Top Stocks for 2015

In 1974, Time Magazine published a science article captioned, “Another Ice Age?” Thirty-three years later, another Time article appeared, this one captioned, “Global Warming Survival Guide.”

Predicting the weather has long been befuddled man and given rise to ancient deities dwelling in various parts of the solar system. Predicting the stock market, even more so. So take the following predictions with a grain of salt and some advice from Sir John Templeton, which is, “Never follow the crowd.”

Salient Statistics and Profile of the 2015 Stock Market

Consider the current market environment: bullish, but cautious. Standard & Poor’s 500 index has rallied from 1,832 points at the beginning of the year to its October 31 performance of 2,018. Earnings and corporate profits have driven most of the growth. Everyone is in love with energy and tech stocks.

However, bearish forecasters foretell a market correction – defined as a drop in stock prices by 10 percent or more – and some even herald a market crash, brought on by unexpectedly low earnings-per-share. The S&P 500 has rallied, true, but perhaps precariously. Most stock growth has come from low-risk investments, decreasing market volatility, which means a lot of bug-eyed investors could head for the hills at the first sign of a correction. Since the Federal Reserve plans to drop its stimulus plan in the forthcoming months, potentially snowballing into a mass diaspora from U.S. Treasury bonds, that correction may be well on its way.

But again, the weather.

Top Picks for Reliable, Growing Technology Stocks

Silicon Valley has long been wooed by Wall Street. Microsoft, Garmin, Intel and other topnotch tech companies boast reliable dividends yielding 2.5-3.1 percent. Goldman Sachs recommends Qualcomm Inc., Samsung Electronics and Garmin as among the best stocks positioned for the Internet of Things, the forthcoming computer web of machines, people and other, well, things. Qualcomm also manufactures Snapdragon processors, which are widely used in high-end smartphones.

Technology companies have always been tempting due to their potential explosiveness growth. Desirable company traits include significant R&D investing and a strong sales team. Since tech products are prone to the “tipping point” phenomenon introduced by Malcolm Gladwell, market penetration is critical. IBM and Hewlett-Packard are safe bets in this regard.

Riding the Wave of Rebounding Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been battered like barrier islands since the origin of the Great Recession in 2007. These high-dividend stocks traditionally appeal to the income-investor, who is looking for a steady return and a hedge against inflation. However, the pandemic of property foreclosures at the end of the last decade sent their value plummeting.

Yet REITs are beginning to rebound. They are issuing new shares, which should allow them to buy available properties at their current bargain-basement prices. One expert recommends Arlington Asset Investment for its sky-high dividend yields, while David Landis says Vornado Realty Trust, which specializes in upscale office buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C., may be able to engineer its resurrection with $3.4 billion in cash. Corporate real estate is in a stronger position than suburban and vacation property.

Top Growth Picks in Consumer and Industrial Energy

In 1950, the population of the United States was 151,000. Sixty years later, it was twice that, and as the population grows like ivy, so does its thirst for gasoline, propane, and other fuels. Propane has long been popular in the American Snowbelt. Since it has been recently identified as a fracking agent, its value may skyrocket, which means the company to watch is AmeriGas Partners L.P. It boasts a five-year total return of 113 percent and shows no signs of abating. Other energy picks include Schlumberger N.V., a global oil services magnate, and Valero.

High-Risk Technology Stocks Promise Big Rewards

3D printing technology is used everywhere from the General Motors chop shop to the fabrication floors of prosthetics from biomedical companies. Unfortunately, 3D printing companies have experienced rocky performance in the stock market. But two companies stand out: 3D Systems and Stratasys. These turnaround stocks should continue to grow during 2015 and afterwards.

Artisanal Food Movement Inspires Investment

As many know, much of the post-recession economic growth has gone into the hands of the privileged few, while most Americans make the same time-weighted income they made in the 1960’s. After 2007, many families exchanged steak for peanut butter. Share prices for Jiff and Peter Pan exploded.

Current hot buys are spawned from the artisanal and health food movement. Panera Bread, Artisanal Brands, and Whole Foods have posted fabulous growth in recent years. Where might the next “foodie” revolution be?

Cheese. The U.S. is the largest cheese-producing nation in the world, and as domestic interest blossoms in brie, gouda, swiss and cheddar, so does business. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has offered cheese futures since 2010. Topnotch equity picks include Kraft and American Dairy. Sadly, stock investment is limited since publicly traded dairy companies are few and far between.

