Over the last couple of hundred years, technology has been slowly eating away at the jobs at the bottom of the skill ladder. First, it was the weavers who disappeared, then the coal miners and now the truck drivers. With each new innovations, jobs are lost and new opportunities created.
Now many startups are slotting in at the top of the skill tree, looking for ways to add value in the knowledge sector. Unlike traditional parts of the economy, this sector has it’s own unique challenges, as recently described by Marketing Donut. Here are some wise words for those who want to jump into the industry.
Never Stop Learning
Knowledge-based companies, like education consultancies, software developers, and marketing agencies, go into business with what we might call a “stock” of knowledge. This is their primary resource; a pool of information and know-how they can draw on to meet their clients’ needs. But here’s the thing about the knowledge economy: it never stops moving forwards. Technology is changing all the time, meaning the customers want the latest your industry has to offer. This means that it’s imperative that companies in the sector never stop learning. Learning is what undergirds all their future profitability and success.
Keep Things Simple
Knowledge-based companies, especially marketing and software agencies, can get carried away by their own jargon. When customers visit their site or watch one of their videos, they’re often at a loss as to what it is that the company is offering. All too often explanation gets replaced with marketing speak and buzzwords. It’s a good idea, therefore, to make sure that your promotional material distils the very essence of the services you offer. Rather than saying something like “we build online client portals which will enhance system-as-a-service compatibility” say something like “we make websites that are easy for your customers to use.”
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Knowledge startups are, by their very nature, small scale. That means that it’s incredibly easy for them to be imitated by larger businesses with more resources. To prevent this from happening, secure your trademark by filing with the US trademark office. Then, start the process of patent application. You want to make sure all of your key innovations are for your exclusive use and can’t be stolen by others in the industry.
In the knowledge industry, you want to be known as the go-to business for something. It doesn’t matter exactly what that something is, be it making ecommerce sites, marketing sports companies, or helping get students into top universities. Just make sure that you’re the best of the best in any particular area.
As soon as you can create this persona for your company, you’ll develop a kind of magnetic attraction. People with a certain problem will be funneled towards you, based on the knowledge that you’re not a generalist, but a specialist in the area in which they are having difficulties.
Specializing also makes it easier to dominate online, especially when it comes to keywords and SEO.