If you have been contemplating starting a business, you will likely have read a few guides to help you decide if entrepreneurship may be suitable for you. Among these guides, it is highly likely you have found a suggestion along the lines of: “start a business in a familiar niche”.
On first inspection, this idea makes sense; you can utilize your past experience in a particular niche to create a business that benefits from “insider” knowledge. However, there is a rather significant fly in the ointment…
What if you want to start a business to escape your existing niche?
If you have worked in a particular field for a number of years, the time may come when you begin to question whether you want to continue working in that niche for the rest of your career.
If you find that you are in need of a change, and you believe that change should be the transition to owning your own business rather than working for others, then the idea of starting a business in a familiar niche is a non-starter.
What’s more, prior experience in a particular niche does not necessarily mean that you can easily start a business in the same field. If you have been an ER doctor or a teacher, then your options for starting your own business are rather limited – aside from building and managing a new hospital or school, there are very few options available.
As a result, the advice to start a business in a familiar niche is simply not applicable for some of the people who are considering their own business venture.
So can you start a business is an unfamiliar niche?
The answer is “yes” – but there is likely to be a steep learning curve.
If you have previously worked as a nurse, transitioning to owning a garden centre will be a challenge; you’ll need to learn how to manage the accounts, how to work with mulch suppliers such as Edrich Lumber, Inc., and perfect your understanding of how to grow and care for plants – none of which your medical career will have prepared you for.
The same is true if you’ve been a teacher and want to start a freelance writing business; you’ll have no experience of pitching to clients, chasing down invoice payments, or creating a website that ensures you stand out in a busy marketplace.
You may have an idea of how the intricacies of your potential business will operate, but you have no direct experience regarding the details.
As daunting as the above may sound, some might argue that the learning curve could actually be just the challenge you need. If you are looking to leave your previous field, then it’s fair to assume that you’re looking for something different – and immersing yourself in a niche that you find more exciting should be the perfect way to do just that.
Starting a business in an unfamiliar niche will pose difficulties, and no one will pretend that doing so is the easiest or most straightforward choice. However, if you’re willing to learn as you go, and have a keenness to do something different with your professional career, then such a choice could well be the right one for your entrepreneurial aspirations.
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Are you bored with your current career and ready to branch out into something completely new?