Big Pharma Looks to Capitalize on Emerging Asian Market

Even though the economic growth of China and India has slowed in recent years, its middle class continues to surge upwards with a thirst for luxurious chauffer cars and western pill medicines. Big pharmaceutical companies like Merck, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, all blue-chip companies with dozens of patented medicines, look to the emerging Asian market for big returns. Each of these nets 20-30 percent of net sales through Asian and other emerging markets.

Online Banks Promise High-Risk, High Rewards

Ally, Simple, EverBank, CapitalOne 360 – these are all successful online-only banks with no overhead, no branches, just accounts in the cloud. Most Internet banks offer high-yield accounts with minimal fees and penalties. Popular with Millennials, online banks are prepared and ready for take-off. Top picks include EverBank Financial Corporation and Bofl Holding Inc., the front for Bank of Internet USA.

As 2014 nears its finale, Wall Street analysts continue to recommend biotech, energy, healthcare and communication technology sector stocks. But as Sir John Templeton also said, “Do your homework.”

Top Paying Jobs of 2015

If a change in career or picking a major is in the works, then consider one of these jobs on the top paying jobs in 2015. These aren’t fly by night jobs that pop up today and are gone tomorrow with changes in technology, but careers with longevity and best of all…paychecks.

#10 – Airline Pilot and Flight Engineers
Potential Salary: $120,000

Not only do you get to travel the country and the world, but the perks of this nomad of the skies includes free travel. But it takes money to make money and in this profession it also takes time. Making these big bucks requires a Bachelor’s degree in aviation, an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate and several hundred hours of pilot-in-command experience, as well as expensive and time-consuming specialized training in specific tools and devices and regular physical and mental testing. In the end it can take 10 years or longer before your bank account gets fat from the commercial airline industry.

#9 – Lawyer
Potential Salary: $130,000

Not the most popular folks in the world but absolutely necessary. You don’t have to be an ambulance chaser, though, so don’t worry. With more than half a million lawyers practicing general law, choosing a specialty like environmental law could be your calling. To attain this position requires a bachelor’s degree, three years of law school and to pass the bar exam.

#8 – Computer/Information Systems Manager
Potential Salary: $135,000

This just seems logical. With technology taking over our lives, being a person who can manage the crazy certainly does pay well. Not only do these guys find lost files but also implement a companies IT strategy. To reach this goal pick up a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science field and several years working in IT support.

#7 – Natural Sciences Manager
Potential Salary: $133,000

Split your time in between office work and the lab working in such fields as biology, physics and chemistry. Natural Sciences Managers who work with government or educational institutions make lower-than-expected wages for the positions. Where the bigmoney lies is within the insurance and aerospace industries. Go grab a bachelor’s degree in a field of science and start up your lab work to attain these positions.

#6 – Marketing Manager
Potential Salary: $133,000

Marketing Managers get the word out about their company’s products, study and analyze the competition and make decisions of the best course for communication in and out of the building. This is a field where a bachelor’s degree helps a lot but years of experience and a phenomenal portfolio can do the trick.

#5 – Architectural or Engineering Manager
Potential Salary: $137,000

If you like to build then head to school for a degree in architecture and engineering. Not only will you be directing, reviewing and approving projects and all changes; but manage project specifications and procedures. As one might expect, those who work in the oil and gas industry earn the highest wages and some of the top paid live in Alaska, Texas and California.

#4 – Petroleum Engineers
Potential Salary: $150,000

Widely regarded as one of the top paying jobs right out of college at $90,000, Petroleum Engineers plot the path of oil from inside the Earth all the way to your gas tank. This black gold means gold for your bank account. Many petroleum engineers hold bachelor’s degrees in petroleum engineering and work in coop programs during the completion of their degree.

#3 – Chief Executive Officer
Potential Salary: $180,000

CEOs call the shots in any number of sectors of the US economy. Simply, they’re the bosses. The best paid CEOs surprisingly work in the entertainment industry. For this position, a bachelors degree and even an MBA might help you but on the job experience and natural instinct is what earns these executives top salaries. And the bonuses…well…they might make that salary look like chump change.

#2 – Dentist or Orthodontist
Potential Salary: $195,000

Fixing your pearly whites certainly does pay the bills. While dentists make up the vast majority of the work industry, orthodontists are much more rare hints their higher salary. For your entry into this industry, the typical requirements are eight years of education and passing a written and hands-on exam.

