It’s hard to believe 2023 is coming to a close! It’s been a rollercoaster year marked by turbulence for some industries and a resurgence for others. Inflation, interest rates, and even technical advancements such as the rise of AI have all played roles in the work we all do each and every day. No matter what your area of focus was this year, it most likely shaped in some way by the year we just experienced! 2024 has some big shoes to fill, and we’re excited to see what the next year brings.

Before we countdown the seconds until the ball drops and the fireworks launch, let’s look back and round up the Vertical IQ Industry Profiles that were most-viewed by our users in 2023!

10. Law Firms

The 160,400 law practices in the U.S. provide advocacy and advisory services to businesses, non-profit organizations, individuals, and government agencies. The practice of civil law accounts for 94% of the legal industry’s revenue, while criminal law accounts for only 4%.

Client Cost-Cutting
Businesses have cut their legal budgets, resulting in reduced spending on outside legal services

Alternative Fee Arrangements
Driven by client demands for cost containment, firms are offering alternatives to the traditional billable hour model.

9. Restaurants

The 428,725 restaurant companies in the U.S. include full-service restaurants, quick-service restaurants (fast food, snack, and non-alcoholic beverage bars), fast-casual restaurants, grills, buffets, and cafeterias. Franchise restaurants are individually owned and operated and benefit from marketing and operational assistance provided by a franchisor.

Competition for the Food Dollar
While the restaurant industry is highly competitive, eating establishments also compete with convenience stores, grocery stores, warehouse clubs, and at-home cooking.

More Healthy and Environmentally Conscious Eating
Consumers are trying to eat better by seeking out meals that are healthy, locally sourced, and environmentally friendly.

8. Landscaping Services

The 107,000 landscaping services firms in the U.S. provide planting, fertilizing, mowing, leaf- and snow-blowing, edging and trimming, construction, cleaning, and pest removal services for commercial and residential customers. Landscaping for commercial properties makes up 53% of industry sales. Residential areas account for 33% of sales but are often the sole focus of small landscaping firms.

Ongoing Equipment Costs
Landscaping firms need money to purchase, maintain, and repair quickly depreciating equipment.

Worker Documentation
Landscaping services rely on unskilled, low-wage workers to keep overhead low.

7. Auto Body Shops

The 31,800 auto body shops in the U.S. provide structural and interior repair, paint, and customization services for vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, vans, and trailer bodies. Major customers are insurers, vehicle owners, and auto dealerships. Some auto body shops are members of insurers’ direct repair programs (DRP) and receive referrals from insurers whose clients have filed damage claims.

Increasing Technological Complexity
The technological complexity of modern vehicles creates operational challenges for body shops.

Collision Claims Stabilize, Severity Rises
While the incidence of collision damage insurance claims has remained steady over the last few years, the severity of claims has risen.

6. Lessors of Residential Buildings

The 52,400 lessors of residential buildings and dwellings in the U.S. lease single-family homes, apartment buildings, and townhomes. The industry includes owner-lessors and firms that rent real estate and subsequently sublet property to others.

Vulnerability to Trends in the Housing Market and Economy
The housing market is cyclical, and market conditions affect property income and values, and the ability to collect rent.

Capital-Intensity of Operation
The residential owner-lessor business is extremely capital-intensive.

5. Full-Service Restaurants

The 217,100 full-service restaurants in the U.S. provide food services to patrons who order and are served by wait staff while seated and pay after eating, a practice known as “table service.” Firms may also offer catering services, food and beverage for off-premise consumption, and non-theatrical entertainment. The full-service restaurant industry includes chains, franchises, and independent operators.

Uneven Demand
Full-service restaurants are characterized by demand that can vary by day of the week and time of day.

High Labor Turnover
Full-service restaurant operations are labor-intensive, and the quality of service is highly dependent on staff.

4. Auto Repair Shops

The 77,600 automobile repair shops in the U.S. fix cars with mechanical problems or restore a vehicle after a collision. The automobile repair industry is highly fragmented. Most out-of-warranty vehicles are repaired at independent shops. A vast majority of independent service shops are family-owned.

Declining Collision Sector
Once a highly profitable segment, the collision and body repair sector is in what some industry experts have termed “irrevocable decline.”

Competition from Dealers
Car dealerships are increasing their efforts to service and repair vehicles of all types.

3. Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services

The 16,000 dry cleaners in the U.S. provide services to clean and maintain clothing and home furnishings, such as drapes and bedspreads. Services are provided to both individual consumers and commercial accounts and include cleaning, alterations, and repairs. Most firms are independently owned but may operate as franchisees of national chains.

Changing Regulations
Industry regulation of Perc (perchloroethylene) is continuing to become more stringent.

Green Cleaners as Market Opportunity
Some dry cleaners are using growing opposition to Perc as an opportunity to operate in a more environmentally friendly way and advertise their “green” status.

2. HVAC and Plumbing Contractors

The 102,300 HVAC and plumbing contractors in the U.S. provide installation, repair, and maintenance services for air handling and water management systems. Just over 60% of HVAC and plumbing contractors are solo operators. Contractors may specialize in residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial service.

Dependence on Construction Industry
Demand for HVAC and plumbing services is highly dependent on trends in the construction industry.

Increasing Sophistication of HVAC Systems
Demand for improved efficiency in the non-residential market has led to increasingly complex HVAC systems and automated monitoring programs.

1. Dental Practices

The 123,100 dental practices in the U.S. are in the business of providing “oral health,” including hygiene or preventive care, restorative treatments, and oral surgery. 78% of dentists are in general dentistry, while orthodontists represent 5%, and oral surgeons and pediatric dentists represent 4% each. The rest are specialty practices, such as endodontists or periodontists. About half of dentists are in solo practices.

Weak Economy Lowers Demand
Demand for dental services had been thought to be “recession-proof,” but the past recession and recent pandemic saw a drop in dental appointments and billings.

New Treatment Technologies
Technological advances continue to increase quality, enhance patient comfort, and speed the delivery of dental treatments.

Curious how these rankings stack up to 2022’s most-viewed profiles? Check out last year’s Industry Profile rankings here.

As we bid farewell to an exceptional year, we are profoundly thankful for our incredible customers, partners, and dedicated employees whose unwavering support and commitment have been the driving force behind a truly remarkable year.

We wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2024!

All of the industry information found in this post came directly from Vertical IQ’s Industry Profiles. If you want even more in-depth Industry Intelligence on these and hundreds of other industries, contact us today to get started!

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