Small-business owners know current trends and products will inevitably become obsolete. But even small businesses that are notoriously good at adapting to change, such as those in the apparel industry, are facing steep declines in the U.S. due to bigger picture factors like imports and knockoffs.
In the last decade, an average of 50 percent of men's and women's apparel manufacturers in the U.S. have shut down, according to data from IBISWorld. Other manufacturers, including those that make CDs and other recordable media, have seen more than a 53 percent decline in revenue since 2002 due to new popular technology.
The recordable media, newspaper publishing and photofinishing industries face fierce competition from new technologies and consumers' changing demands. While some, like newspapers, have tried to adapt to change by creating digital versions of their content, others will eventually fade into obscurity, like the aging photo industry, which saw the loss of the iconic Eastman Kodak Company this year.
Such is life, but if you're an aspiring business owner, you'll want to steer clear of these declining industries.