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Sageworks is the leading source of current industry data on privately held companies. For additional information on our data or press releases, please email research@sageworks.com or call 866.603.7029 ext. 596.

Industries to watch in 2014: The 10 fastest-growing fields
 
Raleigh, N.C., December 31, 2013—When one industry prospers, outsiders often find a way to tap into that success, becoming new suppliers, distributors or providing back-office services. But how do you know which industries may be worth mining for new customers or entering yourself? Sageworks, a financial information company, conducted a financial statement analysis of privately held companies to identify the fastest-growing industries of the last 12 months. These industries have seen dramatically higher growth rates than the sales growth experienced over the last 12 months by all private companies in Sageworks’ database.
 
Industries connected to computer systems design (programming, systems integration, facilities management) have grown at mid- to high-teens percentages since 2010, according to Sageworks data. This is consistent with government reports of strong investment in software since 2009 as companies apparently try to eke out efficiencies with software instead of additional hires.
 
Similarly, employment services also made the Sageworks list of fastest-growing industries last year and is likely benefiting from employers hiring temporary or contract workers as a hedge against uncertainty, Sageworks analyst Mike Lubansky said. That category, however, also includes executive placement firms, so it may also be seeing growth as companies boost permanent hires, he added.
 
Another industry on the list for a second year in a row is real estate brokers/agents, but the recent recovery follows annual sales declines for this industry between 2006 and 2009, and many industry watchers expect the housing market’s recovery to continue to be steady rather than dramatic.
 
“Some industries, such as computer systems design, have been consistent performers for the last couple of years, but others, such as real-estate related industries, can be more cyclical,” Lubansky said. “It is probably preferable as a business where possible to hitch your wagon to an industry that is thriving based on structural rather than cyclical changes.”
 
Lubansky said Sageworks’ list of fastest-growing industries can provide a starting point for you to look closely at what’s going on in these industries for signs that strong sales growth could continue in the coming year and beyond.
 
“There’s a world of service-support activities for many of these industries,” Lubansky said. “For service-oriented firms, they can certainly direct themselves to these industries and see where they could fit themselves in.”
 
For example, he said, an accounting, marketing or law firm might approach companies in these fast-growing industries to help address newfound challenges related to growth. But explore trends carefully. Many of the manufacturing-related industries on the list last year aren’t on this year’s list. That’s not surprising, considering Sageworks data show manufacturing sales have slowed after an outsized role in the economic recovery.
 
Some of the industries, such as support activities for mining, are not only fast-growing, but strongly profitable – another argument for targeting the industry as you develop new services and prospect lists. If you need help figuring out what kinds of businesses are included in these industry categories to give you ideas for how your business may benefit, visit the U.S. Census Bureau website, which has information on firms, occupational outlooks and recent trends.
 
Financial statement analysis of fastest-growing industries
 
About the Data
 
Sageworks possesses a proprietary database of privately held company financial statements aggregated by industry. Each day, approximately 1,000 of these financial statements are collected by Sageworks from accounting firms, banks and credit unions through a cooperative data model with Sageworks’ clients. The data is segmented and can be queried by 1,400 industry codes, 70 financial metrics, company size and geographic location.
 
About Sageworks
 
Raleigh, N.C.,-based Sageworks is a financial information company that provides financial analysis and industry benchmarking solutions to accounting firms. Sageworks’ data and applications are used by thousands of banks and accounting firms across North America. Sageworks provides industry data on private companies to U.S. accounting firms at no cost. The company has been named to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. and to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500.
 
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