#1 – Doctors or Surgeons
Potential Salary: $235,000

One might have guessed that this professional would end up somewhere on the list but perhaps not at #1. Among all of the varieties of doctors, anesthesiologists rake in the biggest bucks at $235,000. Surgeons, gynecologists and general practitioners aren’t far behind earning a mean wage of $177,000. But becoming a doctor takes as much time as any career out there — you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, a medical school degree and between three and eight years of working in residency. Hey, people’s lives are in your hands…they deserve a well trained doc.

In conclusion, if you’re in the market to switch careers or have a child who’s a little in the dark about picking a major, this list may help. There’s nothing like the lure of a few bucks to challenge students in math, science and critical thinking.

Jobs in Demand in 2015

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped below six percent for the first time since 2008 in September, but that number can be misleading, according to Louis Efron, a contributor at Forbes. Efron writes that underemployment is a more accurate measure of the nation’s economy as it takes into account those who are involuntarily working part-time as a result of cutbacks or because they couldn’t find full-time work. The underemployment rate is more than double that of the reported unemployment rate at 12.6 percent.

Despite these discouraging indicators, there are some jobs that will be in high demand in 2015. These jobs, while mostly in the programming industry, do include areas such as health care and aide, investment, and creative fields.

1. Data Analyst

Wanted Analytics took a look at five metro areas with the most online job postings. Those areas were Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington D.C. Of the five cities the most desired skill by listing employers was structured query language, which is a programming language designed to manage data. The skill was the most wanted in all of the cities except Los Angeles, where it was listed the second most in-demand skill. Expect jobs such as data analysts and database developers to be in high demand in 2015.

2. Registered Nurses

The number of jobs posted for this position last year was approximately 171,000. This year that number soared to 222,544, according to U.S. News. That’s more than a 30 percent increase. Expect a similarly high number in 2015.

3. Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides

Home health aides assist the elderly and disabled in completing everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking. The barriers to entry in this field are relatively low. Interested individuals looking to work with agencies that are funded by Medicaid and Medicare need only complete a training program. In addition, though the difference between a home aide and a personal care aide is the latter have added duties, such as cleaning and giving advice to families, personal care aides complete similar training to that of health aides.

4. Video Producer

Video is nearly ubiquitous, as it is beginning to take root not just on computers but on smartphones, tablets, commercial airplanes, and automobiles. There was a 5.6 percent increase in job listings for video producers from 2013 to 2014, and that number will likely grow as technology allows video to become ever more pervasive, requiring skilled video creators to continue producing.

5. Financial Examiners

All that’s needed to enter this field is a bachelor’s degree from a variety of areas: statistics, business, finance, or accounting. More opportunities for higher pay and promotion exist for those with an MBA in finance.

6. Physician Assistant

With the Affordable Care Act changing the way healthcare is provided, physician assistants will be more in-demand to ensure that healthcare offices run smoothly during this transition. A bachelor’s degree will help you get in the door, but you may be hired if you have related work experience plus an associate’s degree.

7. User Experience Designer

This position calls for designing websites so that they are more appealing and user-friendly for consumers. While designers do have to know some programming code, their task focuses more on the aesthetic side of website design.

8. Online Project Manager

As more companies are relying on telecommuting as a way to bring in talent regardless of its geographic location, online project manager positions figure to see a bump in demand in 2015. Online project managers ensure teams meet deadlines and are collaborating productively.

9. Athletic Trainers

Job opportunities come largely from schools and the health care industry, but there is also a growing demand for trainers in college and professional athletics. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in athletic training is a requirement to gain a position in this field.

10. SEO Specialist

No surprise that this position makes the list. With more and more companies understanding that search-engine optimized content is a critical component of drawing consumers to websites, these specialists are seeing an increase in job opportunities. As long as web traffic is an important part in the economy — which it figures to be for a long time — SEO specialists will continue to find employers where there skills can be put to use. This position also saw a six percent increase in salary from last year.

11. Software Engineer

As opposed to data analysts and user experience designers, software engineers focus on mobile apps and cloud engineering. They are sought after in both the gaming and business industries as both are exceedingly moving online and onto mobile phones.

12. Portfolio Administrator

Portfolio administrators manage investors who work to maximize earnings for clients. As long as there is money, there will be a need for portfolio administrators.

