Business Inspiration from Outside of Your Industry

A s entrepreneurs, it’s so easy to become wrapped up and isolated in our own industries.  We need to...

As entrepreneurs, it’s so easy to become wrapped up and isolated in our own industries.  We need to stay up to date on what’s happening in our fields, but avoid the danger of stagnation and repetition.  If we look only to what others in our field are doing, ideas become stale, recycled versions of another person’s vision.  Looking outside your industry for inspiration gives you the opportunity to see new ideas and perspectives, to have those exhilarating “Aha!” moments.
 

As a professional organizer, I’m fortunate to be part of a wonderfully supportive and generous industry.  However, if I only talked to, read about, and learned from other organizers, my work would inevitably become derivative of what my colleagues are doing.

My greatest inspiration for creating unique, personalized storage and organizational solutions comes from the design industries.  Because I specialize in small space solutions, I love to see the innovations that designers and architects develop to both maximize available space and create multitasking furniture and housewares.

Where to Look

1. Complementary Industries


What other types of business inform and compliment yours?  Read blogs, go to workshops and events, and create dialogue with members of other industries.  I use Google Reader to subscribe to a number of blogs from various industries and am able to scroll through their new content in one place.  It’s so much more efficient than bookmarking and trying to remember to periodically look at all of the blogs I love.

2. Personal Interests


If it interests you, it can inspire your business.  I assume that you’ve started a business that reflects your interests and passions, so continue to pursue those interests.  I love crafty DIY projects, so for years I subscribed to the (sadly) recently defunct ReadyMade magazine.  I’m also an devoted reader of blogs like Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy, and IKEA Hackers, all of which have been treasure troves of great, exciting ideas.

3. Admirable Business Models


Even if it’s completely unrelated to your industry, take the time to make a list of companies that you enjoy and respect.  What is it that draws you to those businesses?  By identifying the admirable qualities of these companies you can adapt others’ strengths and strategies for a perfect fit for your business.

Indulge your curiosity.  Wherever you find inspiration, follow your instincts.  Find the connection even if your personal interests or  the companies you admire seem separated by a hundred degrees from your business.  If something intrigues you, translate that appeal into a stronger vision for your own company.
As entrepreneurs, it’s so easy to become wrapped up and isolated in our own industries.  We need to stay up to date on what’s happening in our fields, but avoid the danger of stagnation and repetition.  If we look only to what others in our field are doing, ideas become stale, recycled versions of another person’s vision.  Looking outside your industry for inspiration gives you the opportunity to see new ideas and perspectives, to have those exhilarating “Aha!” moments.
As a professional organizer, I’m fortunate to be part of a wonderfully supportive and generous industry.  However, if I only talked to, read about, and learned from other organizers, my work would inevitably become derivative of what my colleagues are doing.
My greatest inspiration for creating unique, personalized storage and organizational solutions comes from the design industries.  Because I specialize in small space solutions, I love to see the innovations that designers and architects develop to both maximize available space and create multitasking furniture and housewares.
Where to Look
1. Complementary Industries
What other types of business inform and compliment yours?  Read blogs, go to workshops and events, and create dialogue with members of other industries.  I use Google Reader to subscribe to a number of blogs from various industries and am able to scroll through their new content in one place.  It’s so much more efficient than bookmarking and trying to remember to periodically look at all of the blogs I love.
2. Personal Interests
If it interests you, it can inspire your business.  I assume that you’ve started a business that reflects your interests and passions, so continue to pursue those interests.  I love crafty DIY projects, so for years I subscribed to the (sadly) recently defunct ReadyMade magazine.  I’m also an devoted reader of blogs like Design*SpongeApartment Therapy, and IKEA Hackers, all of which have been treasure troves of great, exciting ideas.
3. Admirable Business Models
Even if it’s completely unrelated to your industry, take the time to make a list of companies that you enjoy and respect.  What is it that draws you to those businesses?  By identifying the admirable qualities of these companies you can adapt others’ strengths and strategies for a perfect fit for your business.
Indulge your curiosity.  Wherever you find inspiration, follow your instincts.  Find the connection even if your personal interests or  the companies you admire seem separated by a hundred degrees from your business.  If something intrigues you, translate that appeal into a stronger vision for your own company.
- See more at: http://ingoodcompany.com/2011/07/business-inspiration-from-outside-of-your-industry/#sthash.jhimgDPf.dpuf

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