Updated on: January 19th, 2017
So you want to start a business in a field you know nothing about.
That’s how you ended up on this page, right? Or maybe you just landed here out of sheer curiosity. Either way, it’s a topic that’s been on our minds for about a week now, ever since we published our Business Spotlight on Alex Markowski, the owner of 90 Degrees Salon.
As you may remember from that article, when Alex first made the decision to open his own salon, his parents asked him what he knew about hair. And his reply was, “Absolutely nothing!”
Starting a business in a new-to-you field is not at all uncommon for entrepreneurs, and especially not for serial entrepreneurs, who are known for their ability to start a variety of new businesses in a variety of industries.
But how do you start a business you know nothing about?
How to Start a Business You Know Nothing About
Squash the self-doubt.
If you think your lack of knowledge is going to be the thing that stops you, think again. If you’re self-assured in your abilities and have confidence that you’ll learn what you need to know about the business over time, that’s half the battle.
Have a game plan.
Or better yet, have a business plan. As we’ve covered in podcasts and blogs, a business plan can accomplish a lot, and this is especially true if you’re jumping into something completely unknown to you. With your business plan, you’ll be able to better understand the business, the competition, and exactly what your differentiators might be.
Do your research.
You might not have the experience, but you do have the brains and the resources. As you develop your business plan, you’ll be undergoing thorough research and creating the foundation for everything you need to know. Gather data, do the job yourself before hiring others to do it, and do whatever you can to learn the ins and outs of your business.
Talk to people.
Talk to someone who has already succeeded in what you are attempting to do. Even if they had experience in the field prior to starting, there’s still much you can glean from them in regards to their current success. Talk to experts in your industry and learn the specific opportunities and challenges. And talk to employees to learn more about the day-to-day life of your business. The point is: Ask questions, and ask them often.
Partner with someone who complements you and who you can trust.
Or, if you’re starting the business alone, hire individuals whose skills complement your own. By hiring in-house experts who understand the industry’s specific processes down to the core, you can focus on the part of business that you are skilled in. Starting a business isn’t easy, and you’re going to need the support and expertise of a strong team.