Hot Jobs for 2015

There are many excellent jobs that you can pursue in 2015. While some industries have declined recently, many more are booming, providing some of the hottest jobs around. Here are some of them:

MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS

Historically speaking, there has never been another time in history where getting into the medical profession can be so profitable and lucrative. Individuals with aspirations to be a medical professional will see their industry grow exponentially over the next several years. Even registered nurses are more in demand than ever before. The baby boom generation is now coming of age. This means that senior citizens will be on the rise over the next decade. The need for qualified medical professionals will only continue to expand in the years to come. Although getting into medicine takes a very scientific mind, medical careers will continue to expand for the foreseeable future.

PHYSICAL TRAINERS

People are more health conscious and this translates to the job opportunities for people with physical training and personal training experience. Individuals who become a certified personal trainer will be able to work in conjunction with a local gym or rent out space for themselves to perform personal trading sessions. Individuals who have the certifications can charge their own hourly rate and schedule their own appointments. Becoming knowledgeable about natural healing methods may also benefit the next generation of personal trainers who will be expected to maintain a mind and body wellness awareness for the benefits of their clients.

CONSTRUCTION JOBS

Even in the current economy home building as well as business building is on the rise. Therefore, individuals who are interested in a more physically demanding job may want to get certifications in dry-walling and brick making. Construction is an ever involving seals and more knowledgeable construction workers are the easier it is for them to complete jobs efficiently and appropriately. Working in close quarters with a real estate agent can be helpful for construction workers who are looking to create long-term business relationships that allows them to become their own boss and maintain steady work as an independent contractor.

FINANCIAL ANALYST

Individuals who are interested in having job security and are equipped with math skills may be interested in becoming a financial analyst. These individuals are able to help clients identify ways to improve their overall financial standing while providing counsel about how to get out of debt. Financial consultations on the rise due to the downturn in the economy which has taken place over the last decade. Having the ability to help people see how they can save money while enjoying their life is a valuable skill which pays a top salary. Working in conjunction with a financial institution is possible, or people can choose to go out on their own an offer consulting services through businesses or as a thriving business person.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

The increase in technological gadgets has created a need for more applications to be developed. Therefore a person who is knowledgeable about the workings of the computer and the development of programs can create job security for themselves. Software development requires programming knowledge as well as the understanding of how to connect with the target audience properly. A very scientific and analytical mind is necessary to do well in this field. The development of applications or structures for larger programs is a lucrative jobs for people who are creatively gifted and statistics indicate the field will be growing for the next several years.

BUSINESS ANALYST

Individuals who was very corporately minded may want to explore becoming a business analyst. These individuals make sure that the business is running properly. They are able to see financial pitfalls before they happen. With more entrepreneurs opening businesses every year, efficiency experts are in demand. Being able to be objective is a necessary part of success in this field. A person with business analyst expertise can travel anywhere in the world and find work. The development of a fantastic ability to notice that the expansion of the business is possible is a valuable skill for any analysts. Regular evaluations provides regular opportunities for consistent work for qualified business analysts.

TEACHERS

Education minded individuals will be glad to know that national projections for teaching jobs estimate growth and the need for teachers to continue for the next 10 years. Specialization in special education and learning disabilities is also recommended for individuals who are interested in making more money while continuing to serve the student population. With the increase in autism and other learning disabilities over the last five years, teachers with knowledge pertaining to how to help students with learning disabilities are in demand. The current curriculum at most colleges makes it possible for teachers to get jobs at any grade level with some continuing education courses. The increased number of private schools as well as charter schools also creates a greater need and opportunity for teachers who do not want to deal with the challenges of the public school system. The benefits for starting teachers may not be as lucrative as other options, however job security is attainable with a career in the teaching profession.

Service Business Ideas for 2015

Great ideas can become successful businesses in no time. As 2014 is already halfway through, 2015’s prospects in terms of businesses are already looking up for a service business. In order for a business, any business, to be successful, some things are most important – a good plan of action, initial investment, strategies, communication, top quality services and a sense of accountability. If your business inculcates these features, nothing is unachievable. Understandably, most service business ideas rely on the internet since it has become such a huge e-commerce force in the last decade. The following are some top service business ideas for 2015:

Mobile App Creation

This is the age of smartphones, and if there is one thing that is synonymous with every smartphone user, it is mobile apps. The app store is teeming with games, widgets, utility apps, funny apps and so many other kinds of apps. If the app is good, people download them and the success of ‘Flappy Bird’ is enough to convince anyone that a lot of money can be made from a successful app. First, find out what kind of app you want to make and when you make this decision, keep your educational background and personal interests in the picture. Shopping app, dating app, tarot reading app or financial app, there is a lot you can do.

