Translating a new concept into a successful business is difficult but not impossible. If you have made up your mind to leap into a brand new industry then here are three tips that will help you get started the right way.
1. Do lot of research before taking a plunge into uncharted waters
The age-old mantra says when it comes to starting a new business, make sure you work in the industry first to know the industry inside-out. Don’t despair, not everyone does it this way.
So, when you are planning to start a business in an unfamiliar industry, firstly you need to accept that you don’t fully understand the industry you are entering. So be open to a lot of learning, get started with thorough research of your market. Performing SWOT analysis is a great way to assess your competitor’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the marketplace. This can also give you more clarity in context to the viability of your proposition.
Take a look at the examples of young entrepreneur who has built their business empires in an industry they weren’t much familiar with.
For instance, I am sure you know about Elon Musk, Founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX — the company is well known for launching a commercial spacecraft in 2012
He started off his entrepreneurial journey by starting an array of companies in different industries such as PayPal and later SpaceX and other ventures. With an educational background in fintech and economics, Musk has earned a big name in the space exploration industry.
Musk is an earnest entrepreneur and became a millionaire in his late twenties. I know not everybody is an Elon Musk, and trust me not everyone can be. So here is an another inspiring example worth mentioning.
Meet Matt Mosher, CEO, and founder of hiredMYway.com. The site focuses on connecting job seekers with right employers and vice- versa. The point to be noted here is, he started it without any experience in the recruiting field.
His main objective behind this initiative was to play a significant role in solving Michigan’s employment crisis. And the other reason that further encouraged him to go ahead was the frustration he experienced in finding right people for the job for his two other businesses such as landscaping and maintenance.
HiredMyway’s twist on the traditional job board was one of the main reason behind its success. Today venture enjoys a strong presence in both Chicago, Detroit and boasts off more than 1,500 available job opportunities. Adding to the success, the company has secured more than US$3.5 million in funding from all Midwest investors.
Key Takeaway: Any successful venture is born out of a need to provide a solution to the persisting problem. In some words, you need to closely identify a problem and come up with a solution. And in some cases, it is an outsider who can see it clearly.
2. Balance your new perspective with expert experience
When entering into an unfamiliar industry it is good to take the advice of industry insiders. They have done it all and know it better, so don’t hesitate in taking expert guidance of individuals who have domain experience. Gather all the information you can get about the industry by reading, meeting relevant people, this will help you build connections in the industry. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and use every interaction as an opportunity to learn. Having contacts with influential people of your industry, is a good way to stay on the right path and also find investors for your businesses growth.
Take a look at the piece of advice shared by a young entrepreneur John Berkowitz, founder of Yodle. His company has been mentioned as one of the most promising companies in America by Forbes in the year 2014. This American company has won multiple awards for exponential business growth, technology innovation and work culture. Besides services, company has done an incredible job in its branding with one of the most professional logo design.
John says, “When you are entering in an unfamiliar industry, firstly you need to get rid of all your preconceived notions and totally immerse yourself in the new industry. Being an outsider, you have an advantage, too — you bring your fresh perspective and viewpoint to the industry.”
3. Find a good mentor
Having a good mentor is a powerful asset when you are entering a new industry. They can give you a head start you are looking for and will help you in leveraging opportunities to your best advantage. Their industry insight, knowledge, and strategies will be hugely valuable for you. Someone who is a professional business coach or is a veteran of the industry would surely make a great mentor.
Also read: 4 reasons your startup needs a mentor
There are countless entrepreneurs who have successfully taken on a new industry. Whether you are going in an industry you are familiar with or unfamiliar with you are going to create your own unique course. You will be facing your own set of challenges, fears, setbacks but don’t let it discourage you. Be determined and change your vision into reality. Good luck!
The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.
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