I’ve spotted a tech start-up opportunity, but know little about the sector. What should I do?

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by investor Phil Weinman.


Get busy researching! Every successful business starts with an idea. It’s how you apply that idea and put it into practice that delivers positive results.


You need to become savvy in the industry you wish to enter and there are a number of ways to do this.


Sometimes, it’s best not knowing your sector back-to-front. This way you can see opportunities and threats that others, operating within that market, do not see.


On the flipside, you start at the end of the race because you don’t have an in-depth knowledge of how the industry operates, who your competitors are, market trends, your environment and its potential for future growth and the networks and key contacts available.


We at Deasil Management Group never shy away from considering new markets. We actually seek markets with new opportunities – despite personal knowledge.


The technology sector is an obvious prime candidate. It’s competitive, has strong growth and is the way of the future.


The way to do it is to do your homework.


Don’t be too concerned. Sketch a plan and start your research. Work out what you don’t know and seek to know it all, without losing the distinctive quality of your product or service offering. Find out what groups are operating in the sector and join them.


Alternatively, seek a partner for your start-up that is an expert in that market. Work out individual roles and responsibilities for your start-up.


Your technology expert will have carriage for certain elements of your business in exchange for equity. This option also works because it gives you someone to share your ideas with.


This partner will become a confidante and trusted adviser when you need answers to questions and information about the industry you are unfamiliar with.


You will be surprised at how quickly you learn about this unfamiliar territory whichever way you go about it.


The ultimate goal is to realise your opportunity and turn it into a successful reality. You will do this by branching out and embracing unfamiliar territory.


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