How to Start a Business in a Brand-New Field
Some helpful reminders for when you're venturing into the relative unknown.
Entrepreneurs must always be on the lookout for new markets and ideas they can capitalize on before the space is oversaturated. New and emerging fields are ripe for the taking and, if you're looking to start a business in one, know that it could be a huge turning point for you — but there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Identify the space where you can have real impact.
Doing something new and innovative is a gamble, since few people have come before you and established a roadmap of what your industry should look like. Sometimes, the key to success can be finding ways to add new value to older systems, like creating a cryptocurrency for your existing business.
Other times, it may be more worthwhile to craft an entirely new business in a space where there is little competition. Don't rush into this; be sure your idea is sound. Spend some time reading the news, engaging on forums, and learning what others are doing — and what they believe the "next big thing" is. Then, look at your own skills, experiences, and interests, and determine how you can blend them with your desire to branch into a new space.
Understand the arena you're entering.
Take time to really understand the landscape of your new endeavor. Talk to more established leaders in the field, read everything you can, and be sure that you're ready to handle any issues that come up. For instance, if you're moving into the blockchain space, there are security issues you need to understand before you launch your business.
Harold Etyan, CEO of Particle Collection, tells Entrepreneur Europe, "When starting a business in the blockchain space there are new considerations to think about. It's important to protect your business as well as your users. From a development perspective, I've learned that prioritizing security audits from the start is essential to protecting your business. This is something that startups would normally push back to further down the line because they are focused on getting the business off the ground, however, the last thing a new business wants is a security attack while building. The second piece of security is security education for your users. The blockchain space is still very new to a lot of people, and a lot of newcomers can be vulnerable to attacks. With more people wanting to get involved in blockchain, educating on the risks can support the longevity of a business."
In other words, you need to have a deep understanding of what you're getting into so you can protect your employees and your customers, as well as yourself.
Communicate with your target market.
Searching out mentors and doing research are both great for understanding how to work in your new space, but you should keep your consumers and their interests top of mind. Start a dialogue with the audiences you're trying to reach, whether by making sure your marketing is robust, offering surveys, or speaking to them directly.
"It is important to build tools and processes to learn from your community in order to make material changes to the business based on that feedback," says Etyan, who is a big proponent of maintaining an involved user base. "While business owners know what's best for the success of their model, the community voices what motivates them most."