Everyone has a past – and not all are good. But, whatever you’ve gone through, using your background and experience to inform your business can be great, even if your experiences aren’t. In my case, whilst life has taken many turns. Somehow, all my setbacks have become opportunities to explore, to seek and grow.
While the quarantine was proving to be hard and cumbersome, it was also a time to self-reflect and try new things. And I chose to do the latter for figuring out my own path in life, realising that my entrepreneurial streak is what makes my creative juices flowing. This is what gave birth to my project: “Soul Tree Café”.
Here are my top six tips on how to open a business when you have no prior industry experience.
1. Develop a business idea / concept around the skills you already possess
This is one of the most important things when it comes to your future business. Give it a thought and ask yourself, “What is the most significant knowledge that makes me different from others? Can I use that knowledge to build something special? When I look at my past, what skills have I developed that no one can have?”
Having your answers, you will have the right picture of what you already possess and how you can use it separately to build what you desire. You furthermore will also gain knowledge about where you need to improve yourself. But, more importantly, you can start combining your current differences from other people regarding knowledge, skills, and experience to create unique competence for your new business.
2. Conduct industry research
When starting a business without experience, it is also vital that you must do your research before you open your business. This will help you to establish both how to run your business and what the industry you have chosen is currently looking for. You can conduct research through reading and keeping up to date with business periodicals and industry journals, which take an academic and professional stance on events. From a business perspective, you should also make sure that you conduct market research to ensure that you know what products are currently popular, what your target audience wants, and what gaps are currently in the market.
3. Increase your knowledge and experience
Once you have assessed where you stand, it’s easier to understand where you should be investing your energy on acquiring knowledge and expertise to start your own business.
Getting the knowledge, you need for business is essential, but so is the real-world experience. Work with mentors and advisers. If possible, find mentors and advisers whom you trust and respect. They’ll provide you with complimentary perspectives that can help make up for your lack of experience.
Building strong partnerships and relationships is crucial for ensuring the success and continuity of your business.
4. Create a realistic business plan
A business plan is a formalised document that details your business goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve them. This may include marketing strategy, budget, and financial projections and milestones. As an entrepreneur, it is important is to set your company’s mission, vision, and long-term and short-term goals.
When you have made the decision to take the risk and start your own business, you will be overwhelmed by the diversity and complex decisions you will have to make. You might also get distracted from your passion but by having a plan and following it, you can stay focused on what needs to get done and when. Stay passionate and committed!
6. It’s okay to make mistakes
Most importantly, understand that your experience is limited and that you’re going to make mistakes. If you remain agile and willing to adapt on the fly, you can make up for those mistakes and keep the business moving forward.