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Beer tap handles show a variety of names at the Horsebrass Pub in Portland, Ore., Thursday, July, 2008.

Don Ryan/AP

Fun facts and information for small business owners and entrepreneurs from across the web, brought to you by Report on Small Business. Find us@GlobeSmallBiz or on our LinkedIn group.

Opportunities lie ahead

If you've toyed with the idea of owning your own business, but aren't sure where to start, consider the following burgeoning industries. In its annual survey, Inc.com rank the year's most promising growth industries:

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  1. Wearable computing - think Google Glass
  2. Artisanal alcohol and boutique brew - who doesn't like a good craft beer?
  3. Cruise specialists - think classic cruise with a special twist
  4. Online education - low-cost, skill-based instruction online
  5. Consumer health technology - from fitness apps to glucose monitors
  6. Specialized online retail - good deals, niche products
  7. 3-D printing - everything from jewellery to prosthetic limbs
  8. Virtual data rooms - Dropbox on steroids

If owning a franchise is more your style, consider this top U.S. franchises for 2013 list by Entrepreneur.com

And whether you strike it on your own, or franchise, be sure to make sure you're suited for self-employment. The Wall Street Journal offers a list of ten key questions to ask yourself before making the move into entrepreneurship.

Who needs a business plan?

Though not every small business owner needs a formal business plan, Barnes & Noble's top seller this week - Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies by Rhonda Abrams - suggests there's demand for this type of guidance. Named by Inc. and Forbes as one of the top ten essential books for small business, this edition includes expert help, worksheets to jump start the process, a sample business plan, tips on impressing funders, etc.

Sweetness of the struggle

Seth Godin, the king of pithy, inspirational advice, says in his blog that we need not 'curse or fear' the down moments of experience -- the nerve-wracking auditions, the grueling tryouts, the painful rejection letters -- but rather embrace them; after all, they're inextricable parts of the whole.

The reader is published every Wednesday on the Report on Small Business website. Email suggestions to smallbusiness@globeandmail.com

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