written by Jonathan Cherry

Jonathan Cherry is the editor of Cherryflava. An innovation consultant, futurist, speaker and entrepreneur.