Running a new business can be both nerve-wracking and incredibly exciting. Now, guided by your industry experience and oriented by your purpose, focusing on the future becomes vibrant and can provide much in the way of opportunity compared to working within a prior, rigid corporate structure.
Of course, people from all walks of life start businesses. From those coming out of the military starting companies that provide basic survival hardware, to personal trainers developing fitness supplements, depending on the kind of firm you wish to run your approach and goals may be staggeringly different.
Thankfully, improving your business is possible if you use your industry experience and wisdom to guide you. But in what way is this applied? How can you bring your values across? And what can you take about your frustrations with your past career in order to inform your forward focus?
In this guide, we’ll discuss those topics, and provide you the inspiration to think more deeply about your own plan when you get time to. With that in mind, let’s begin:
Learning What To Eschew
When bringing your insight into a new operation, it’s important to know what to eschew. This might include frustrations that you had with your previous career, such as how it took five people signing off on anything for a new approach to be justified. It might be that as a customer support rep, you know that granting support against more of an ability to enact a creative solution rather than following a script will improve your client satisfaction dearly.
It might just be that you’ve already suffered a manager that tried to be your friend at every opportunity, unprofessionally so, and so as a boss yourself you with to be respectful, appreciative, but always retaining your dignity and the dignity of your staff, too. Writing down all of the ‘do not do’ practices you’d rather be free from, considering them closely, and then factoring these parameters into your business planning could be a healthy way to start.
Keeping Your Priorities In Order
Of course, it’s very important to keep your priorities in order when running a new business, which means keeping your values to heart and understanding what they mean in the first place.
What is it that’s important to you? Your approach to transparency and sustainability? Might it be the simple tier-based subscription you offer, providing nothing but clear-cut accessibility to your clients? Or will you focus on a particular demographic, such as running a mortgage broker firm directly dedicated to helping out underserved communities get on the housing ladder? When you have industry experience, you often know the value of ironing out your goals properly, and understanding that overcomplexity often leads to capitulating on your essential principles.
Understanding Your Clientele
Understanding your clientele is a necessary part of structuring your business. Depending on who you wish to serve, or what their goals are, you may wish to develop your branding, your feature sets, and your overall product offering in a certain way. For instance, there’s a big difference between running a general taxi firm for people in your local area, to running a professional chauffeur firm which needs to be booked in advance.
This will determine what kind of vehicles you invest in, the training and dress code you give to your staff, and more. Think of how barbers’ strictly dealing with men’s hair will differ in interior design and practicality to a unisex barber. This doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, or a more viable business plan. What it does mean, however, is that you will have understood your clientele and can more readily appeal to them - using your industry experience to inform this further.
Bonding With Your Employees
Bonding with your employees is an essential element of structuring a team that can work together. It might be that you’ve seen this play out in both good and bad ways during your time in the industry, and you wish to learn from the positives.
For instance, often, high-quality restaurants will offer a ‘family meal’ cooked for everyone before the start of a shift, so the chefs, waiters and even bar staff have the chance to eat something before they get to work. This can provide them with a chance to bond and talk to one another, while making sure that even those who have had a rough night the night before are given nutrition to keep them satiated, happy and energized on the job.
Alternatively, perhaps you could take the idea of praising employees and make it a systemic and necessary part of your business, such as with subtle but streamlined employee recognition software. This could potentially give you the chance to ensure hard work and appreciation is rewarded, rather than being showered in simple lip service.
The goodwill you receive from this, and the unified feeling of togetherness you curate is priceless. As you can see, investments like this depending on the firm you run could be absolutely vital.
Understanding Gaps In The Market
When you work for a given business, or in a given industry, you tend to get a feeling for exactly what markets you serve - and those you don’t. You also begin to understand what your local competition looks like, and in some cases, those areas that they’re failing to serve, too.
It might be that time spent selling restaurant-quality appliances to hospitality businesses in the area helps you understand the overwhelming lack of cultural restaurants there. Perhaps you’ve spent time in construction and know inside and out the daily difficulties that hardworking builders have to deal with. Developing products, services or even full business to meet that gap in demand may be ideal.
With these combined efforts, we hope you can see that often, improving your new business thanks to industry experience can give you the motivation, insight, and nuance you need for success. So - why denigrate your past working positions or ignore the good you’ve done when changing career paths? It might just be that you thrive because of it.