Knowing Your Industry Before You Start A Business
Diving into a business without understanding the industry is one of the most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs make. While you may have a genuinely creative idea, you still need to understand the fundamentals of the industry that you’re trying to break into. Without understanding these fundamentals, you could struggle with the admin side of things or you may struggle to market your business effectively. To help you understand the industry that you’re getting into, here are a few steps that you can take.
Consider working as an employee in the industry
Working for someone else in the industry can help you to understand the inner workings. If you have plans to open your own restaurant, working in a restaurant as an employee for a couple years could help you to understand tasks such as stock management, day dotting and ticket ordering. Working within an industry an employee could also help you to better understand how to manage staff of your own (you’ll know first-hand the types of management style that do and don’t work).
Start looking for job vacancies in your chosen industry. As you can see here, there are plenty of places where you can search for job listings. Look for a job that’s as closely related to your dream business idea as possible.
Read specialist books and blogs
There are many books and blogs out there dedicated to business tips. However, for understanding your industry, it could be worth hunting for specialist books and blogs. For instance, if you’re eager to start a business in fashion retail, focus on reading books and blogs that focus in on this industry.
Such books and blogs will allow you to learn from the mistakes and successes of other business owners in your chosen industry. This could be a lot more useful than generic business advice.
Do your competitor research
Competitor research is vital if you want your business to stand out from the crowd. It could allow you to identify aspects that you can do better – this could include beating pricing or providing superior quality. Alternatively, competitor research could allow you to identify gaps in the market, allowing you to offer products or services that aren’t being offered elsewhere.
There are lots of ways to do competitor research: you could visit their website, take a browse around their store or read reviews of their company.
Survey consumers to find out what they want
To fully understand an industry, you need to understand the demands of its consumers. By surveying consumers of your industry, you can work out what it is that they look for when a company to do business with. This could similarly help you to find gaps in the market by identifying needs that other businesses are failing to meet.
There are many ways to conduct consumer surveys including online surveys and focus groups. Decide what is likely to be the most effective form of research for you.