Virtual Assistants

Many businesses are hiring virtual assistants because of the cost saving abilities they possess. Basically, these assistants work from their own home, so the company cuts back on travelling, space and other overhead costs. Also, they are qualified enough to handle most of the work. So, what is your educational background? Most companies look for virtual assistants in the field of human resource, staffing, marketing and secretarial fields. The companies don’t have to hire full time people and you can work from home.

Mobile Web Design

Web design is already a huge field that people are joining from all professions. However, because of the influence of mobile internet on the current world, mobile web design has emerged as a great opportunity for many people. Companies need sites that are mobile friendly because people surf the web on the go. For this, they need professionals who have experience in mobile design and can help them grow their customer base.

Freelance Writing

If your writing skills are good, you can become a freelance writer. Many websites hire writers for content writing. In fact, press releases, directories and social media websites also rely on these writers. The best thing about freelance writing is a flexible schedule, ability to work from home and doing something you love. If you enjoy writing, this will not seem like a job to you because you will be writing and researching about a lot of topics. Start by creating your own writing blog and brush up on SEO techniques. Then, you would only need a small and loyal client base to get ahead.

Online Store

If you are good at something, an online store can be just the place where you can sell it. You will have customers on a global scale, and things could be sold 24×7. Because of new software programs, the setting up of the store is pretty easy too. Always keep a note of your shipping constraints. Would you be willing to ship internationally? If yes, do you have a cost effective shipping plan? If no, then what areas would you cover? It is also important to have a good customer support system in place because your customers would be grateful for being helped out.

Photographer

There is a huge demand for photographers out there but first, you need to hone your photography skills. Join a small workshop to fine tune the art of photography and then start building a quality portfolio. This is a field of patience but it is pretty rewarding. You also have to choose a field that you would like to join. Do you enjoy wildlife photography? Perhaps, subject photography is more your style. Weddings, websites and special events need good photographers and this could be a great idea.

Always work hard to build a client base by being communicative and genuine. Businesses with great integrity always fare better than sloppy ones.

Low Cost Business Ideas for 2015

2015 is almost upon us, and there’s no better time to begin earning some more income by starting your own business. Starting one can be an expensive undertaking, but luckily there are a ton of great ways to start earning money with a side business using the tools and expertise you’ve already got. Let’s take a look at some low cost business ideas that you can use in 2015:

Coaching

Softball, volleyball, baseball, football, golfing, swimming, soccer, gymnastics, and all sorts of other sporting pursuits are taken up in droves each year as students start high school, college, or are just wanting some extra-curricular fun. If you’ve had any experience with sports in the past, coaching is a great way to earn some money while also placing some roots down in your local community.

Day Care

Around 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, and with fathers and mothers spending more and more time on the job, there are plenty of opportunities out there to start a home day care business. You can work in-house or on-call, and the good news is that most parents will already have bought the supplies their babies need; you’ll just need to offer a safe environment and possibly some snacks for hungry tummies!

Cleaning

Nobody really likes cleaning, but you can learn to love the extra money you can rake in by cleaning other people’s home. Most of the supplies you need are pretty cheap and you’ll likely already have most of them from cleaning your own house.

Bed and Breakfast

If you’ve got a spare guestroom taking up space in your home, opening up a bed and breakfast is a great way to have it start earning you some money.

Pet Care

There’s pet grooming, pet walking, and kenneling services. People are traveling quite a bit now-a-days and are always in need of a pet-sitter or kennel to watch over their favorite pooch while they’re away.

Wedding Planner

Over 2,000,000 couples get married each year and it’s one of the most expensive days that a family will see. There is no shortage of things to do to prepare for a wedding, and many families will elect to hire someone just to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Lesson Giving

If you’ve got a hobby you know then you’ve got a skill that can be taught. Whether you’re teaching guitar, cooking, crocheting, piano, gardening, cake-decorating, painting, or whatever else, there are plenty of people out there who will pay you to help them jump start their way into a fun hobby.

Elderly Care

There are over 40,000,000 seniors in the United States, and the number of them seems to just keep growing. Retirement homes can be very costly to a lot of families, so many of them are opting to go with daily care.

