Nothing lasts forever.  This couldn’t be truer when it comes to business booms.  As the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s demonstrated, what goes up tends to come back down at the same speed.  Any financial advisor or planner will tell you to never count on any “hot” business idea being hot for too much longer.  By the time you’ve heard about it, chances are the apex of opportunity has been reached and the players are already on the field.

In order to succeed, you’ve got to come up with the next big thing, not simply emulate a seemingly safe business strategy.  As far as which trendy businesses to avoid getting too mixed up in right now, the following four are probably set to burst in the coming years:

OUTSOURCE AGENCIES

Outsourcing American labor to cheaper employee pools overseas has been a successful business tactic for decades, and an industry of helping businesses accomplish this goal has been built around it.  Just make sure you do due diligence on the outsourcing company you are dealing with to ensure reliability of the partnership.  But with the unemployment rate being where it is stateside, anti-outsourcing politicians are sounding increasingly convincing when it comes to dismantling the incentives of sending jobs overseas and boosting incentives to encourage businesses to hire Americans.  Once this occurs, the outsource agency bubble is sure to burst.

MICROBREWERIES

News of beer giants losing business to small scale “craft” breweries has a lot of aspiring brewmasters thinking they stand a chance in their local beer market.  While opportunity still exists, and the burst probably won’t happen for another year or so, it’s worth noting that virtually every American city has an established local craft beer.  More times than not these microbreweries have been around for decades and already control the majority of the ostensibly accessible craft beer market.  While there will always be room for another brand of beer on American shelves, the competition is tougher than it looks.

ONLINE MARKETING

From pay-per-click campaigns to web design to link building, someone eventually is going to realize that none of this stuff has any reliably consistent value to it.  While Google PageRanks will be boosted, the importance of this in an age when people will be using personal assistant technology to find online information is not exactly as evident as it once was.  While it’s probably not likely that online marketing will disappear, bet on seeing the overwhelming majority of internet marketing startups founded in the last year or so crash and burn in a year or so from now.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Once online marketing is reduced down to its barest necessities, the same is inevitable for social media.  Again we’re dealing with intangibles, the values of viral videos and other social media content are ultimately impossible to calculate with absolute certainty and are therefore extremely vulnerable to bursting.  Whether through investment or offering services specifically involving social media, stay frosty when it comes to the long-term strength of this industry.  Of all the bubbles to burst, this one will be the most sudden and the most volatile when it does.

Unless you feel confident that you can get in and out before the burst, hot topic business ideas are probably best to be avoided.  Bubbles are almost always inevitable, especially when it comes to tech-laden products and services.  Aspiring startups need to be thinking in the long-term, and following the prevailing business trends of today is not how you ensure success tomorrow.

What do you think some other businesses likely to burst in the upcoming year(s)?

Post by Amanda