The past year brought continued financial woes for small businesses across a wide array of industries — but not all of them. In a select few sectors, business is booming and sales expectations are soaring heading into 2013.
Small agricultural companies and heavy-duty manufacturers are primed for some of the most rapid growth in the coming months, according to a new report from Sageworks based on financial data from thousands of firms with annual revenue below $10 million. Oil and grain producers, cattle ranchers, architectural and structural metal manufacturers and industrial machinery producers were among the fastest-growing small business sectors this past year (with employment services firms rounding out the top five), and each of them are expected to continue enjoying higher sales next year.
In each sector, small firms enjoyed average sales bumps of more than 20 percent last year, according the report. Among the most surpising on the list was the jump in sales for cattle ranchers, one analysts said, considering that many households have been tightening expenses and often cut back on that type of meat purchase.