Tutoring

School can be tough for a lot of kids, but luckily you’ve already gotten through it. Help the next generation make it through high school or college while making some extra money on the side.

Tour Guide

If you live in a booming city with tons of attractions, there will be plenty of tourists coming in each year that’ll want to know the ins and outs of all the local hotspots.

Car Detailing

Everyone loves a fresh, clean car, but few people will go through the job thoroughly enough to make it look brand new. Offering deep cleaning services on automobiles is a great way to bring in the extra bucks, particularly in the summer time when people want to get out and cruise.

Basic Home Repair

If you’re a regular handy-man, then you’d be surprised at the amount of people out there who simply don’t know or don’t care to do basic home repair functions. These people generally don’t want to pay a professional plumber’s fee to stop up a leaky faucet, which is where you can come in and make a ton of money. It’s also a great way to keep your skills sharp for repairing things in your own home.

11 Business Ideas for Women in 2015

Ladies, are you looking for interesting business opportunities that would be viable ideas for implementing in 2015 and beyond? If so, you’re invited to check out this list of eleven business ideas for women in 2015. This list is focused primarily on affordable, service-oriented businesses that ordinary women with ordinary skills could easily start and succeed with.

1. Content Marketing Business

Content marketing is a hot trend. As the Internet expands in both popularity and size, the demand for fresh content is growing right along with it.

There are many different types of content on the Internet. “Content marketing” refers to content that specifically helps to market a company’s products or services. For example, if a cosmetics manufacturer posts a blog that’s filled with makeup tutorials and beauty tips, which are all designed to drive sales of their makeup collections, the blog posts could be considered “content marketing.”

2. Social Media Marketing Business

Social media strategies are becoming an increasingly important part of many companies’ business marketing plans — yet many businesses are clueless about how to utilize social media effectively. If you’re social media savvy, or you’re willing to develop your social media skills, there are many opportunities for you to help other businesses in this capacity.

3. Affiliate Marketing Business

Affiliate marketing is a low-cost, high-opportunity business. Basically, an affiliate marketer acts as an online, freelance, commission-only salesperson. You drive sales to a merchant’s website and you get a commission on the sale. If you’re a good communicator, either through writing or video production, this could be a viable business for you — particularly if your skill set also includes sales ability.

4. Copywriting Business

Most businesses need sales copy in some form or another. If you’re adept at writing ads, web pages, brochures, flyers, postcards or sales letters, this is an opportunity you might want to pursue.

5. Search Engine Optimization Business

If you understand how to optimize websites so that they can be found in the search engine results pages, this could be a lucrative business opportunity for you. Every business with a website would be a potential customer.

6. CSA — Community Supported Agriculture

If you own enough arable land to grow fruit or vegetables, you could sell them directly to the public through your own CSA. CSA is an acronym for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and it’s a fantastic business opportunity for small farmers. This is particularly lucrative for small organic farmers who are environmentally conscious in their growing practices. Health-conscious people are willing to pay premium prices for organic fruits and vegetables, so selling produce to them directly can be rewarding.

7. Catering Business

In just about every area, there are people who get married, companies that host holiday parties, and people who need meals catered for a variety of different reasons. In urban areas, it could be interesting to start a niche catering business. In an area that’s already crowded with other caterers, you could distinguish your business from all the other existing catering businesses by specializing in serving vegan food, gluten-free meals, or ethnic cuisine.

8. Insurance Agent

Just about everyone needs insurance of some sort, so insurance agents have their pick of interesting offerings, locales and opportunities. You could offer car insurance, boat insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, disaster insurance, and other sorts of insurance.

9. Accounting Business

Accounting is a task that every business has to do. Some do it in-house, but it’s a task that many businesses need help with — and are willing to pay for. If you’re good with spreadsheets, math and tax software, this could be a worthwhile business opportunity for you.

10. Translation Business

In today’s global environment, it’s increasingly important for businesses to make global connections. If you have outstanding language skills and marketing savvy, a translation business could be right for you.

11. Software Training Business

Are you a whiz at Excel, Quickbooks, Photoshop, Illustrator or other useful software? You could get paid to teach others these marketable skills.

So there you have it: eleven viable business ideas for women in 2015. Best wishes for choosing a business that you will find interesting, challenging, engaging, and best of all, rewarding — both financially and in other ways as well.

