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Why Your Industry Is More Important Than Your Product

By News Creatives Authors , in Small Business , at October 27, 2021

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As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to accomplish each day. From your team to your product to your marketing, there’s a lot to think about. While you may be tempted to do it all, it can almost be impossible. If you’re able to check off every item on your list, it’s probably at the cost of other important things in your life, such as family and friends. You see, as an entrepreneur, you’re no longer working that 9 to 5. Instead — sometimes — it can feel like 24/7. 

As a result, articles, podcasts and books encourage prioritization. It’s a necessary approach to avoid burning out. Yet, many people squabble over what exactly to focus on. Some are adamant that the perfect morning routine will grow your company. Others believe that certain leadership styles guarantee higher levels of productivity. However, all these arguments highlight tools of execution. What is the point of executing properly if you’re facing the wrong direction? 

Therefore, before you even begin your morning routine or establish your leadership role, you’ll need to look at the big picture. You need to look at your industry. 

Why Industry? 

What do I mean by that? As someone who has started 15 companies, I have found over the years that industry is everything. You may be asking, “What about your product?” Yes, your product matters, just not as much as your industry. 

I can hear the entrepreneurial community already up in arms, but just hear me out. Your product is important. It sets you apart from others in your field, but that’s just it. At the end of the day, your industry will dictate the product you build. Therefore, your industry is imperative. 

Ultimately, you can have the best product in the world, but if the industry is failing, your entrepreneurial dreams will soon fall apart. It’s like swimming upstream. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to. At the end of the day, you want your business to make money. It won’t make money, at least not for long, if you waste all your efforts fighting the current. 

Instead, think about the industry before you do anything else. This may feel unnatural, as usually, founders think of a product first. However, if you are intentional about your industry from the beginning, you will be thanking yourself later. 

Which Industries? 

So, which industries should you enter? Having dabbled in several myself, I can say that, without a doubt, your company will fail if you do not enter a field that interests you. While this may sound like it undermines my point about being intentional, the two go hand-in-hand. 

If there’s an industry that has always interested you, investigate it. If upon investigation you realize it’s an extremely tough market, then you must examine how much you truly love it. 

Those in the restaurant industry can agree: They’re in that market because they love it. You have to be incredibly passionate to deal with all the challenges that come along with the rewards, such as small margins, perishable products and now staffing shortages. 

On the flip side, however, keep an open mind. If there’s an area that doesn’t quite appeal to you, try doing some research. You may find that the market isn’t what you originally thought. You may find a part of that field that is fascinating to you. 

At the end of the day, keep an open mind and do your research. You may surprise yourself. 

Research, Research, Research 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from listening to hundreds of guests on my podcast, it’s that you need to do your research. Yes, you can do your research to discover an industry, but it’s more than just that. 

In being thorough with your research, you can see what industries are doing well and which are not. An industry that looks to be thriving may not be sustainable. On the other side, you may find an illuminating statistic that convinces you to jump headfirst in a market you had no idea had so much potential. Research can reveal problem areas, but also holes. It is in these holes in the market that you can enter and excel.   

At the end of the day, research gets past the hear-say. It goes beyond others’ opinions. Research can give you the desperately needed truth, and from there, you can make an informed decision about which direction to face. 

Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?


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