Successful business owners are usually good at what they do. They have often built their business up from scratch, or built on existing success, and have a certain amount of expertise in their area of industry; however, what happens when they decide to branch out into a new area and is their specific expertise enough to see them succeed in another, often different, sector?
Being good at one thing does not mean you will excel at another, of course, so just how do you make sure you will not fall flat on your business face if you want to start something new? Thankfully, there are several tried and tested strategies that will work.
One of the most obvious is to find a partner for the new venture and to make sure it is one that has some experience, at least, in the new direction. Needing help can be difficult to accept, particularly if you are someone who does not let go of control easily, but being able to consult someone else with knowledge in the sector you are intending to branch into is essential.
Accepting a partner in any business is a big step to take. Not only do you have to loosen the reins of your business a little but also you have to start trusting somebody else to make the decisions on which your livelihood depends. It goes without saying that you need to acquire a partner you can trust.
Once this is the case and everyone is clear about where they stand, you will be in a good position to take your business forward in a completely new direction.
The second thing to consider is that when entering a new market – in whatever sector – you will need to offer something no one else is offering. This could be the product you are producing – perhaps it is unique – or the service you are providing. Whatever it is, you must ensure it is something that will sell and continue selling.
One of the best ways to do this at the beginning is to give something away, either free or for an unbeatable price. If you can offer your new clients a bargain, you will have a chance to establish yourself in your new industry, let them know how good you or your product are, and entice new customers by the bucketload.
Starting any business is not easy and there is no point trying to gain as much money as possible when you are still new. Think long term, build good relationships with customers, and you will be a long way towards success.
The last strategy that you need to consider is to make sure you reduce what is known as cultural friction – a discrepancy in what you and your client understand. In other words, you need to have the same perceptions of the terms of business as your client. When entering a new industry or sector, there is the danger that you may transfer some practices that do not fit well in the new one.
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