Business Ideas for Teens in 2015

Teen unemployment continues to remain stubbornly high despite drops in the overall unemployment average nationwide. Many employers are becoming increasingly selective in their hiring practices, and this can be particularly discouraging for unskilled labor pools such as teenagers. A great way to combat selective hiring practices, is to become independent of them by starting your own business. There are several traditional and non-traditional business models that are teen friendly, requiring minimal start-up costs. Some diligence, time, effort, and networking can parlay any of these ideas into a success

Baby-Sitting

This is traditionally a teenage girl role, but nonetheless one that can be quite lucrative with proper attention. Gone are the days of five dollars an hour babysitting jobs. Reliable and qualified babysitters and nannies can demand and bring ten to fifteen dollars per hour. Start small by using your natural market such as church or other groups, and expand from there. Expanding a fledgling business is easier than ever. With the advent of websites such as care.com or angieslist.com, reaching a wide audience is only a few clicks away. If your teen has an entrepreneurial flair, they may enlist the help of their friends, and expand into a large pool of potential babysitters. The hardworking teen can generate as much or as little income as they desire, and that income will be directly related to the amount of time and effort they are willing to invest in their business.

Dog Walking/Pet Sitting

Despite a down trodden economy, pet owners continue to spend billions of dollars each year on their furry little friends. Many pet lovers consider their four legged companions to be part of the family, and family members must be properly cared for. Teens may find that friends and neighbors can provide a great customer base, and then they can expand locally by making contacts at local dog parks, the humane society, and businesses that provide veterinarian services. Reliability and the ability to be available with no notice are keys to doing well in this business. A firm understanding in pet behavior and breed traits will ensure the success of your jobs, as well as impress potential clients. Once a pet owner finds someone who they can count on that their pet loves, repeat business is a sure thing, and expansion from there becomes exponential. A teen of driving age is helpful, as it will make pet pickups and drop offs much easier when the teen is responsible for their own transportation.

Programming

Some self-directed learning in a programming language or two can quickly translate into a marketable skill, and a new business. App development has taken quite a few people from rags to riches over the last decade. All programming and marketing can be done from home, and there are many free resources available which makes start-up costs a non-issue. Teens who are inclined to advanced analytic thinking would do well in this type of business. Advanced planning before diving into a particular programming language or type of app is critical to the success of any programming business. If Apple developers are in high demand and low supply, focus on that niche in the programming world. Know your market and how to seize opportunities within it. Knowledge can be a valuable commodity, but only if other people see the value in buying it. There are a number of different websites such as odesk.com that pair programmers with clients for a percentage of the job, and that can help build a customer base with expansion possibilities from there.

Freelance Writing

If your teen likes to write, encourage them to look into freelance writing websites. Due diligence is the key to success, as there are many websites available that either do not pay consistently, or even at all. Some research and referrals from other users can help weed out the good sites from the bad. Getting started is a quick and easy process. Often a simple application complete with writing test are all that are required in order to get started with freelance writing jobs. This job can be done from the comfort of your home, and only requires a computer and internet connection in order to get started.

Business Name Ideas for 2015

What’s in a name? When it comes to the success of a small business, it means everything. If you come up with the ‘right’ name it can make your business the talk of the town. On the other hand, the wrong name can push it into obscurity and literally cause it to fail. The name of your business should ideally convey your value, expertise, knowledge, and the uniqueness of your product or service you’re offering.

A few experts think that the best business names are somewhat abstract, a clean slate to create the perfect image. Others believe that business names should be more informative and straightforward in nature so that customers can immediately identify what your business is about, while still others think that coined names (fictitious words) are generally more memorable than names with real words. But, some think real words are forgettable. So, obviously there’s a mixed bag of expert opinions out there.

In reality, virtually any potential name can be equally effective if it’s supported by a good marketing strategy. Here are a few tips on what you should consider in order to name your small business something appropriate and highly effective.

Check Out the Competition First

Take a close look at your competitors. What sort of names do they have for their businesses? Write them down and make a list to spark your own creative ideas to develop a business name that’s memorable and stands out from the crowd.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Your business name should clearly resonate with the individuals you’re trying to reach. Use what you already know regarding your target audience in order to determine the relevancy of any names you are considering.

Let Your Creative Juices Flow

While it’s best to have a memorable and easy name to pronounce, don’t make the mistake of dismissing the value of coming up with a name that’s totally unique. Not only will it stand out in the minds of your audience, but is also serves as a good opportunity for a back story if your name has a special meaning.

