If you’re looking to break into an industry with a big, revolutionary idea, be sure you’ve done your homework first. Lots of entrepreneurs get excited about the idea of reinventing an industry and making bank, and that’s definitely a viable possibility to pursue. But you have to go in with thorough research and knowledge about what your competition is, what inefficiencies could exist in the industry and what ideas are and aren’t practical.
Business people prioritize coming up with the next big thing, but it’s important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees – is your invention or advancement helpful, necessary, relevant to the consumer? Not every invention is a bright idea, and not every idea you have will take off in the industry. Perhaps there’s a complicating factor you didn’t look into, or perhaps something about your development just doesn’t appeal to consumers.
Reinventing an industry can be a major financial success, but you have to know what you’re doing first.
Do your homework about what’s out there
When you begin to consider what to develop, start by looking at what other companies in this industry are doing. Do you have any direct competition for the service or technology you want to offer or develop? Does everyone seem to have the same general complaints about businesses in this industry? When you research, look at what competing businesses are doing, and make sure you also look at how customers are responding to them.
Is there something about the industry everyone has a problem with? Is everyone generally dissatisfied, but maybe unable to disagree on what’s wrong? These are signs than at industry is in need of, and would welcome innovation. Begin looking here for ideas on how to launch an innovative idea.
Does it need to digitize?
If your industry competition hasn’t adapted to the modern digital age, you’ve got a clear way forward. In Long Beach, a new app called Bistro Planet is enabling food truck owners to bring their companies into the digital era by allowing customers to track trucks, view menus and order food online. More than 300 companies have already signed up for the product, which is looking to expand into other markets.
This is an example of a business reinvention that was sorely needed: the food truck industry, while growing in popularity, has remained a mostly-offline venture until now. The result is customers struggle to find trucks and figure out options, and businesses struggle to grow as efficiently as they could if they had some sort of online presence. This example of innovation is what most entrepreneurs are thinking of when they think of reinventing an industry.
Today, consumers are digital users. They browse products and menus, look for recommendations, search for directions and for details online. There is a pre-existing demand to put any and all content on the internet – any industry that hasn’t done it yet is ripe for the plucking.
Look to your network to enter the industry
When you’re trying to figure out how to make something take off in the industry, look to your network. Do you know anyone in the industry who might hop aboard and begin using your product or service? For example, if you develop a technology that can, say, cut the time it takes to sew a dress in half, can you get fashion labels to start using it? Can you convince a local shirt making company to buy and try out the technology so you can prove it works?
When you develop new technology, it’s not enough to have developed it and it’s not enough to allow customers to see you using it. You must try to license and spread it, encourage people to try your version and to pay you for the ability to use this technology. This will be how you can personally profit from a changing industry.
Reinventing an industry is no easy feat, but if you do it successfully you can profit big time. Make sure you know an industry and do your homework about what’s missing before delving into such a project, however.