Look at it Objectively

How will your name relate to the everyday logistics of your business? How will it make other people feel and think? Be sure your name communicates a clear message and that you understand all the potential connotations that may impact how your particular business is perceived.

Don’t Box Yourself In

If you go with a name that directly identifies with what your business does, such as Jack’s Logo Design, you could be limiting the growth of your business. Many times choosing a name that’s a bit more general makes more sense since you can add other facets to your business as a whole. For example, instead of Jack’s Logo Design, Jack’s Graphics broadens the potential for a wider range of work.

Be Open to Advice

Once you think of a few good possibilities, don’t be afraid to bounce them off members of your family, friends, and colleagues to see what they think. Be open for any suggestions and listen, even if it sounds somewhat critical. In the end, it may help you from making a huge mistake.

Visual Your Brand

The name of your business is far more than just a name, it’s a huge part of your brand as well. Think about your domain name, your key marketing materials, and how your business name will translate into each facet of the new brand that you’re creating.

Short, Simple, and Memorable

Creating a short and simple name is best. More importantly, it must be memorable for it to stand out – essentially unique.

Use Creative Tools

In addition to a thesaurus, use some available creative tools to help inspire you such as RhymeZone, WriteExpress, or Dot-o-mator.

Sleep On It

Set your new list of names aside for a few days and then come back to it with a fresh viewpoint. After a day or two, you may feel differently about a certain name you originally liked, or didn’t like.

Use these ideas to come up with an outstanding name for your business in 2015. Keep in mind that ‘unique’ works. For example, consider the somewhat odd name – “Google”. But, how many companies are more successful than Google?

Job Outlook for 2015

With 2014 more than half over and 2015 looming large in the distance, it is time to take a look at what the job market is going to look like for the next year. As the country comes out of a recession, jobs are becoming increasingly common, though getting them can be a challenge. As time goes on, CNN Money notes that retraining seems to be the key. This means that for many people, there is nothing more positive and promising than returning to school or getting increased training for jobs that they already have. What are some of the important facts that are going to be shaping the job market in 2015?

For example, the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is indicates that most of the professions that are going to experience the most growth are related to the health and wellness field. For example, the growth rate for personal care aids is listed at an impressive 49% percent over the next ten years, while home health care aides are set to grow nearly as much. Occupational therapists are also set to grow at a similar rate.

Some other professions that look promising for the 2015 year and the decade thereafter include that of mechanical insulation workers, helpers like bricklayers and tile setters, and, as the economy becomes more global and ever expansive, there is a great deal of work available for interpreters and translators.

Much is made of recession-industries, and even as the economy is recovering, these are field that should be addressed. Sales continues to be a thriving field, and though it requires a rarefied skill set that cannot necessarily be taught in school, the world has embraced many ways to encourage salespeople of all types. Online sales, sales conducted through programs like Skype and more have created a world that is very much geared towards creating great salesmanship opportunities.

For a time back in in the early aughts, there was a great deal of speculation that computer programming was the key. Then the next ten years saw a glut of computer professions and no jobs. However, the wheel has turned again, and CNN Money suggests that some of the most profitable and stable jobs over the next five years have everything to do with computers and their maintenance. Systems administration continues to be a lucrative field, and it makes a great deal of sense. As more and more companies realize that they cannot work without an online presence, the price they are willing to pay to keep that presence running smoothly is high.

Engineering jobs are also going to experience an upswing over the next few years as companies recover from their losses in the aughts and look towards expansion again. Engineering in general is going up in terms of job placement, but the four fields that are seeing the greatest job growth include chemical engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers and civil engineers. Though all of these jobs require a four year degree, the projection is that the pay off for the adventerous person with an engineering bent is going to be worth it.

Various forms of therapeutic work are going to see moderate increases as well. The field of psychology, especially as it relates to corporate care and industry employment, is going to see an increase, as are counseling positions of all levels. It is important to remember that the independent positions are not growing; instead it is the therapeutic work that is associated with hospitals and other large organizations that are going to be seeing the upswing.

There is a more modest upswing that is set to go up in clerical opportunities. Increased size for many companies and businesses predicts an increase in the need for organizational and data entry positions, creating a level of clerical work that has been steadily emerging over the last few years.

When you are thinking about looking for a job in the modern economy, remember that you are looking in a job field that is rapidly expanding and becoming more than it once was. This is something that can make your job search much easier, so use the facts above to direct your quest!

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